Hugo Salas Wenzel

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Hugo Salas Wenzel was a General in the Chilean Army during the Presidency of Augusto Pinochet. In August 2007 he was the first former senior military official sentenced to life for human rights violations in Chile during the 1980s.[1]

From 1986 to 1988 Salas was Director of the Central Nacional de Información (CNI), Chile's intelligence service such succeeded the notorious DINA.[1] During this time the organization was involved an anti-subversion campaign known as Operation Albania; the Corpus Christi Massacre on 15–16 June 1987 was a part of the operation. Twelve members of the Manuel Rodríguez Patriotic Front (FPMR) were murdered.

He was forced into retirement as a result of their direct or indirect involvement in the La Cutufa-affair.[2]

On 29 October 1999 Chilean authorities charged retired generals Wenzel and Humberto Leiva with the Operation Albania crime. They accused Wenzel of being an author of the crime, and Leiva, CNI Subdirector in 1987, of covering up the incident.[3]

In January 2005 Wenzel was sentenced to life for his role in the massacre; 14 other CNI agents were each given sentences ranging from three to five years.[4] Following an appeal, in August 2007 the Supreme Court of Chile upheld the sentence. The families of the victims have financial received compensation from the Chilean government.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Schweimler, Daniel (29 August 2007). "Chile ex-general jailed for life". BBC News. 
  2. ^ Article In Chile, Army Scandal May Damage Former Dictator Pinochet in Chicago Tribune on November 23, 1990, by Leslie Crawford
  3. ^ 1999 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor U.S. Department of State, February 25, 2000 - Chile
  4. ^[dead link]

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