18 from German colony indicted for abuses

Miami Herald/April 11, 2006

SANTIAGO - Four former security agents and 14 members of a secretive German colony in southern Chile were indicted Monday for human rights abuses during the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

Judge Jorge Zepeda said that the leaders of Colonia Dignidad, or Dignity Colony, allowed their sprawling farm 310 miles south of Santiago to be used by Pinochet's security services to hide kidnapped dissidents.

Among those indicted was Paul Schaeffer, the top leader of the colony, who has been jailed since last year on child sexual abuse charges after being brought from Argentina, where he remained at large for several years.

Other German immigrants indicted include the colony's doctor, a nurse and other members. Retired Chilean generals Manuel Contreras and Pedro Espinoza, the top commanders of Pinochet's feared security service known as DINA for its Spanish acronym, also were indicted. Both currently are serving jail sentences in other human rights cases.

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