In contrast to his electoral campaign rhetoric which was on a milder level than that of his counterpart Jose Antonio Kast, Sebastian Pinera’s adherence to right-wing ideology is revealing itself with the appointment of Hernan Larrain, a defender of Colonia Dignidad’s leader Paul Schafer, as Minister for Justice.
During an interview, Larrain defended Schafer, saying that the accusations levelled against the German Nazi who established a colony in Chile and collaborated with the dictatorship was the victim of a frameup.
Alicia Lira, President of the Association of Relatives of Executed Political Prisoners (AFEP) denounced the appointment, declaring it a “sad precedent”, in view of the fact that Larrain was part of Schafer’s circle of friends.
Colonia Dignidad was shrouded in secrecy, thus making investigations into human rights abuses difficult. Schafer had fled from Germany to Chile after accusations of child molestation in 1959. For dictator August Pinochet, Schafer provided both location and opportunity for dictatorship crimes, including torture, murder and disappearance of political opponents. In return, Schafer’s depravity and torture of his own community were assured of impunity.