Odlanier Mena, 87, allegedly shot himself in the head hours before he was to be transferred to a prison he believed was not equipped to handle his health issues, The Santiago Times reported Monday.
His daughter found his body Saturday in the service stairway of his apartment building in Santiago.
Mena was due to be transferred Monday from the Penal Cordillera, where he had been granted many privileges, to the Penal Punta Peuco, a facility designed to hold those convicted of human rights violations.
"He was terribly affected by the transfer situation, and the fact that in Punta Peuco he would not receive the medical attention he needed," said Mena's attorney, Jorge Balmaceda.
On his weekend leaves from prison, Mena was allowed to move freely around the city, the only inmate at the prison given such a privilege. Despite the fact he was a convicted felon, he was allowed to keep four guns that were registered in his name, said Eastern Santiago District Attorney Roberto Contreras.
Mena had been sentenced to six years in prison in 2008 for his role in the death of three men in Arica during the so-called "Caravan of Death" in which a military death squad killed 96 people.
In 2011, Mena was granted weekend leaves.
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