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Latino Daily News

Wednesday September 1, 2010

Justice Comes in 1973 Torture Death of Chilean Catholic Priest

Arrested September 18,1973 in his home on Cerro Placeres , 10 days after the military coup in Chile. Miguel Woodward was taken first to the cargo ship the Lebu and then to the Navy cadet ship Esmeralda. Witnesses confirm that he was brutally tortured and died in an ambulance en route to the Navy Hospital. Miguel Woodward Iriberri lived as a Catholic Priest intensely committed to the poor people of his diocese.

This case is the first time the Pinochet government is being charged with Genocide for religious motives as well as the first ever charge of State terrorism. The family of Miguel Woodward has relentlessly pursued the investigation of their loved ones death.

Chilean Justice indicted on Friday fourteen former members of Carabineros (militarized police and Navy) for the kidnapping and killing of Anglo-Chilean Catholic priest Miguel Woodward. There were a total of 33 indictments included in the case.

“It is with great satisfaction that we have been informed of the indictment which is now completed and closes this line of investigation that has been on-going for years”, said Karina Fernández, solicitor from the Ministry of Interior Human Rights Program which acted as plaintiff.

The Pinochet government installed a brutal dictatorship with the 1973 coup that lasted until 1990 in Chile.