Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has expressed her sorrow following the death of brutal Chilean dictator Agusto Pinochet, a friend until the end. Victims of Pinochet’s atrocities have also expressed sadness, now that the tyrant will escape trial for years of abuses against his people, including torture and the disappearance of some 3,000 individuals.


A regular visitor to the UK, where he had many friends, Gen. Pinochet was arrested in London in October 1998, as he arrived to undergo medical treatment.

The Spanish government sought to put him on trial in Madrid over the deaths of its citizens in Chile.

Baroness Thatcher had tea with him and publicly expressed her opposition to the request.

Gen. Pinochet remained under house arrest on the exclusive Wentworth Estate in Surrey for nearly 17 months before then Home Secretary Jack Straw decided he was too ill to stand trial.

Responding to Gen. Pinochet’s death, Mr. Straw defended the decision by saying he acted in accordance with “clear legal duties.”

Briton Dr. Sheila Cassidy, who was tortured under the Gen. Pinochet regime in the 1970s, told the BBC the victims would be disappointed he never faced a trial.

“For people who were tortured, and particularly for people who’ve lost someone, whose daughter or lover was killed, I think that never goes behind you, and I think there will be a lot of anger that he has escaped prosecution,” she said.

Read more

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.