"Apparently, he was convinced to do so. The commander in chief of the army visited Pinochet over the weekend and allegedly convinced him to submit to the medical tests so that all of this would be over soon. Because these medical tests are a good way out for Pinochet most Chileans believe that the doctors will find him unfit to stand trial, and that'll be the end of it. Judge Guzman, the investigating judge, has also made it easier for Pinochet to back down by rescheduling the tests over four days, and providing a larger gap between those tests and his interrogation of the general, which is required by law. So Pinochet's tests will begin Wednesday and continue until Saturday. And the interrogation is scheduled for Monday. Previously, the interrogation was to follow immediately after the tests, and Pinochet's defense team had challenged this because they said the interrogation may be unnecessary if the results proved him unfit for trial."
Does the army chief's role mean the military is trying to resolve the issue and prevent a crisis?
"Well, there have been a lot of talks between the army and Pinochet's legal advisters, his family and the government, which has in turn been talking to Judge Guzman, to work out how best to go about this process. Obviously there are strong disagreements among those parties. Some want Pinochet prosecuted, others want him left untouched. But they're in contact to establish mechanisms that allow these conflicts to be resolved through the courts, allowing for some flexibility, as in the agreement to reschedule the interrogation. Pinochet's lawyers had tried everything to stop, delay or interrupt the process. But on Monday the Supreme Court made clear to them that the medical exams were required by law, so they had no choice."
On Sunday, President Ricardo Lagos released information provided by the military on the fate of some 200 people who disappeared during the dictatorship. Many of them had been tortured and then thrown out of airplanes over the ocean. How have those revelations impacted on the discussion over Pinochet's fate?
"The reports were simply confirmation of things that many Chileans had known for years. This was simply the military's acknowledgment that these rumors were true. Most of the relatives of people killed that way are unhappy with the process. They want justice, not just the truth. The object of this process is only to gather information; it was never designed to prosecute. Those people in the military who provided the information had their identities concealed. So although it exposed further atrocities by Pinochet's regime, the revelations didn't really change much."