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(Aug. 6, 2007) In a Friday interview with Chile’s Bio Bio Radio, outgoing U.S. ambassador Craig Kelly said that he was confident that authorities were closer to solving the 1985 disappearance of Boris Weisfeiler, a U.S. mathematics professor.

Kelly credited the advances made in the case to the opening up of Colonia Dignidad, an infamous German cult-colony formerly run by convicted pedophile Paul Schaffer.

During the interview, Kelly discussed the ongoing investigation into the disappearance.

“The F.B.I. is coordinating an investigation with Chilean authorities (…) we are hopeful that, with change at “Dignidad”, we will find more information.”

“Since the arrest of Paul Schaefer and others, we have new possibilities. This (solving the case) is one of the embassy’s greatest promises, and we are working hard on it. I believe that, with changes at the community, we will be able to work on this case more than in the past because we will have more possibilities,” Kelly added.

Boris Weisfeiler, a naturalized
U.S. citizen originally from Russia, was a math professor at Pennsylvania State University and disappeared under suspicious circumstances in 1985 while hiking in the south of Chile. Most involved in the case believe he was abducted by the Chilean military, accused of being a communist spy and executed at Colonia Dignidad. (ST, March 28).

Pinochet’s government maintained that Weisfeiler had simply drowned while hiking near a river.
Chile’s Armed Forces have to date remained silent about the issue.

While the full story behind the cult-colony is still unknown, it is certainly one of the cruelest and most bizarre stories in
Chile’s recent history. Colony leader Paul Schaefer fled German justice after being accused of pedophilia in 1961 and founded the settlement in Chile, where his European origin and blue eyes gave him instant credibility to the rural residents and leaders he worked with.

Besides ruling his followers with an iron fist, Schafer turned the colony into a torture center used by Pinochet’s secret police force during the 17-year dictatorship. He is also accused of sexually abusing as many as 10,000 children over a period of 40 years. It was not until
Chile’s return to democracy in the 1990s that the charitable tax status of his organization was revoked and Schaefer prosecuted for the crimes he committed in Chile (ST, March 28).

The Santiago Times maintains an in-depth archive of the Boris Weisfeiler case, and Olga maintains a website dedicated to her mission for truth at

By: Matt Malinowski (