Chile Recognizes 9,800 More Pinochet Victims

Chile officially recognized 9,800 more victims of its dictatorship on Thursday, increasing the total number of people killed, tortured or imprisoned for political reasons to 40,018.

A similar effort in 2004 determined that 27,153 survivors deserve monthly compensation from the government for human rights violations they suffered.

Together with the 3,065 people who were killed by Chile's military or were simply made to disappear and are presumed dead, the official victim list accepted by President Sebastian Pinera on Thursday totals 40,018.

Survivors of rights violations will get lifetime pensions of about $260 a month. Relatives of those killed receive about triple that amount. In all, the government will need to increase its compensation to about $123 million a year to the victims.

The National Commission on Political Imprisonment and Torture was created by Pinera's predecessor, Michelle Bachelet, in February 2010 as one of her last acts in office. It reviewed information submitted by thousands of people in an effort similar to the one led by the late bishop Sergio Valech, which came up with the previous total of survivors in 2004.

That work followed a previous effort by President Patricio Alywin to tally the dead. Alywin was the first democratically elected leader following the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.