Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Americas
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


The BBC's Paul Reynolds
Investigation into Letelier murder reopened
 real 28k

Thursday, 23 March, 2000, 19:54 GMT
US reopens Pinochet investigation
The crumpled wreckage of Orlanda Letelier's car
New evidence prompted the renewed effort
By BBC Washington Correspondent Paul Reynolds

The United States will restart an investigation into whether General Augusto Pinochet was responsible for the death of former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier.

Mr Letelier and a colleague were killed by a car bomb in Washington in 1976.


Letelier
Letelier: Killed by car bomb
American investigators have been sent to Chile to revive the investigation following pressure from relatives of the victims.

The relatives renewed their efforts in light of the recent legal attention given to General Pinochet.

A Chilean judge will question 42 witnesses on behalf of the US investigators.

Under orders?

Among these witnesses are the head of the Chilean secret police at the time, Manuel Contreras, and the then head of operations, Pedro Espinoza, both of whom are in prison in Chile for their roles in the plot.

The missing piece of evidence has always been any statement from them that they were acting under General Pinochet's orders.


Augusto Pinochet waves to supporters upon his recent return to Chile
The US hopes to encourage Chile to pursue Pinochet
The Justice Department in Washington said simply that the investigation was a sign that it was serious about getting all the facts.

The hope is that new evidence will be discovered to allow an American grand jury to indict the general, even though it is unlikely that he would ever be extradited.

But it is also hoped that this renewed pressure from the US Government will encourage the authorities in Chile to pursue the cases which have been brought against General Pinochet there.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Americas Contents

Country profiles
See also:

02 Mar 00 | Americas
Pinochet 'harmed' Chile's image
06 Mar 00 | Americas
Moves to lift Pinochet immunity
03 Mar 00 | Americas
Critics turn on Pinochet
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories