Europe 1 with AFP // Photo credit: Lucas Aguayo Araos / ANADOLU AGENCY / Anadolu via AFP 16:21 p.m., January 07, 2024

Nearly four decades after the incident, Chile's Supreme Court sentenced four retired military personnel to 20 years in prison. They were found guilty of the homicide and attempted homicide of two youths in the case of the "Quemados" ("Burned").

Chile's Supreme Court on Friday sentenced four retired military personnel to 20 years in prison for the homicide and attempted murder of two Chilean youths in the case of the "Quemados" ("Burned"), an episode of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

This was the end of a long process during which Pinochet's thesis had to be challenged

This dark episode of the Pinochet dictatorship occurred on July 2, 1986, against the backdrop of a national strike against the military regime of Augusto Pinochet. On that date, a military patrol arrested, beaten, doused and burned two young Chileans. Carmen Gloria Quintana, an 18-year-old university student at the time, survived her severe burns, while Rodrigo Rojas de Negri, a 19-year-old photographer, died four days later.

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On Friday, Chile's Supreme Court sentenced Pinochet regime officers Pedro Fernández Dittus, Julio Castañer Gonzalez, Ivan Figueroa Canobra and Nelson Medina Galvez to 20 years in prison for the killing of Rojas de Negri and the attempted murder of Carmen Gloria Quintana.

The verdict "puts an end to a long and very difficult process in which it was necessary to challenge an official theory established by the dictator according to which the young people had burned themselves because they were carrying firebombs under their clothes," Quintana's lawyer, Nelson Caucoto, was quoted as saying by a local radio station. The Quemados case is one of the most emblematic of the last years of the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990), which left more than 3,200 people dead or missing.