SANTIAGO, Chile — Thirteen former secret police who served under Augusto Pinochet will stand trial over the disappearance of 20 people at a torture center during his dictatorship, the government said Wednesday.
The suspects worked for a police intelligence unit called the DINA and include its former director, Manuel Contreras — who is 83 and already serving a jail term of more than 200 years for crimes against humanity in the Pinochet era.
The man who ran the Villa Grimaldi torture facility, where the 20 people were held, is also due to stand trial. He is also serving a prison term for human rights violations, as are all of the remaining suspects.
Pinochet seized power in 1973 by ousting President Salvador Allende and ruled until 1990.
During his regime some 4,500 people were held at Villa Grimaldi. Of them, more than 200 were tortured, executed or went missing, according to government figures.
More than 3,000 people died or went missing as a result of political repression during the Pinochet dictatorship.
A total of 76 police officers have been convicted of abuses as of May of this year, and 67 of them have been sent to jail, according to a tally by Diego Portales University.
The country returned to democracy in 1990. Pinochet died in 2006, without ever having been put on trial.
© AFP 2013