Created: 6/15/1989

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CHILE; Wrestling With Human Rights Issue

The controversial issue of human rights abuses by3 coupooming larger in domestic politics asneat year's transition to civilian rule- Presidentannounced thai the human rights issue must behis administration and that he will remaincan stay legally for eight moremilitary again itis call lasi week for anarmed forces members, to cover incidents since therew strong reactions from human rights groupspanics across the spectrum.he main

opposition coalition ii still" be installed neat March should handle human rights cases; the coalition is determined not lo ignore crimes committed before8 amnesty. The recent assassinationeftist group ofa former security officer, notoriousonurer in the, has

Comment: Pinochet, regarded increasinglyamcduck. evidently hopes to preserve support in the armed forces by portraying himself as its ultimate defenderindictive civilian regime. His failure to control the human rights issue, however, could torpedo his prospects for remaining Army commander. Opposition leaders and even moderate rightists almost certainly would prefer to deal directly with the high command on the issue, however, because they real ire lhat the stability of the neat government will depend in large rnt^aiuxe on reducing the military's anxiety about human rights mauc rs

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