Chile: Augusto Pinochet's Wife, Son Arrested for Tax Evasion

NotiSur - South American Political and Economic Affairs, September 2, 2005 | Go to article overview

Chile: Augusto Pinochet's Wife, Son Arrested for Tax Evasion


Investigations into money laundering by the family of former Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) resulted in the arrest of his wife and son on Aug. 10. Lucia Hiriart and Marco Antonio Pinochet were taken into custody after federal investigations into foreign accounts implicated the two as tax evaders, along with former employees of Pinochet and members of his military command. Also being investigated are the origins of the money and whether the Pinochet family obtained its millions through legal means.

Allegations of untaxed millions lead to arrests

US congressional investigations of money laundering at the Riggs Bank exposed untaxed fortunes being held in the names of L. Hiriart and Marco Antonio Pinochet. The corruption charges brought to light by the US Congress' evidence of money laundering by the Pinochet family led many of the ex-dictator's former allies to denounce him publicly (see NotiSur, 2004-07-23).

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) said on Aug. 26 that "our investigation [shows] that Pinochet used US banks to launder money," referring to the conclusions of the congressional subcommittee he headed after looking into Riggs Bank accounts in March of this year.

The wife of the former dictator faced questions in June and July regarding the secret foreign bank accounts she and her husband held. It was the second time Lucia Hiriart was interviewed by a judge within a year. Investigating Judge Sergio Munoz interviewed Hiriart in a courtroom in central Santiago in late July regarding the allegations of tax evasion, false declarations, avoiding an assets embargo, and the use of false passports.

In June, a lower court stripped 89-year-old Pinochet of his legal protection regarding four alleged crimes linked to more than US$13 million in overseas accounts. Pinochet's lawyers are appealing, saying the funds were legally obtained.

Plaintiffs in the case say it would be impossible to accumulate so much money on Pinochet's earnings as a military leader and head of state. Although his immunity from prosecution has repeatedly been repealed, the general has never faced trial despite the many legal cases against him regarding human rights abuses. This is the first case of alleged financial crime.

At least US$31 million hidden in foreign accounts

In December, Chilean daily El Mercurio published allegations that the ex-dictator had, at least since 1997, distributed interest from the multimillion dollar accounts among his family, sending US$15,000 to his wife each month, US$5,000 to each child, and the remaining interest to himself.

Munoz sent out 14 appeals to European and Latin American countries to investigate whether Pinochet was maintaining secret accounts, in addition to 11 prior requests he made to the US and other European and Caribbean countries. Government newspaper La Nacion said that "government sources" had received communications from the Swiss government saying Pinochet had stashed US$3 million there, bringing his total known overseas fortune to US$31 million.

Munoz's investigations led to the Aug. 8 warrant for Lucia Hiriart's and Marco Antonio's arrest, along with Pinochet's former secretary Monica Ananias, former executor Oscar Aitken, two former high-ranking commanders of the Army, two generals, and a colonel, all with close ties to Pinochet.

Government spokesperson Osvaldo Puccio praised the prosecution effort, saying it showed that "no one in Chile is above the law."

Lorena Pizarro of the Agrupacion de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos (AFDD) also said the prosecution was overdue. "The theft that the Pinochet family maintained in impunity over 17 years of dictatorship should be punished," said Pizarro.

Hiriart was detained at the Military Hospital in Santiago because of her poor health. Her son Augusto Pinochet Hiriart said the 82-year-old woman was "in a very bad state" after the announcement of her detention and imminent prosecution.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Chile: Augusto Pinochet's Wife, Son Arrested for Tax Evasion
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.