Ex-Pinochet secret police agent Adriana Rivas' extradition case deferred

Adriana Rivas is facing charges relating to alleged torture and kidnapping offences committed while she was the principal assistant to Manuel Contreras, the former head of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s National Intelligence Directorate.

Former secret police agent under dictator General Augusto Pinochet Adriana Rivas will face court again on March 1 to see if she is extradited back to Chile, where she is facing charges relating to alleged torture and kidnapping offences.

While visiting Chile in 2007, Rivas was arrested for the aggravated kidnapping of seven victims in 1976. At the time she was the principal assistant to Manuel Contreras, the former head of Pinochet’s National Intelligence Directorate (DINA).

All of the victims subsequently disappeared after undergoing vicious torture sessions.

However, Rivas breached her conditional bail and returned to Australia, where she has been living and working as a nanny since 1978.

Rivas was finally arrested by police on February 19 after an extradition request, which was original lodged with the Australian government in 2014, was finally accepted.

She briefly appeared in Central Local Court via video link that day and did not apply for bail.

Members of the local Chilean community, many of whom suffered the loss of family members during the Pinochet regime, attended a hearing for Rivas the following day.

Afterwards they gathered outside the court, chanting "We want justice!"

Adriana Navarro, a lawyer representing the Chilean community, told the media gathered outside the court: “We have been talking to the families who lost loved ones, both in Chile and here in Australia, and they are experiencing feelings of elation as well as pain.

“This is a landmark case in extradition relations between Australia and Chile.

“The charges relate to aggravated kidnapping, mostly of young people who were never seen again.

“The majority of the 45,000-strong Chilean community here came out to Australia following the 1973 military coup. Many of them have family members who were killed or disappeared, or were tortured, under the Pinochet regime. 

“We want Adriana Rivas to face the Chilean justice system, where she can defend herself against the charges,” Navarro said.

[A rally to demand the extradition of Adriana Rivas will be held outside the next hearing at the Central Local Court, 98 Liverpool St, Sydney, on March 1, 9am.]