Zita Cabello is a filmmaker, activist, and professor born in Chile
in 1950. Her brother Winston was born in 1948. He was a regional
planning director with the Allende government. Following the coup
in September 1973 led by General Pinochet, he and Zita's
husband, Patricio Barrueto, were arrested and held in a prison in
the northern town of Copiapo. On October 17, 1973, in the early
morning hours, a Chilean military death squad known as "the Caravan
of Death" murdered Winston Cabello and twelve other prisoners who
had been incarcerated by the Chilean Army.
Following Winston's murder, Zita and her family were
eventually able to secure Patricio's release in early
1974. Zita and Patricio immediately fled to the United States where
they obtained asylum and, eventually, U.S. citizenship.
Zita has spent the last 18 years conducting interviews and
researching and gathering evidence to confirm the facts of her
brother's brutal death as well as others who were murdered
or disappeared by the Pinochet regime. While honoring the 25th
anniversary of Winston's death on October 17, 1998, Zita
learned the historic news that former General Pinochet had been
arrested in London on the very same day. To provide evidence to
support his prosecution, she gave a deposition in San Francisco,
armed with notes that reflected her years of research into human
rights abuses in Chile.
In February 1999, Zita filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in
Miami against Fernández Larios, alleging that he directly carried
out, or participated in bringing about, Winston's murder.
The trial against Fernandez Larios ended in victory on October 15,
2003. A Miami jury found Fernandez Larios, in his role as a member
of the "Caravan of Death", liable for torture, crimes against
humanity, and extra judicial killing. They found Fernandez Larios
guilty of conspiring to commit, and aiding and abetting in, the
torture, cruel and inhumane treatment, and extra-judicial killing
of Winston Cabello. The trial marks the first time any Pinochet
operative has been tried in the United States for their role in
human rights abuses committed in Chile, as well as the first jury
verdict for crimes against humanity in the United States.
Zita has a Masters Degree in Economics from the University of
Chile, and a Masters Degree in Public Health and a Doctorate in
Developmental Economics from the University of California at
Berkeley. In 1989, she became a professor of Latin American Studies
at the University of California at Santa Cruz. She now lives with
her family in Foster City, California.