Saturday, October 5, 2013

Ex CNI chief Odlanier Mena's suicide allegedly hastened by the transfer to Punta Peuco

Former CNI chief Odlanier Mena
Chilean President Sebastian Piñera is being held responsible for the former CNI chief Odlanier Mena's suicide, with relatives declaring the decision to close the luxurious Penal Cordillera and the transfer of human rights violators to Punta Peuco a strategy to ensure a victory in the forthcoming presidential elections. The family has since published Mena's final statement which, apart from protesting the move to Punta Peuco as inhumane given his old age, also proclaims himself innocent of charges and convictions against him.

"Due to our advanced age, we cannot accept the conditions resulting from my detention in the other prison." Mena also accused opponents of Pinochet's dictatorship of manipulating the situation in order to effect the long-awaited closure of the prison which hosted officials close to Pinochet who were involved in torture, killings and disappearances of dictatorship opponents. According to Mena, the transfer was achieved "through massive pressure by communists upon political actors in the country ... they are truly hostages of their own actions".

Mena had requested a presidential pardon upon 'humanitarian grounds' due to deteriorating health, a lament which indicates the detachment of torturers from their past. Declarations of innocence despite proof of crimes committed form the basis of allegedly humanitarian appeals. Apart from assuming leadership of the CNI when Pinochet ordered the dissolution of DINA, Mena was also involved in the Caravan of Death - his participation leading to the deaths of three Socialist Party leaders, Oscar Ripoll Codoceo, Manuel Donoso and Julio Valenzuela, detained on October 9, 1973 and murdered 11 days later.

Recent reports have determined that eight prisoners in Punta Peuco are in possession of weapons - the majority of them being prisoners who were transferred from the Penal Cordillera. According to information published in La Segunda, Alvaro Corbalan, Manuel Contreras, Marcelo Moren Brito, Miguel Krassnoff, Hugo Salas Wenzel Jose Zara, Carlos Herrera Jimenez and David Miranda retain rifles and pistols. Corbalan is described as having access to a mini arsenal, followed by Hugo Salas and Manuel Contreras.

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