Proceedings began today in the trial against Ramón Céaceres Jorquera and Edgar Cevallos Jones, the two men accused of torturing and killing General Alberto Bachelet, the father of former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.
This morning, Judge Mario Carroza read the charges against the accused who are both retired coronals in the Chilean Air Force (FACH). The men have been charged with torturing former general Alberto Bachelet to the point of death in March of 1974, during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.
The charges read that the men “organized operatives, had custody of those detained in the War Academy, participated in the interrogations to which detainees were submitted and subjected prisoners to diverse methods of cruel, inhumane and degrading coercion.”
Jorquera and Jones were detained on Monday and brought to a FACH base.
A key turning point in the case came with the June announcement of the findings of an investigation by Justice Department and the Medical Legal Service into the general’s cause of death. The investigation determined that Bachelet had died as a direct result of the torture he suffered during his detainment, which provoked the heart attack that lead to his death.
Alberto Bachelet, who was a general in the Air Force, died on 12th March 1974 in the Public Prison in Santiago, where he was being held on charges of treason. He was one of the high-ranking army officials that did not support Pinochet’s coup.
The next morning, he suffered acute cardiac arrest and died. According to the report by the Medical Legal Service, the general had informed prison authorities that he was in poor health before the interrogation, but he was ignored and denied necessary medical care.
The day before his death, Bachelet had been taken to the FACH War Academy, where he was interrogated.
The former president and her mother, Angela Jeria, also intend to take legal action against the two men. Both women were also detained and tortured during the dictatorship.