Suspects arrested for 1981 poisoning of Chilean ex-president

Eduardo Frei

Eduardo Frei

A Chilean judge this week charged several people connected with the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, of complicity in the 1981 murder by poisoning of former Chilean President Eduardo Frei Montalva. With the help of the CIA, Frei, a conservative centrist, became Chile’s elected leader from 1964 to 1970. In 1973, he supported the Augusto Pinochet junta movement against Chile’s elected President, Salvador Allende, but soon became disillusioned and opposed the military regime’s widespread human rights abuses. In November 1981, Frei checked into Santiago’s Santa Maria Clinic for a routine hernia operation. It was there, according to the court indictment, that several doctors connected with the Pinochet junta systematically poisoned the former Chilean President with thallium and small doses of mustard gas, which eventually killed him. The indictments represent a significant breakthrough in the case, which has tormented Chilean political life for nearly three decades. In 2001, Frei’s daughter, Carmen Frei, told the Chilean Senate that the pro-Pinochet doctors injected her father not with thallium or mustard gas, but with bacteria produced by Eugenio Berrios, a notorious biochemist with Nazi sympathies, who worked for Chile’s National Intelligence Directorate (DINA) under Pinochet.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

2 Responses to Suspects arrested for 1981 poisoning of Chilean ex-president

  1. KMansfield says:

    Eugenio Berrios has been killed too.

  2. intelNews says:

    Do you happen to know, by any chance, if he was tried before his death?

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