Chile's Supreme Court has, once again, strip former dictator and all round bad old guy Augusto Pinochet of his immunity in relation to crimes committed when he was head bad guy of Chile.
The story, which so far I have only found on a Cuban news site gives scant details of the charges Pinochet will face this time round, saying only that the charges are related
to the disappearance and murder of at least 15 people in a 1975 human rights case known as Operation Colombo.
This is the third time that the Supreme court has ruled to strip Pinochet, one of the most hideous individuals in modern history, of his immunity against criminal charges for the horrendous crimes committed under his 18 or so year reign. In both previous cases the courts later ruled that Pincohet was too ill to mount a defence (what possible defence could he have, other than "the Americans made me do it"?) and therefore couldn't stand trial.
I used to work for a couple in Australia who had received political asylum after being repeatedly tortured for no reason other than believing that their right to freedom of speech and assembly was too fundamental to be taken away by some bozo in a dodgy military uniform.
From their stories and other examples I have seen of Chileans trying to deal with the hellish nightmare they lived through (the play, Death and the Maiden, comes to mind - later made into a not-too-bad film by Roman Polanski), it is difficult to imagine the country ever being able to move on while the architect of their former misery lives among them (occasionally) and slowly dies a natural death breathing free air.
11 September, which this year was marked in the US as the fourth anniversary of "the day the world changed", was marked in Chile as one more year since their democratically elected leader was executed by Pinochet and his troops, and one more year that he goes on living in freedom, unrepentant and defiant.
Pinochet deserves to spend the short remaining time of his life in a Chilean prison, if for nothing else then the lies he continues to propagate about his rule. This comment:
"I never aspired to be a dictator because I considered that to be a dictator would end badly," Gen Pinochet, 87, said from his home in Santiago. "I always acted in a democratic way."
made after he returned to Chile after his first immunity overturning was overturned, pretty much say it all. Let him rot in solitary, I say.