SANTIAGO – The Santiago Court of Appeals on Tuesday sentenced two former police officers to 10 years in prison for the Pinochet-era murder of a 15-year-old boy in the Chilean capital.
In a unanimous ruling, the court overturned a lower court’s acquittal of defendant Patricio Montesinos while upholding the conviction of defendant Mario Pizarro.
The murder took place on Oct. 13, 1973, a little more than a month after the coup that brought Gen. Augusto Pinochet to power, when soldiers and police occupied a working class neighborhood on the north side of Santiago, rounding up all of the adult males on a soccer field.
Though a minor, Orlando Ponce Quezada was taken to the field as punishment for having leaned out his front door to see what was happening, according to court documents.
After spending several hours face down on the ground as soldiers and police examined the documents of the men gathered on the soccer field, the teenager was taken to a police station.
From there, Ponce was taken along with two adult detainees to a place where they were beaten by cops under the orders of Lt. Montesinos, who told the youth to walk ahead of them.
The boy complied and was shot on the order of Sgt. Pizarro.
Seeing that Ponce was still moving, Pizarro drew his gun and finished off the teen.
The Court of Appeals also ratified the ruling ordering the government of Chile to pay 40 million pesos ($59,000) to Ponce’s brother.