17 December 2012

Robbery at home of Chilean author investigating military dictatorship

Source: Reporters Without Borders

Incident details


Mauricio Weibel, Journalist

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(RSF/IFEX) - 16 December 2012 - Reporters Without Borders urges the Chilean authorities to conduct a full and rapid investigation into yesterday's burglary of the Santiago home of Mauricio Weibel, the correspondent of the German news agency DPA and Reporters Without Borders and president of the South American Press Correspondents Union.

It was no ordinary burglary. Those who broke into Weibel's home knew what they wanted and found it – Weibel's laptop containing the files from his investigation into the role played by Chile's military intelligence agencies during the 1973-1990 military dictatorship.

The files were the basis of a book by Weibel entitled “Illegal association: the dictatorship's secret archives,” which the Chilean publishing house Ceibo published in October.

Twenty-fours before the burglary, Weibel's car was stolen from outside his home. The police found it later the same day in La Cisterna, in the southern part of the capital. It had been completely dismantled.

“The authorities should have reacted when Weibel filed a complaint about the threats he was getting while researching previously inaccessible archives,” Reporters Without Borders said. “He and his family should receive protection commensurate with the dangers to which they are exposed.

“It is still dangerous for journalists in former Operation Condor countries to investigate the activities of the military governments that were ruling them in the 1970s. Weibel deserves the support of his fellow journalists, not only as regards his security but also because he has helped to shed light on one of the darkest periods of the South America's recent history.”

Weibel is the son of José Weibel, a Chilean Communist Party leader who disappeared after being arrested in 1976.

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