Chilean President Gabriel Boric Font and his four living predecessors Thursday signed a so-called commitment for democracy document as the 50th anniversary of the coup d'état that brought General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte to power between 1973 and 1990 looms over.
The present and past heads of state Eduardo Frei (1994-2000), Ricardo Lagos (2000-2006), Michelle Bachelet (2006-2010/2014-2018), and Sebastián Piñera (2010-2014/2018-2022) sought to defend democracy from authoritarian threats, it was explained at La Moneda.
We want to preserve and protect those civilizing principles from authoritarian threats, intolerance, and disregard for the opinion of the other, the declaration goes.
Five (ex-)presidents sign a pro-democracy declaration ahead of the 1973 coup commemoration. That's more signifcant than you might think. https://t.co/Q5axQ9oNck— Boris van der Spek (@BorisvanderSpek) September 7, 2023
The document signed Thursday hinged around four axes: To care for and defend democracy, to face the challenges of democracy with more democracy, the defense and promotion of human rights, and to strengthen collaboration between States.
Other rightwing opposition leaders were invited to sign the pledge and attend the ceremony but declined, citing a possible hostile environment. The right-wing forces issued their a separate declaration on Wednesday condemning the violations of fundamental rights during President Salvador Allende's Popular Unity government.
One cannot be permanently begging democratic political parties to adhere to such a simple commitment that was drafted precisely with the will that all sign it, Boric said. He also highlighted the fact that the former presidents were available to make a commitment in favor of democracy and the unrestricted respect for human rights.”
However, only Bachelet will be attending Monday's ceremony marking the anniversary, together with world leaders such as Presidents Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Mexico), Gustavo Petro (Colombia), Alberto Fernández (Argentina), Luis Lacalle Pou (Uruguay), and António Costa (Portugal).
On Sept. 11, 1973, Pinochet led a coup d'état against the Socialist Allende (1970-1973), who committed suicide in the presidential palace of La Moneda before being caught by the rebels. The ensuing regime left more than 40,000 victims, including at least 3,200 opponents murdered.