Enrique Arancibia Clavel

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Enrique Arancibia (13 October 1944 – 28 April 2011)[1] was a Chilean DINA security service agent who assassinated General Carlos Prats and his wife in 1974. General Prats, who had been vice president in the administration of Salvador Allende, had strongly criticized Pinochet's 1973 coup which deposed Allende; Prats went into voluntary exile in Argentina.

Aranciba was working for the government of Augusto Pinochet. He was convicted of the assassinations in Argentina. After serving 20 years in prison, Aranciba was paroled in July 2007. He was found dead in Buenos Aires in April 2011.

Background[edit]

Arancibia was associated with the right-wing group that killed Chilean Army Chief of Staff René Schneider in 1970 during a botched kidnapping. General Schneider had supported Allende's election by writing the Schneider Doctrine, which advocated an apolitical military. Aranciba was not directly linked with Schneider's death. After Schneider's murder, Arancibia left Chile and took up residence in unofficial exile in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In Argentina, Arancibia acted as a liaison between DINA and the Argentine secret police.[2]

He became involved in the assassination of Prats and his wife, who went into exile in Argentina following Pinochet's coup. The assassination was part of Operation Condor, a campaign of political repression and terror involving intelligence operations and assassination of opponents, officially implemented in 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America against left-wing rivals. Arancibia received assistance from Michael Townley in planning and carrying out the attack, which reportedly also involved Italian terrorist Stefano Delle Chiaie. The Italian ultimately testified against both Townley and Arancibia.[3]

In 1978, shortly after the extradition of Townley to the United States for the murder of diplomat Orland Letelier in Washington, DC in 1976, Arancibia was arrested by Argentine intelligence officers and charged with espionage. He was convicted and sentenced to life for the 1974 assassination of General Prats in Buenos Aires; this sentence was upheld in an Argentine court in August 2004, the court thereby ruling that crimes against humanity do not have a statutory limit in Argentina, including those committed during the Dirty War.[4][5]

Townley was also involved in General Prats' assassination, but never tried for the crime. (Townley served 62 months of a 10-year sentence for his role in the assassination of Orlando Letelier, Chilean Ambassador to the US, who was killed in Washington, D.C. in 1976. Townley's plea bargain for confessing to the Letelier assassination provided immunity from further prosecution, preventing his extradition to Argentina on charges relating to the Prats' assassination).[6][7]

In addition, Arancibia was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in 2004 by an Argentine court for the kidnapping of Laura Elgueta and another Chilean woman in Buenos Aires. Elgueta was later charged with relaying communications for the ex–Minister of Defence Vivianne Blanlot.[5][8] Although the Prats case was still open in Chile, Arancibia was freed under parole for technical reason in July 2007, after nearly 20 years of prison in Argentina.[8]

Aranciba was found dead in Buenos Aires in April 2011.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Apareció muerto Arancibia Clavel/Arancibia Clavel was found dead". El Argentino (in Spanish). 28 April 2011. Retrieved 28 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Newbery, Charles; Alexei Barrionuevo (9 April 2011). "Former Agent for Pinochet Is Found Slain in Argentina". The New York Times. p. A9. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "mun6". unam.mx. 
  4. ^ "Vital rights ruling in Argentina". BBC News. 24 August 2004. 
  5. ^ a b "Former Chilean agent gets 12-year sentence for pair of 1977 kidnappings dating to military era". Associated Press. 30 September 2004. 
  6. ^ "Arancibia, 'clave' en la cooperación de las dictaduras". La Jornada (in Spanish). 5 May 2000. 
  7. ^ "Diplomat's Assassin to be Freed". The Washington Post. 26 July 1983. 
  8. ^ a b "Arancibia Clavel: 'Tengo claro que sigo cumpliendo mi condena'". La Segunda (in Spanish). 24 August 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2007.