Launch of new campaign for Human Rights in Chile-Truth and Justice Now!

agrupación-defamiliares-de-detenidos-desaparecidos-3-458x259It has been 41 years since the military coup took place in Chile and in memory of the victims of the dictatorship, the Group of Families of the Detained and Disappeared (AFDD) along with other regional groups in Chile have made a proposal of human rights to end impunity and to establish truth and justice for crimes against humanity perpetrated in Chile.

Along with parliamentarians, mayors, social and human rights leaders, workers and artists, and others, the President of the AFDD, Lorena Pizarro launched the campaign called “Truth and Justice Now!”

“It has been over 40 years since the coup of 1973, the results of our demands have not been fully met, for a range of reasons. We feel that we can longer delay the measures that are needed to transform the idea of “Never again” in this country to a reality. We need to make advances in the changes to legislation in accordance with International Human Rights laws. This needs to change in education, and eliminating privileges to criminals, in public policies of collective memory, these are some of the changes needed to achieve change in the historic period, which we are currently undergoing. We live in a country where the people are demanding change and are empowered to achieve it and to make significant gains our demands,” declared Lorena Pizarro.

She went on to explain that Chile is experiencing a different reality; there is now “a political will to sanction impunity so that we may advance toward curing what we refer to as an open wound. We have little time in which to achieve this because there is the fact of a biological impunity, which allows crimes against humanity to be sanctioned due to the death of the perpetrators.”

She detailed the proposal of the campaign as a substantial advance that could become a reality if we can count on the historical responsibility and will of the authorities. She went on to explain that it would mean a reactivation of projects within the law or to reframe legal proposals. The demands are set out in 18 points.

Some of these demands include a demand to declare the Amnesty Law of 1978 as null and void; declare a law that states that the Forced disappearance of persons is a crime against humanity; to end privileges to those that are condemned to prison fro violating human rights.

Lorena Pizarro went on to further declare that, human rights violations in Chile during the dictatorship, is an issue that still pervades Chilean society. “Our country experienced the politics of terror perpetrated by the State; this meant, exile, torture, massive raids on shantytowns, executions, exonerations, relegations, political prisoners, and one of the most brutal violations of human rights, the forced detention and disappearance of people that affected our families. This last crime is the most brutal because it violates all of the rights of an individual.”

“The aim of this campaign is so that none of these crimes are ever committed again, but in order for that to happen we must have justice, we must establish truth and punish the criminals.”

The Campaign for Truth and Justice in Chile, Australia has now officially joined this campaign.

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