Wednesday, June 12, 2024

LATIN AMERICA | 29-06-2021 20:17

Argentina extradites Chilean dictatorship fugitive Walther Klug Rivera

Chilean fugitive Walther Klug Rivera, wanted for alleged crimes committed during the Pinochet dictatorship, arrives in Santiago after extradition.

Chilean fugitive Walther Klug Rivera — a retired Army colonel wanted for dozens of murders committed during the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship — arrived in Santiago on Monday, completing his extradition y Argentine authorities.

The ex-military officer was arrested two weeks ago near a hotel in Balvanera, Buenos Aires, by federal police officers; authorities had initially spotted him earlier in the month when he unsuccessfully attempted to board a flight to Spain.

Without an international arrest warrant at the time, Klug Rivera was freed. But Interpol issued an international warrant for his arrest on June 9, leading to his subsequent detention.

He was then extradited by the Argentine government at the request of the Chilean justice system, arriving at Santiago airport on Monday night where he was arrested and placed into quarantine due to Covid-19.

"Klug Rivera will fulfil a 10-day quarantine period in the No. 1 Santiago Military Police Regiment to wait for the resolution of his procedural situation," said Chile's Judiciary in a statement.

Years ago, Klug escaped to Argentina in attempt to avoid the 10-year jail sentence he faces in Chile for his role in the kidnapping and murder of 23 workers at two hydroelectric power plants in the Biobío region (550 kilometres south of Santiago). The plants were converted into torture centres after the Pinochet-led coup in 1973, to which Klug Rivera served as head.

He managed to flee Chile after a court acquitted him at the end of last year for the disappearance of university student Luis Ángel Cornejo Fernández, a decision which was later appealed by the late victim's family.

Klug has escaped his native land once before, spending four years in Germany from 2015 since he has dual citizenship and Germany has no extradition agreements with Chile. But during a visit to Italy in 2019 he was apprehended by Interpol and subsequently sent back to Chile for the Cornejo case.




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