Chile recognises 9,800 more Pinochet victims

Santiago: Chile officially recognised 9,800 more victims of its dictatorship, increasing the total number of people killed, tortured or imprisoned for political reasons to 40,018.

A similar effort in 2004 determined that 27,153 survivors deserve monthly compensation from the government for human rights violations they suffered.

Together with the 3,065 people who were killed by Chile's military or were simply made to disappear and are presumed dead, the official victim list accepted yesterday by President Sebastian Pinera totals 40,018.

Survivors of rights violations will get lifetime pensions of about USD 260 a month. Relatives of those killed receive more than three times that amount. In all, the government will need to increase its compensation to about USD 123 million a year. Victims also are entitled to health, education and housing benefits.

The National Commission on Political Imprisonment and Torture was created by Pinera's predecessor, Michelle Bachelet, in February 2010 as one of her last acts in office. It reviewed information submitted by thousands of people in an effort similar to the one led by the late bishop Sergio Valech, which came up with the previous total of survivors in 2004.