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Chile: retired general dies of gunshot after being sentenced

August 13, 2015

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A retired Chilean general died of a gunshot on Thursday just as he was due to begin serving a 20-year sentence for a killing meant to cover up dictatorship-era crimes.

The Military Hospital said Gen. Hernan Ramirez was admitted with a cranial bullet wound at 1:30 a.m. and died about two hours later.

Ramirez, 76, was part of a group of officers sentenced this week by the Supreme Court in the killing of former chemist Eugenio Berrios, who had worked for the feared secret spy agency. They were accused of collaborating to keep him from testifying about crimes committed by the secret service, known as DINA, which kidnapped, tortured and killed thousands during Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s 1973-1990 dictatorship.

Berrios was kidnapped and later found dead on a Uruguayan beach in 1995.

Officially, 40,018 people were killed, tortured or imprisoned for political reasons during the dictatorship.

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