TRACING CHARLES HORMAN’S KILLER

Peter Kornbluh writes: More than thirty years after the military putsch in Chile, there has finally been an arrest for one of the Pinochet regime’s most infamous crimes: the murder of North American journalist Charles Horman. On December 10 Chilean judge Jorge Zepeda Arancibia indicted and detained former intelligence agent Rafael Gonzalez as an “accomplice to the crime of homicide.” Gonzalez, as readers who saw the Oscar-winning Hollywood film Missing may remember, is the same official who told reporters from CBS and the Washington Post in 1976 that Horman had been killed because “he knew too much,” presumably regarding the US role in Chile. Now, justice in the case hinges on how much Gonzalez knows, and is willing to reveal, about those who gave and carried out the orders to execute Horman in the days following the US-backed coup.

ISRAELI REFUSENIKS SENTENCED

Neve Gordon writes: On January 4 an Israeli military court sentenced five refuseniks, Noam Bahat, Haggai Matar, Adam Maor, Shimri Zameret and Matan Kaminer, to one year in jail for refusing to serve in the military. The judges declared that the five conscientious objectors deserved to be harshly punished, since they questioned the morality of the military’s actions and challenged the legitimacy of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The refuseniks admitted that this was their intention, adding that they will continue to challenge the occupation [see Jonathan Shainin, “Letter From Israel,” January 19]. The severity of the sentence–which does not take into account the period the COs have already served–exposed yet again the moral bankruptcy of the Israeli military: COs are imprisoned for more than two years, while not a single soldier has been convicted of wrongful killing since the intifada’s outbreak, a period during which 113 Palestinian children under the age of 12 have been killed. The Israeli refusenik movement has called upon the international community to send faxes (972-3-569-2933) to Brig. Gen. Gil Regev, who has the authority to revoke the sentence. A petition for the immediate release of the five conscientious objectors can be accessed at www.refuz.org.il.