In January 1985 Boris Weisfeiler, Professor of Mathematics at Penn State, disappeared while hiking in the Andes. In the review of declassified documents, it appeared that he was kidnapped, questioned, tortured by the Chilean military and executed.
In 2012 the Judge of the Chilean Court of Appeals indicted 8 Chilean police and military officers for this crime. Indictments assured that those accused would be prosecuted for aggravated kidnapping and complicity in hiding information on Dr. Weisfeiler’s whereabouts.
In 2015 Chilean authorities communicated that there was some movement in Chile to address the human rights violations that occurred during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Additionally, at that time the Ministry of Interior joined with the Human Rights program to investigate Dr. Weisfeiler’s disappearance. However, the former Judge in the Court of Appeals closed the investigation a month later.
In 2016 that same Judge issued a final ruling. He ruled that the human rights atrocity only qualified as a common crime, applied the statute of limitations and acquitted the accused.
In February 2018 the case was re-opened but moved ahead very slowly. The Judge required that some of the eight men charged with the death of Weisfeiler, must have psychiatric evaluations. The case was postponed indefinitely until the evaluations were completed. All of the defendants involved were over 70.
Recently, the Chilean Court of Appeals upheld the legitimacy of the early Judge’s ruling, that the happenings in the case were lawful. The next steps would be an appeal to the Supreme Court and if that is not successful the case could be presented to the Court at the Organization of American States but that process could take another six to eight years.