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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Chile will request the United States extradite an ex-military commander over the killings of two U.S. reporters



The Supreme Court of Chile authorized a request for the United States to extradite an ex-military officer accused of killing two U.S. journalists in the South American country, reported the AFP news agency. Both reporters died in 1973, during the early days of the Pinochet dictatorship.

Ray E. Davis was a commander in the U.S. Military Mission in Chile and, according to a judge, authorized the executions of journalists Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi, who were captured days after the 1973 coup d'état. U.S. intelligence services declared the journalists "subversive" because of their reporting, added the AFP.

Charles Horman, 31, was a journalist and screenwriter for Chilefilms conducting an investigation into links between the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Chilean military when he vanished. Documents from his reporting disappeared from his home after his capture, reported the newspaper La Nación. However, Horman was able to denounce CIA activities against President Salvador Allende's administration. His disappearance inspired the 1982 movie "Missing," added the newspaper.

Frank Teruggi, a 24-year-old student at the University of Chile, was involved with the Leftist press organization North American Research Source, which circulated in the United States, reported the newspaper La Nación.

While captured at different times, the two journalists were taken to the National Stadium in Santiago, which was converted into a torture center at the time, where they were executed, reported AFP.

According to the Associated Press (AP), the Supreme Court declared the killings of the U.S. journalists to be crimes against humanity, which are imprescriptible, exempting them from any statute of limitations until they are resolved. If found guilty, Davis could face between 10 years and life in jail, noted the AP.



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