U2 Pays Tribute To Latin American Protesters, Sends Plea To Ex-Dictator Pinochet

After meeting with South America's famous Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo last week and paying tribute to them at concerts in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Santiago, Chile, Bono has called on Chile's former dictator, Augusto Pinochet, to account for the fate their children.

Reuters reports that Bono visited a Chilean cemetery on Thursday and urged General Pinochet, who ruled from 1973 to 1990, to explain the disappearances of the 3000 people who vanished under his regime, in particular the children of the Mothers of the Disappeared, as they're also known.

U2 recorded the song "Mother of the Disappeared" on their 1987 album "The Joshua Tree." For 20 years in Latin American nations where anti-government protesters have vanished under mysterious but politically charged circumstances, their mothers have gathered in public places to walk in circles of silent disapproval.

During the band's performance of "One" [1MB QuickTime],

which Bono had customized for Argentine President Carlos Menem, the band brought the Mothers themselves on stage. Thirty or more Mothers of the Disappeared protesters held up posters and photos of their loved ones on stage at Santiago's National Stadium, a site used by Pinochet as a detention center after the coup that brought him to power.

"These are extraordinary women," Bono told MTV News after the show. "And they won't let it go. They've been offered money, and they will not let it go. They want justice."

U2 is now en route to the Far East, and eventually winds up the PopMart tour on March 21 in Johannesburg, South Africa.