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Manuel Contreras
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Military Personnel
    (May 4, 1929-August 7, 2015)
    Born in Santiago, Chile
    General in the Chilean army
    Headed DINA, the Chilean secret police (1973-77)
    Served six years in prison for ordering the 1976 assassination of exiled cabinet member Orlando Letelier (1995-2001)
    Convicted in multiple trials of ordering the abduction and disappearance of various political opponents, including Socialist Party leader Victor Olea Alegria (2002), journalist Diana Frida Aron Svigilsky (2003) and priest Antonio Llido Mengual (2008)
    Convicted of ordering the 1974 assassination of former Army Chief Carlos Prats and his wife (2008)
    Total sentences added up to 529 years in prison
    Spent the last year of his life in the intensive care unit of Santiago's Military Hospital
    He was the second most powerful and feared man in Chile, behind only dictator Augusto Pinochet.
    He was responsible for the kidnapping, torture and deaths of thousands of people.
    He was one of the architects of Operation Condor in which South America's military juntas tracked down and killed their political opponents in foreign countries.
    After his conviction for the Letelier assassination, he tried to take refuge in a military hospital, only to discover that he no longer had the support of the army.
    He spent most of his jail time in a luxury prison for former Pinochet officials that had tennis courts, barbecues and a swimming pool for the inmates.
    In an interview from prison (2013), he mocked the guards, saying their only duty was 'holding my cane.'
    Crowds would pelt him with eggs and fruit as he was taken to and from court.
    His interview came back to bite him in the butt as it convinced President Sebastian Piñera to close the luxury prison.
    Unlike Pinochet, he did jail time. (Albeit, mostly cushy jail time.)
    A 2009 Presidential decree banned him from receiving military honors at his funeral.

Credit: C. Fishel


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