San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arias: Pinochet’s Death Offers Reconciliation

President Oscar Arias this week expressed his condolences to the family of recently deceased former Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet, and said the former dictator’s death can allow Chileans to reconcile the wrongs they suffered under Pinochet’s reign.

“I can’t not acknowledge that he was a dictator and that he used his power to repress his adversaries,” Arias said Monday in a statement from Casa Presidencial.

“Interpreting the sentiment of Costa Ricans who love and have adhered to the cause of freedom and democracy for many generations, I hope this occasion allows for reconciliation and union in Chilean society,” Arias said.

Pinochet, who ruled Chile for 17 years, died Sunday after suffering a heart attack last week, according to CNN’s Web site.

His death sparked an outpouring of emotions in Chile, where some say Pinochet saved their country from communism while others regard him as a murderer who escaped justice.


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