dictatorship

UN’S DUBIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS APPOINTMENT

My article in Eureka Street, in which I discuss former President Michelle Bachelet’s 56284UN appointment as Human Rights Commissioner, juxtaposed against her presidencies which facilitated the current impunity that is gaining ground under right-wing President Sebastian Pinera. 

 

Guillermo Ravest, former director of Radio Magallanes, passes away

Former director of Radio Magallanes, Guillermo Ravest, passed away in

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Guillermo Ravest, former director of Radio Magallanes

Mexico at 91 years of age. Ravest had been the individual responsible for broadcasting President Salvador Allende’s last speech, defying a ban by the military that forbade radio messages on September 11, 1973.

Ravest’s role did not end there. Following the broadcast, he had the speech recorded and copies made for dissemination, in direct defiance of the Pinochet dictatorship.

Chile must not forget the horrors of dictatorship-era crimes

Chile remains a country of contradictions, influenced by the struggle between memory and forgetting. The dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet has left a legacy that has not been adequately challenged since the country’s return to democracy.

Javier RebolledoHuman rights and memory groups in Chile have struggled against state institutions and military secrecy over dictatorship crimes. They demand, for example, that Punta Peuco, the luxury prison for former agents of National Intelligence Directorate (DINA, the Chilean secret police under Pinochet) be closed and the inmates transferred to ordinary jails. That such demands remain unmet provide foundations from which impunity can make inroads.

Last week, Chilean media reported that Javier Rebolledo (pictured), an investigative journalist and author specialising in uncovering dictatorship era crimes, was taken to court by former DINA agent and Punta Peuco inmate Raul Pablo Quintana Salazar. Rebolledo is facing ‘calumny’ charges in court, over one particular quote published in his most recent book, Camaleon.

Read more at Eureka Street

MEMORIAL DEFACED IN VALPARAISO

A memorial listing all the names of Valparaiso’s executed and disappeared victims of the Pinochet dictatorship was vandalised with spray paint in the early hours of Monday morning. Valparaiso’s Commission against Torture has urged the public to share the news, as part of the collective memory struggle against oblivion.

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STUDENTS MURDERED IN PINOCHET ERA HONOURED POSTHUMOUSLY.

On April 11, relatives of 101 students from the University of Chile who were executed and disappeared during the dictatorship were given symbolic academic degrees as part of a reparation and memory process which seeks to recognise the student victims of the dictatorship. 

The ceremony was described as an act of memory and resistance, with speakers reminding the audience that those who justified dictatorship crimes are now back in power in Chile. 

 

 

26 DINA agents sentenced for their role in the kidnapping, torture and disappearance of MIR militant Miguel Angel Acuña

The sSantiago Court of Appeals has sentenced 26 former DINA agents for the roles in the kidnapping, torture and disappearance of MIR militant Miguel Angel Acuña – one of the victims of Operación Colombo.

Acuña was arrested near his home by DINA on the night of July 8, 1974 and transferred to Londres 38, where he was subjected to torture. The exact date of disappearance is not known. It is estimated that the last time Acuña was seen alive would have been in July or August 1974.

César Manríquez, Pedro Octavio, Miguel Krassnoff and Raúl Iturriaga were sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment as perpetrators of the crime.

Gerardo Urrich, Gerardo Godoy, Ricardo Lawrence, Ciro Torré, Sergio Castillo, Manuel Carevic, Basclay Zapata, José Fuentes, Julio Hoyos, Gustavo Carumán, José Ojeda, Luis Villarroel, Rudeslindo Urrutia, Juan Duarte, Pedro Araneda, Víctor Molina, Manuel Rivas, Hugo Hernández, Juan Urbina, Risiere Altez, Hermon Alfaro and Raúl Rodríguez were sentenced to ten years.

New identifications of Pinochet’s Caravan of Death massacres in Calama

Forensic investigations carried out by Servicio Medico Legal on the remains of the Calama victims of Pinochet’s Caravan of Death on November 19, 1973 have now ended, leading to the re-identification of Rolando Hoyos Salazar, Rosario Munoz Castillo and Jose Saavedra Gonzalez, as well as the identification, for the first time, of Carlos Pinero Lucero and Milton Munoz Munoz. The remains were discovered in a mass grave in 1990, 13km away from Calama, on the road to San Pedro de Atacama.

The remains of victims Rafael Pineda Ibacache and David Luna Miranda have not been identified.