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PSU professor sought in Chile


Published: Mon, March 13, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Two decades have slipped by since Boris Weisfeiler, a Penn State mathematics professor, vanished during a 1985 vacation in the Chilean mountains.
He was 43 years old when he ventured into a South American wilderness then controlled by the dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
His friends and loved ones, confronted with an uncooperative Chilean government, still do not know his fate.
But the inauguration Saturday of Chile's first female president, Michelle Bachelet, is giving them renewed optimism.
Weisfeiler's sister, Olga, said she hopes the Bachelet administration will release more information about her brother's case.
The professor's disappearance has also garnered renewed attention on Capitol Hill. In a letter dated Wednesday, 14 members of Congress urged Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to ask Bachelet about the Weisfeiler case.
Rice met with Bachelet for about 30 minutes after Bachelet's inauguration Saturday. Reached Friday, a State Department spokesman said he wasn't sure if Rice was planning to talk about Weisfeiler with Bachelet. The women made no public comments after their Saturday meeting.
A Chilean coup linked to the U.S. government hoisted Pinochet to power in 1973. He remained there through 1990, a 17-year rule during which 1,100 people disappeared.


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