Senator Penny Wright speaks in Senate

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (22:09): Last week I met a remarkable and brave woman. Her name is Lorena Pizarro. For many years Lorena has travelled the world seeking answers—and justice—about crimes that are unthinkable for those of us who have never lived in a country that has been riven by warfare or internal conflict. Lorena is the President of the Association of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Chile. She is seeking answers about disappearances and tortures. She attended my Parliament House office with members of the National Campaign for Truth and Justice in Chile.

Lorena Pizarro was seven when General Augusto Pinochet launched a military coup against his Chilean president, Salvador Allende. The coup followed a period of unrest against the Socialist president, fomented by the United States government. The military abolished the civilian government and established a junta that brutally repressed left-wing political activity both domestically and abroad. The United States government, which had worked to create the conditions for the coup, promptly recognised the junta government and supported it in consolidating power. That period lasted for 17 long years.