A Chilean court has found a retired army general and 15 other former military officials guilty of the murders of more than a dozen opponents the General Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship in the 1970s, when they acted as operatives of the military regime's notorious death squad, the Caravan of Death.
The officers were charged with 15 murders in 1973 through the Caravan of Death — a covert military unit that waged terror in the country under the dictatorship, including torturing and killing civilians — reported human rights special prosecutor Mario Carroza.
The 15 victims, all political opponents of the Pinochet regime, were detained on Oct. 16, 1973 in the wake of the Sept. 11 military coup against socialist President Salvador Allende. They were later removed from their prison cells and executed by multiple shots inside the military detention center where they were being held. Their remains were buried in a mass graves and were not returned to their relatives until they were found in 1998.
Among the 16 former military officials charged is a former army commander-in-chief, retired General Juan Emilio Cheyre, who has long been considered "untouchable" after previously being sentenced but securing his release on bond.