Latin America & Caribbean

Chile to probe Gen Bachelet's death under Pinochet

Michelle Bachelet in 2008
Image caption Gen Bachelet's daughter Michelle went on to become President of Chile

A judge in Chile has agreed to investigate the death in prison of Gen Alberto Bachelet during the rule of Gen August Pinochet in the 1970s.

Judge Mario Carroza will review a complaint brought by relatives of the victims of military rule alleging that Gen Bachelet was tortured to death.

Gen Bachelet was loyal to President Salvador Allende, deposed in a 1973 military coup led by Gen Pinochet.

Gen Bachelet's daughter Michelle became Chile's first female president in 2006.

A group representing the relatives of victims of Gen Augusto Pinochet's military rule asked Judge Carroza to investigate whether Gen Bachelet had died as a result of the torture inflicted on him.

Gen Bachelet was held in a military academy for six months and tortured by members of the same air force he had led before Gen Pinochet's military coup.

He died on 12 March 1974 while serving a sentence for treason.

His wife, Angela Jeria, and his daughter Michelle were also held and tortured before fleeing to Australia.

Ms Bachelet served as Chile's president from 2006 until 2010. She now heads the UN women's agency.

Judge Carroza has also been in charge of an investigating into the death of former President Allende.

A team of international experts concluded that Mr Allende killed himself during Gen Pinochet's coup.

Mr Allende's family had always accepted he had committed suicide, but some of his supporters suspected he had been killed by soldiers.

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