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DATE=10/8/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=PINOCHET - CHILE REACTION (L) NUMBER=2-254828 BYLINE=JOHNATHAN FRANKLIN DATELINE=SANTIAGO, CHILE INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: A British judge's decision approving the extradition of General Augusto Pinochet to face trail in Spain on human rights charges has again split the Chilean public into rival camps. On one side, there are those who remain loyal to the former military ruler. on the other, a larger group that wants to see Pinochet tried and convicted. Jonathan Franklin reports from Santiago. TEXT: Viviana Diaz, the president of a Santiago-based human rights group that tries to locate dissidents who disappeared during the years Chile was ruled by the military, was ecstatic when she heard the news. Ms. Diaz said her human rights group expected the decision to go against Pinochet, despite pressure from the government here to bring the former ruler back to Chile. She said her group was especially pleased, not only because the ruling helped the cause of human rights in Chile, but internationally as well. During the years of military rule, she says, Chileans were locked up, tortured or mysteriously disappeared simply because they disagreed with the government. Those responsible for this, Ms. Diaz says, have to be punished. Across town at the non-profit Pinochet Foundation, the general's most loyal supporters were shocked by the ruling in London. Many blamed the media or international interference in what they considered a purely Chilean affair. /// Act of shouts and cries in Spanish in support of Pinochet /// Jorge Prado, a former cabinet minister under General Pinochet, was especially critical of the British court ruling. Mr. Prado said the judge was apparently under political pressure to approve the general's extradition to Spain, and that Chile should now apply pressure of its own on the British and Spanish governments to overturn the ruling. Despite their radically different opinions, both sides agree that the Pinochet case has been a national obsession in Chile since the general was arrested a year ago while being treated at a London clinic. But since then, many are concluding that the Pinochet era in Chile is finally over. The debate in Chile now is less over General Pinochet the ruler, than the political legacy he leaves behind. (SIGNED) NEB/WTW/ENE/JP 08-Oct-1999 19:46 PM EDT (08-Oct-1999 2346 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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