Families undaunted by plane crash ruling

SANTIAGO, Chile, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Families of 21 people who died in a Chilean plane crash remain hopeful after a military court refused to prosecute officers responsible for clearing the flight.

A lawyer representing some of the families said Wednesday he is committed to determining criminal responsibility in the incident, possibly through international courts, The Santiago Times reported.


A judge formally closed the investigation into the crash of a Chilean Air Force plane in September 2011 off an island of the Juan Fernandez archipelago that killed 21 passengers and crew members.

A military court refused last week to prosecute five senior members of the air force who reportedly authorized the flight, which crashed after strong winds twice prevented it from landing.

In August, families of the victims asked that those responsible for clearing the flight be held liable.

"We maintain the conviction that [the judicial system] can hold relevant people responsible," said Cristian Arias, a lawyer representing some of the families. "But if there is no response in this case, we will bring a case against the state of Chile and the organization of the Air Force to international courts."


If all legal avenues were exhausted in Chile, Arias said he would consider taking the case to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights.

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