Skip to main content


Judge Links Huber’s Death To Pinochet’s Arms Trafficking

(Oct. 6, 2005) Investigations into illegal weapons sales to Croatia and the mysterious death of Colonel Gerardo Huber have surged forward as new discoveries from the Riggs Bank case shed light on the motives behind decades of arms purchases, bribes, and murders.

Judge Claudio Pavez, lead investigator in the Huber case, asked for the appointment of a civilian judge to his military panel of investigators on Sept 27. New evidence discovered by Pavez has conclusively linked Huber’s 1992 death to the Riggs Bank case, an inquiry into former Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s private fortune, some of which is hidden in offshore bank accounts.

Col. Huber disappeared on January 29, 1992, two months after United Nations (UN) officials in Hungary seized a Chilean shipment of weapons bound for the Balkan state of Croatia. The country was then under a UN arms embargo for its part in the Balkan War.

Col. Huber was the Chief of Acquisitions for Chile’s army at the time and was expected to appear in court to testify about his role in the illegal arms deal. Shortly before he disappeared he implicated General Carlos Krumm, director of logistics for the army, as a participant in the weapons sale. His body was found floating in the Maipo River three weeks later.

Col. Huber’s death was ruled a suicide by military investigators after police autopsies claimed he died of injuries sustained by jumping off a bridge. New autopsies performed on his body in 1995 found that Huber was in fact shot in the head with a high-powered rifle and had his fingertips erased with acid. (ST, Sept. 26, 1995).

Judge Pavez has been interrogating everyone involved in the initial military investigation, as well as Huber’s former superiors, to try and determine the motive behind the murder.

Meanwhile, Judge Munoz, lead prosecutor in the Riggs bank case, has been busy with his investigations into the former dictator’s private fortune. The civilian inquiry turned up more than US$27 million that Gen. Pinochet received as bribes for facilitating arms deals between European arms manufacturers and Chile’s Army Weapons Factory (FAMAE).

It now appears that Gen. Pinochet and a small circle of Chilean military officials created a number of different offshore investment companies and bank accounts in the United States, Switzerland, and the Virgin Islands to launder illegal commissions they took for various arms deals.

Investigations into these bank accounts have revealed that Col. Huber was on the board of directors of three FAMAE subsidiaries: the Chemical Industrial Complex (CINQUISA), Institute of Investigations and Control (INDICSA), and Southern Territory Mapping and Editing (ECATERRA). All three of these branches shared a bank account in the New York branch of the Banco de Chile.

Judge Muñoz began interrogating all five of Pinochet’s children last week about any possible involvement they may have had in the fraud. Pinochet’s youngest son, Marco Antonio, was indicted in August for tax evasion and as an accomplice to his father’s financial crimes.

Col. Huber’s murder is not the only unsolved mystery connected to these investigations. General Luis Iracabal, former director of FAMAE, has been linked to one of Pinochet’s offshore investment companies in the Virgin Islands. His relationship with Pinochet is now thought to have been the cause of the murder of six-year-old Rodrigo Anfruns, a distant relative. Immediately after Anfruns disappeared in June of 1979, Iracabal went to Spain to set up an arms purchase center for Chile’s military regime.

Other unexplained and possibly related deaths connected to the arms investigation are the 1989 suicide of Colonel Alvarez Kladt, an official at FAMAE, and the 1992 murder of Eugenio Berrios, a chemist for the Chilean military.



Popular posts from this blog

Moving to the Suburbs: Reducciones in Recent Latin American Historiography

In 1503, the Spanish monarchy issued its first decree for the resettlement of indigenous groups in the Caribbean so that they would “live together” and “not remain or wander separated from each other in the backcountry.”[1]

As the European conquest spread to North, Central, and South America, these new settlements – known as reducciones and congregaciones in Spanish and descimentos in Portuguese – became sites of forced labor, evangelism, experimental agricultural, and refuge. Through a series of imperial policies decreed over the next decades and centuries of colonial rule, Spanish and Portuguese officials attempted to reshape the New World, including its human and natural landscapes. How colonial historians explain this process and indigenous peoples’ reactions to it is the focus of this essay.

In a review of the recent historiography of reducciones, several trends emerge that signal a shift in our understanding of the practice. As this paper will show, one common element is that …

"Open" and "Closed" Regionalism Theories

(Apr. 3, 2008) The terms "Open" and "closed" regionalism refer to the degree in which regional blocks allow nonmember nations to access their markets. In this sense, an "open region" is one with few, if any, external trade restrictions while a "closed region" can be defined as one whose external trade policies seek to restrict commerce with nations outside the region.Closed regionalism as practiced in Latin America grew out of the policy suggestions made by UN ECLAC/CEPAL school of dependency theory in the early 1960s. As discussed earlier, proponents of this policy argued that states should form regional alliances with a series of trade barriers against foreign products to foment regional industrialization and assure captive local markets for these manufactured goods. The failure of this system of integration to meet Latin America's economic goals became apparent during the 1980s and was further highlighted by the strong economic performanc…

Greetings From Gringolandia

Bloomberg Businessweek, March 28 — April 3, 2016
Susan Lamy and her husband, Jean Pierre, owned a successful interior design business in Westport, Conn., but they still worried about how they would make ends meet in retirement. “Just paying for the basic necessities was killing us, and we could see that there was no way that we would ever be able to stop working,” says Lamy. 
The search for an affordable retirement spot led the couple to Cuenca, a Unesco World Heritage site in Ecuador’s southern Andes. They settled there in 2013 and now live in a spacious apartment with a terrace overlooking the Yanuncay River. Lamy says she and her husband enjoy a high standard of living in Cuenca for around $2,500 a month, paid for by their Social Security checks: “This seemed to be the best possibility for having a really terrific life on a fixed income.” 
The combination of a subtropical climate, well-preserved colonial architecture, and low cost of living has made Cuenca a magnet for North Ameri…