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Montevideo, December 9th 2021 - 10:43 UTC



Chile: Torture survivors name their tormentors.

Tuesday, December 7th 2004 - 20:00 UTC
Full article

Former Chilean political prisoners kept pressure on President Ricardo Lagos administration by releasing this Monday a list of 2,000 people allegedly involved in human rights abuses and cover up related crimes.

The list follows the release of the recently published official report on torture during Augusto Pinochet dictatorship.

The Former Political Prisoners Coordination organization also demanded that President Lagos publish the names of torturers included in the official report and hand the list Justice Officials.

The recently published report drafted by the "Valech Commission" established that 27,255 people were tortured during the 1973-1990 Pinochet dictatorship and that torturing prisoners was official policy.

Interior Minister Jose Miguel Insulza said Monday that the report's issuance in no way precludes the victims' filing suits or criminal complaints against their torturers, although proving torture committed 30 or more years ago may be "difficult".

The Coordinator's report titled: "We, the Survivors, Accuse" also probes the role of the legal system and press during the dictatorship.

Former prisoners believe that a concerted operation is underway to "bury" the human rights abuses committed during the Pinochet regime issue "without all the truth coming out, with half-baked justice and an insulting compensation" stated Coordinator spokeswoman Liliana Mason. "The government has finally acknowledged our stories that date back thirty years and now is stonewalling any further action, and we won't accept this" insisted Ms. Mason. "What we want is the names of torturers, those who killed and made us suffer immensely and let the Courts settle the issue."

The 462-page document made up of several sections regarding different branches of law enforcement and the Armed Forces, names those who allegedly were involved in torture and human rights abuses, and is based on the testimony of former detainees, news stories and legal documents.

The document includes names of an estimated 2,000 government security agents and Armed Forces officers, as well as policemen and plainclothes detectives who took part in torture, plus those alleged to have aided, abetted and helped with covering up operations.

In the report from the "Valech Commission", sponsored by the current Chilean administration, President Lagos admitted responsibility for all the illegal arrests and torturing and anticipated that he would ask Congress to approve a life monthly pension for all victims equivalent to 200 US dollars, plus health, housing and education benefits.

President Lagos said the "Valech Commission" report's objective was to help compensate all victims and not open the gates for judicial demands, thus the names of those involved in illegally arrests and torturing have not been included.

Categories: Mercosur.

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