Chile: judge indicts US officer in 1973 killings

Chilean judge Jorge Zepeda issued an indictment on Nov. 29 charging former US Navy Capt. Ray E. Davis with involvement in the murders of two US citizens, journalist Charles Horman and graduate student Frank Teruggi, in the days after the Sept. 11, 1973 military coup that overthrew President Salvador Allende Gossens. Judge Zepeda asked the Chilean Supreme Court to authorize a request for Davis’ extradition from the US. The judge also indicted retired Chilean army Brigadier Pedro Espinoza Bravo, who is already in prison for several other crimes.

Basing the indictment in part on declassified US documents, Zepeda charged that Capt. Davis, who headed the Military Group at the US embassy in Santiago at the time, could have prevented Horman’s execution by the Chilean military but failed to do so because he thought Horman’s work was “subversive” and “extremist.” The documents also indicate that Horman may have been killed because he had found out about US “collaboration during the military events unfolding,” the judge wrote. Horman and Teruggi were working together on a weekly news digest; both were being monitored by US agents, who passed information on to the Chilean military, according to Zepeda.

Capt. Davis’ wife told the Associated Press wire service on Dec. 1 that her husband has severe Alzheimer’s and is in a US nursing home. Patricia Davis, who lives in Florida, refused to name the nursing home. (AP, Nov. 29, via Miami Herald, Dec. 2 via ABC News; New York Times, Nov. 30)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Dec. 4.

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