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Chile to Pay Torture Victims

Monday, November 29, 2004; Page A15

SANTIAGO, Chile, Nov. 28 -- President Ricardo Lagos of Chile on Sunday proposed special pensions and other reparations for more than 28,000 Chileans who were tortured by government agents during the country's 1973-1990 military dictatorship.

It is the latest of many measures taken to redress human rights violations under the rule of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Chile has made reparations to families of people who died or disappeared in the political violence, as well as to dissidents who were forced into exile.

"The state must make compensation, however austere, as a way of recognizing its responsibility," Lagos said in a televised address.

Lagos said he would send a bill to Congress proposing a monthly pension of $185, as well as health and education benefits for torture survivors, most of whom are older than 55.

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