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BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Police in Argentina arrested a retired Chilean army colonel in Buenos Aires on Saturday after he fled neighboring Chile, where he was convicted of human rights violations committed during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, Chilean authorities and local media reported.

Walter Klug Rivera was convicted in the disappearance and murder of 23 workers in 1973, shortly after Pinochet took power in a coup that resulted in the ouster and death of sitting president Salvador Allende.

“Walter Klug Rivera was apprehended outside the … hotel where he was staying, which he intended to leave in the next few hours in order to continue evading justice,” Chile’s police said on Twitter.

More than 3,000 people died or disappeared in political violence during Pinochet’s military regime from 1973 to 1990. The secret service and the army also tortured and drove into exile thousands of dissidents and leftists, truth commissions and police investigations have shown.

Klug will be detained in Buenos Aires until Monday, when he must appear before federal judge Julián Ercolini, who will initiate the process to extradite him to Chile, Argentine media reported.

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(Reporting by Lucila Sigal; Writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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