For­mer head of Pinochet’s se­cret po­lice, Manuel Con­tr­eras, dead in Chile at 86


Manuel Con­tr­eras, the for­mer head of Chile’s feared in­tel­li­gence ser­vice un­der the dic­ta­tor­ship of Au­gusto Pinochet, died Fri­day. He was 86.

Con­tr­eras died in a mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal in San­ti­ago, of­fi­cials said.

The ex-gen­eral had been sen­tenced to more than 500 years in prison for a string of hu­man rights abuses in­clud­ing the kid­nap, tor­ture and mur­der of op­po­nents.

Con­tr­eras’s health had wors­ened in re­cent days, and he had been suf­fer­ing from di­a­betes and can­cer.

Dozens of peo­ple came to the mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal to “celebrate” the death of one of Chile’s most no­to­ri­ous crim­i­nals.

Con­tr­eras was con­sid­ered Pinochet’s right-hand man and led the Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Di­rec­torate (DINA), which is blamed for the deaths or dis­ap­pear­ances of more than 3,200 vic­tims.

Pinochet seized power in 1973 in a mil­i­tary coup that over­threw Pres­i­dent Salvador Al­lende, and ruled un­til 1990, although he stayed on for eight more years as head of the mil­i­tary, which gave him im­mu­nity from pros­e­cu­tion.

Pinochet died in 2006 aged 91.


Peo­ple gather out­side the mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal wav­ing Chilean flags as a way of cel­e­brat­ing af­ter the death of Gen. Manuel Con­tr­eras was con­firmed by the gov­ern­ment in San­ti­ago, Chile, Satur­day, Aug. 8.

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