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ECLAC Welcomes Chilean Supreme Court’s Final Conviction in the Murder of Carmelo Soria

22 August 2023|News

The Spanish economist and diplomat, who was an official of the United Nations regional organization, was kidnapped, tortured and later killed by the dictatorship’s agents in July 1976.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) welcomed today the Chilean Supreme Court’s final conviction in the homicide of Carmelo Soria, a Spanish economist and diplomat and official of the United Nations regional organization who was kidnapped, tortured and later murdered by the dictatorship’s agents on July 16, 1976.

Six former agents of the National Intelligence Directorate (DINA), which was the secret police under Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973-1990), are among those convicted along with two former members of the Army.

The verdict by Chile’s highest court affirms that Carmelo Soria “was deprived of his liberty by armed agents of the DINA, who took him to a hidden place, where he was kept blindfolded and tied up for hours, and subjected to interrogation under physical coercion that caused his death, making it clear that the agents engaged in two sets of illicit actions, which are completely distinct, the first of which was carried out with the aim of depriving Mr. Soria Espinoza of his liberty, while the second set was perpetrated to kill him.”

ECLAC recognizes the efforts made by Carmelo Soria’s family, civil society, organizations that defend human rights and the Chilean justice system, which made it possible to determine the truth and attain justice regarding his kidnapping and subsequent murder.

Forty-seven years after his death, the Commission pays heartfelt tribute to him and reaffirms that respect for memory and the commitment to the pursuit of truth and justice are essential for a people’s full development.

The records gathered by ECLAC in relation to the case that investigated Carmelo Soria’s murder were donated to the collection of Chile’s Museum of Memory and Human Rights, where they are freely available for consultation.

Carmelo Soria’s memory and presence always accompany ECLAC’s endeavors, and a plaque with his name on it hangs in its headquarters as a silent witness to his absence.