Pinochet arrested after Supreme Court ruling

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Thursday, January 6, 2005

Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was officially placed under house arrest a day after the country's Supreme Court upheld his indictment of one count of murder and nine counts of kidnapping.

Court officials say the arrest order was delivered to Gen. Pinochet's home near the capital, Santiago, Wednesday. The 89-year-old retired general has been at his home recovering from a stroke he suffered in late December.

A government commission, the Rettig Commission, listed 2,095 deaths and 1,102 disappearances during his 17-year rule. In 2004 the Valech Report that was issued after interviewing an estimated 35,000 people who claimed to have been abused by the regime; 28,000 were regarded legitimate.

The crimes were allegedly committed as part of Operation Condor, a campaign of assassination and terrorization meant to suppress left-wing opposition to Pinochet's regime. The Chilean-led program soon spread to other military regimes throughout Latin America, and may have had at least tacit complicity by then-U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The Pinochet dictatorship ruled Chile from 1973 until 1990, gaining power after a military coup overthrew the democratically-elected socialist President Salvador Allende.