Sunday, May 12, 2013

Additional prison sentence for former DINA agent Miguel Krassnoff Martchenko

Miguel Krassnoff Martchenko
The Santiago Court of Appeals has sentenced former DINA agent Miguel Krassnoff Martchenko to 541 days in prison for the torture of MIR militant Guacolda Rojas Pizarro during her detention at Villa Grimaldi.

Krassnoff, who is already serving a 144 year prison sentence for his role in torture and disappearance of leftist militants and sympathisers, has been condemned by Judge Mario Carroza for subjecting Rojas to beatings, various forms of sexual torture and applying electric current to sensitive parts of the detainee's body. Rojas was later transferred to Tres Alamos and Cuatro Alamos, finally being released from her ordeal.

In a previous conviction for torture and disappearance of Maria Cecilia Labrin Saso, Krassnoff sought to reinvent his image of notorious torturer who never bothered to shield his identity from detainees, into that of a researcher employed to study the dynamics of 'terrorist groups like MIR'.

Human rights supporters and groups concerned with furthering the struggle for memory in Chile do not deem the judicial ruling as particularly effective, considering the luxurious incarceration epitomised by the Penal Cordillera - a military building bequeathed to Augusto Pinochet's convicted agents. Apart from the privileged surroundings, including the use of lavish recreations areas, the torturers have also been entitled to benefits and pensions depending upon their rank during the dictatorship.

Chile's right wing, however, still hails Krassnoff as 'innocent' and patriotic. Gabriela Silva Encina's book 'Miguel Krassnoff: Preso por Servir a Chile' (Miguel Krassnoff: Incarcerated for serving Chile) remains touted as a knowledgeable treatise amongst neoliberal circles, despite the fact that the historian denies any human rights violation during Pinochet's dictatorship.

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