Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Beloved figure on right-wing, Augusto Pinochet, made bio-weapons and got $26M peddling cocaine

A former top aide alleges that: Augusto Pinochet's $26m (£14m) fortune was amassed through cocaine sales to Europe and the US, the general's former top aide for intelligence has alleged. In testimony sent to Chilean Judge Claudio Pavez, Manuel Contreras alleges that Pinochet and his son Marco Antonio organised a massive production and distribution network, selling cocaine to Europe and the US in the mid-1980s. According to Contreras, once Pinochet's ally and now a bitter enemy, Pinochet ordered the army to build a clandestine cocaine laboratory in Talagante, a rural town 24 miles from Santiago. There he had chemists mix cocaine with other chemicals to produce what Contreras described as a "black cocaine" capable of being smuggled past drug agents in the US and Europe. Pinochet denied the charges I bet he does. The mastermind behind the cocaine operation, alleges Contreras, was Eugenio Berríos, a renegade chemist who was used repeatedly by Pinochet's secret police force, DINA, to run clandestine laboratory experiments. Earlier testimony and documents show that Berríos and the lab tested anthrax and botulism and were able to produce the deadly gas sarin. The biological weapons were slated to be used against Pinochet's personal enemies and in a massive form against enemy troops in the event of an invasion by Argentina. The drug operation, says Contreras, was designed to raise cash for the dictator. Isn't Pinochet's Chile a wonderful success story?
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