SANTIAGO – A Chilean judge sentenced a retired general to 18 years behind bars for ordering the 1973 executions of two bodyguards of President Salvador Allende, authorities said Tuesday.
Gen. Luis Ramirez Pineda was convicted in the murders of Wagner Salinas Muñoz and Francisco Lara Ruiz.
Ramirez Pineda was the commander of the army’s Tacna regiment, to which – after the bombardment and assault on the presidential palace during the Sept. 11, 1973, military coup – were brought numerous captured advisors of Allende and other officials.
Salinas Muñoz and Lara Ruiz belonged to the president’s security team, but on the day of the coup they were in the city of Talca for work reasons and upon learning of the unfolding events of that day immediately returned to Santiago, but they were arrested on the highway by police and handed over to the army, eventually being delivered to the Tacna regiment.
During the investigation, it was established that Ramirez Pineda personally ordered Capt. Luis Guillermo Mena to execute Salinas Muñoz and Lara Ruiz.
Salinas Muñoz had been an outstanding amateur boxer, winning the Chilean and Latin American heavyweight titles.
Some 3,200 Chileans died at the hands of the agents of the state during the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, according to official figures.