The systematic and cruel violation of human rights which occurred in Chile, in the years of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship  (September 11, 1973 to March 11, 1990) and which expressed in arbitrary arrests, executions, tortures, disappearance of people , proscription, exile … continues to worry and divide the Chileans, after 28 years of recovering democracy, mainly because justice has not been done in multiple cases and the reparation measures for the victims have been insufficient and in many cases violent impunity towards the national conscience.

However, as it was during the dictatorship there were those who “saw nothing” or who did not believe anything or systematically denied everything or justified crimes, because it was necessary to “clean up the country”. Also, today, there are those who claim to deny the facts, erase the history, but what is even worse, justify and even laugh at the victims and slander them.

During the recent session of the Chamber of Deputies, it was reported that the new right-wing government, including some of its members there are many who supported the Dictatorship, had withdrawn a bill, presented by the government ending its term on March 11, to give financial aid to victims of human rights abuses. A Deputy of the right-wing National Renovation Party, Ignacio Urrutia, celebrated the withdrawal of the mentioned project and said it was time to finish giving financial aid to terrorists, justifying the deaths, torture and other harassment in a supposed guilty of the victims. These words provoked an angry reaction from other deputies – even a deputy from the left came to the desk of the colleague who poured offensive expressions and fiercely lashed out – and finally caused the suspension of the session, because the center and left benches of the chamber were empty in protest.

But the whole country reacted and as it is common today, especially in social media, many Chileans criticized the Deputy in harsh terms for his insensitivity and complicity in such horrendous crimes.

One of our missionaries, who in his youth was a victim of the repressive and criminal methods of the dictatorship, addressed an open letter to deputy Urrutia, referring to his experience, when he fell into hands of the Dictatorship’s executioners. His letter had a profound impact on many of his readers and also on several of the Confreres who did not know this part of the personal history of Fr. Alejandro Fabres, CM

Get know more about times of military dictatorship in Chile

Carlos de la Rivera, CM
Province of Chile