A lawyer for the mother of a U.S. resident who was fatally burned during an anti-government demonstration said yesterday that the Army still was waffling about the incident, despite the arrest of 25 soldiers.
"The Army has said only half-truths," said the lawyer, Hector Salazar, according to The Associated Press.
Rodrigo Rojas, 19, who was born in Chile and grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, and Carmen Gloria Quintana, 18, a Chilean, were severely burned June 2 during a street protest. Rojas died four days later.
Witnesses said soldiers doused the two with gasoline and set them afire. Gen. Carlos Ojeda, commander of the Santiago Army garrison, said Friday night that three officers, five noncommissioned officers and 17 draftees had been arrested after an internal investigation "indicated that certain Army personnel may have participated."
The suspects, who were not identified, have not been charged.
The Army initially had denied any blame in the deaths. Ojeda still insisted in a statement that the fire was started not by soldiers but that the two young people were carrying a firebomb which exploded.
"That is not true," Salazar told a news conference, flanked by the parents of Quintana. She remains hospitalized and has undergone repeated surgery.