Ex-Chilean agent stabbed to death in Buenos Aires

Argentine police are investigating the stabbing death of a former secret agent convicted of organizing the assassination of a leading critic of Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

Enrique Arancibia Clavel was found in his apartment Thursday with multiple stab wounds, and a cash box containing wads of bills was apparently missing, leading investigators to suspect robbery, two government officials told The Associated Press on Friday.

"The victim ran a taxi business with four drivers and it's believed the motive is there — that he kept a lot of money that wasn't deposited in banks," one of the officials said.

Investigators also suspect Arancibia Clavel knew his attacker, because there were no signs of forced entry into the apartment, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they aren't authorized to be quoted by name. Argentine police had still made no official statements on the case as of Friday afternoon.

Arancibia Clavel was sentenced to life in prison in 2004 for organizing the 1974 car bombing in Buenos Aires of Chile's former army chief, Carlos Prats — a leading critic of Pinochet — and Prats' wife, Sofia Cuthbert. He was later freed when Argentine judges ruled the statute of limitations had expired.

In Chile on Friday, the Prats' daughters and Arancibia's family said they were too shocked to comment.

Chilean Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter told reporters, "Mr. Arancibia Clavel was convicted of participating in a frightening crime, tragic for the country, but naturally we're also moved by the nature of his murder in Argentina."

Communist Hugo Guttierrez, a member of the human rights commission in Chile's lower house of congress, said it is important to learn the circumstances of the former secret-police agent's death. Clavel participated in Operation Condor, a group effort by South America's dictatorships to eliminate leftist dissent in all of their countries.

Pinochet died in 2006 at age 91.


Associated Press writer Eva Vergara in Santiago, Chile, contributed to this report.