Colonia Dignidad: Germany to compensate Chile commune victims

Germany will pay compensation of up to €10,000 (£8,700; $11,000) to victims of a notorious and abusive commune in southern Chile.

Colonia Dignidad was founded by former Nazi soldier Paul Schäfer in 1961.

The commune, which was located 350km (220 miles) south of Santiago, was run as a secretive cult and dozens of children were sexually abused there.

Hundreds of German and Chilean survivors will now be eligible for compensation.

The decision to pay the victims was made by a government commission in Berlin on Friday. A fund of €3.5m will be set aside to do so.

It comes a week after prosecutors dropped their investigation into a German doctor who worked at the commune.

A court in Chile had found Hartmut Hopp guilty of complicity in child sex abuse committed by Schäfer, but he fled to Germany before he could be jailed.

German prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to uphold the ruling.

What was Colonia Dignidad?

Colonia Dignidad was a colony set up by Schäfer in the remote Maule area.

He ran it as a secretive cult with members living as virtual slaves and prevented from leaving by armed guards with dogs.

Image caption Colonia Dignidad changed its name to Villa Baviera (Bavaria village) in…

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