There has been an interesting development in Chile. The other day gunmen assassinated the colonel who runs the army's intelligence school. The killing seems to be of a piece with some recent bank robberies and other signs of what the military dictatorship of President Augusto Pinochet suspects is the start of an "urban guerrilla war" mounted by extremists of the left. President Pinochet, who runs a tight ship, has thrown his full security resources -- and they are formidable -- into the hunt for the killers. sHundreds are reported to have been arrested. Few doubt that the assassins, if they are apprehended, will be dealt with severely. And not only the assassins.
Serious business, terrorism: all right-thinking people have got to be against it. If President Pinochet is really out looking for assassins, however, then -- you will have guessed it -- we have a suggestion for him.He should go calling on his close friend, Gen. Juan Manuel Contreras Sepulveda, the former head of the secret policy agency known as DINA, and on Col. Pedro Espinoza and Capt. Armando Fernandez Larios. Those are the gentlemen, according to testimony in a Washinton courtroom by one of their former agents, who planned the assassination of former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier. Mr. Letelier and an American colleague died in a car bomb explosion on Embassy Row in 1976.
President Pinochet, seven years after he took power, remains a pariah in the eyes of all but a few like-minded Latin leaders. He was even set up and publicly humiliated a few months ago by the Philippines' Ferdinand Marcos, himself no beauty in the human rights department. No single act has done more to solidify that pariah status than the commission and the cover-up of the Letelier murder. No doubt President Pinochet believes that he deserves wide support in his war against the terrorism directed at his rule. Let him show he also opposes the conduct of terrorism by his own regime.