Thompson Writes to Chile’s President on Behalf of Weisfeiler Wants Full Accounting of His Disappearance in Chile in 1985

Jun 11, 2010

Washington, D.C.—Back in January 1985, Boris Weisfeiler, a mathematics professor at Penn State, disappeared during a hiking trip in Chile near the controversial colony known as Colonia Dignidad.  Today, his is the only case of a missing U.S. citizen from the Pinochet-era for which there has never been a full accounting of the circumstances surrounding his disappearance.

U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Howard, today joined his co-author Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, and 52 members of the House and Senate including both Senators and 17 members of the Pennsylvania delegation, in writing to the President of the Republic of Chile, Sebastián Piñera.  The letter asks the new President for his support for the investigation into Weisfeiler’s disappearance and asks him to maintain the team of Chilean investigators.

“It has been 25 years and this family still has few answers,” said Thompson.  “We hope this effort will convince the Chilean government to continue the case they reopened in January 2000 and bring closure to this family.”

The letter reads:  “For many years, Members of the United States Congress, as well as the State Department and other top U.S. officials have conveyed to Chilean leaders the importance of conducting a thorough and complete investigation.”

Concerns now surround a proposal that personnel changes at the Policía de Investigaciones de Chile (PDI) headquarters may disperse or reassign the present team.  “The present team’s investigative work appears to be making significant progress, and to disperse them at this time would be an extremely discouraging development in this case,” the letter continues.

Through this ordeal, Mr. Weisfeiler’s family in the U.S., led by his sister Dr. Olga Weisfeiler of Newton, Massachusetts, have continued to press for the resolution of this case.  The letter reads, “Recently, Dr. Weisfeiler and other concerned Americans have been greatly encouraged by the decision by the (PDI) to appoint the present Human Rights Brigade led by head officers Prefecto Arnaldo Pedreros Guenante and Comisario Sandro Gaete Escobar, and with Alberto Pérez as the chief investigator.” 
It is this team the letter seeks to preserve.  “We are writing to ask you, therefore, to use whatever powers you may have in your office to press for the present team to be allowed to continue its investigative efforts into Mr. Weisfeiler’s disappearance.”