Pinochet’s Indictor Visits Chile Amid Controversy
Written by by Frank Polizzi on January 17, 2013.
Former Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón is in Chile. A hero to some and an villain to others, Garzón is renowned for indicting Augusto Pinochet for crimes against humanity.
QUINTA NORMAL — Former Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón arrived in Chile yesterday, visiting the Museo de la Memoria y de los Derechos Humanos and speaking out on the Mapuche conflict.
Garzón gained international recognition in 1998 when he used the principal of universal jurisdiction to indict former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet was residing in Britain at the time, whose government refused to expedite the former leader after Garzón issued an international arrest warrant for Pinochet’s crimes against Spanish citizens.
The British government was subsequently obligated to arrest Pinochet. However, due to his ailing health and other legal loopholes, the dictator never saw the inside of a courtroom. The case nonetheless gained fame in international law as the first time a former head of state had been indicted under universal jurisdiction.
Garzón is glad that his legacy of human rights advocacy in Chile has not been forgotten.
“This museum is here for a reason, it serves as a response to the people, and especially to the victims, to recover what was lost with such massive human rights violations,” he said as he strolled down the museum’s halls.