Chile: Stately Homes

Pinochet is accused of fraud

For two years the activity went almost unnoticed. The government sold off parcels of dry, rocky land in Maipo Canyon, 50 miles southeast of Santiago, at reduced prices. One day the state began to improve an old road leading to the land; then a new road was built, a bridge appeared, and the state-owned TV network built a repeater antenna. It was no coincidence, say critics, that these improvements were made near El Melocoton (the Peach), the 29-acre estate owned by President Augusto Pinochet Ugarte.

Until this month, Pinochet was able to escape the displeasure of...

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