STATEMENT OF THE ASSOCIATIONS OF RELATIVES OF
THE DISAPPEARED AND EXECUTED POLITICAL PRISONERS
the Associations of Relatives of the Disappeared and Executed
Political Prisoners throughout the country have come together
to analyze and define our position regarding the "Proposal
of the Independent Democratic Union."
persons and persons executed for political motives are victims
of crimes against humanity perpetrated by agents of the state
of Chile during the military dictatorship. These crimes, which
have universal jurisdiction, are not subject to statutes of
limitation or amnesty laws. Consequently, the victims and
we, their family members, are endowed with rights that may
not be waived under any circumstances. Moreover, the democratic
state has a moral, legal, political, and, above all, humanitarian
obligation to prosecute the penal responsibilities in these
crimes, as well as adequately "repair" the various forms of
damage that derive from these crimes.
THE INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATIC UNION
a well-staged theatrical presentation, the UDI keeps the country
in suspense concerning its announced proposal to offer "a
solution to the drama of the relatives." That this political
party, which harbors human rights violators, ideologues and
persons who hold political responsibility for the crimes,
should emerge today as the humanitarian bearer of the frustrated
demands of certain family members of the victims evokes repudiation,
indignation and is offensive.
the UDI's view that everything is an object of mercantile
transaction, the offer should not surprise us. They insist
on believing and acting as if everything could be bought and
sold. They aspire to privatize even the issue of human rights
and have no qualms in reaping political dividends from the
pain of the families of the victims of a drama, of which they
were accessories and bear responsibility. They make use of
a real problem that is still unresolved, among other reasons,
because they have counted on achieving impunity. Once again,
they are mistaken. They will not succeed in deceiving us with
this true reality show that they are intent upon orchestrating
between victims and the perpetrators of the crimes. Never
will they succeed in buying the dignity of our loved owns
nor our own.
that they turn over the names of the perpetrators responsible
for the crimes to the courts of justice. The failure to do
so places them in a position of accessories or covering-up
the crimes, and that is also a crime subject to law.
TO THE RELATIVES WHO HAVE TURNED TO THE UDI
not judge you. All of us are direct family of the victims.
We understand your desperation; we also feel it. We share
an immense, indescribable and immeasurable pain. We regret,
as you surely do, the mounting frustration almost 30 years
after losing our loved ones. The needs you feel are familiar
to us because we too have experienced them. We also respect
different personal choices. However, we must sincerely recognize
that the roads we travel are different, and that is painful
to acknowledge. The road you have chosen will not prosper.
Your frustration will increase and you will not obtain the
truth seated around a table facing the assassins. Reparation
is a right of all of us that we must exercise, but we do not
have to give up justice in order to obtain these rights. The
allies you have sought are precisely those who applauded the
military coup and who, as civilians or in military uniform,
abducted our kin to make them disappear or to execute them.
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TODAY?
30 years later this country has not resolved the issue of
truth and justice for the victims of human rights violations.
at the beginning of the transition to democracy, the governments
of the Concertation lacked the political will to confront
this issues. Nor did they have the courage to tell the country
what secret agreements they made with the Right to obstruct
during many long years, during dictatorship and in democracy,
the courts failed to fulfill their essential role to bring
justice and unveil the truth. Only recently do we see progress
that needs to be reinforced and fostered by every citizen.
Parliament has been incapable of undertaking legislative initiatives
conducive of these objectives. It suffices to recall a single
example: the bill to repeal the Amnesty Decree Law that has
been filed away somewhere in the basement of Congress.
the democratic political parties have been weak, lacking initiatives,
inoperable, and have distanced themselves from the victims
of their own parties. They have failed to meet the expectations
of the Chilean people and, particularly, the expectations
of the Associations of Families of the Victims.
WHAT THE ASSOCIATIONS SUSTAIN AND DEMAND
demands of truth, justice and memory remain unchanged and
our Associations will never relinquish them. For us the life,
the death, and the disappearance of our loved ones have no
price. No proposal in lieu of justice can ever be acceptable.
We desire and need closure for our mourning in the only possible
way: by sanctioning those who hold penal responsibility and
reclaiming the role of our kin as social fighters. Reparation
is a component of justice and is our right.
Government must publicly reject the proposal that will be
presented by the UDI.
Courts must be more exacting in the investigation of every
case related to disappeared persons and persons executed for
political motives until achieving truth and justice.
through its respective Human Rights Committees, forthwith
repeal Decree Law 2191 (the Amnesty Law); promote the legal
initiative that creates the crime of Forced Disappearance
of Persons; and foster a law of Declaration of Forced Absence
in order to solve the legal problems family members face.
Government and Parliament sponsor the bill to amend Law 19,123
on Reparation that the Association will soon present.
entire Chilean society must repudiate any attempt to exchange
justice for money.
of Families of the Disappeared and Persons Executed for Political
Reasons of Iquique, Pisagua, Calama, La Serena, Santiago,
Paine, Talca, Parral, Chillan, Los Angeles, Concepcion, Temuco,
Valdivia, Osorno, Coyhaique.
COMMITMENT WITH TRUTH, JUSTICE AND
REPARATION FOR VICTIMS OF THE DICTATORSHIP
May 28, 2003
parties and community leaders, who endorse this document,
publicly pledge to support the Association of Relatives of
the Disappeared in its search for truth, justice and reparation.
forced disappearance of persons, as a method of repression
practiced by the dictatorship, mean the disappearance of 1197
Chileans, dramatically affecting their families, as well as
political or social group.
years after the Military Coup, we reiterate the pressing need
for all branches of government to take up this still unresolved
issue. The victims' families and society as a whole have the
right - through justice - to know the truth, to see the perpetrators
punished, and to measures of reparation for the moral damage
Armed Forces and Police have the duty to present the Courts
with all information they possess regarding the fate of the
disappeared persons as well as to purge their ranks of all
individuals who participated in the execution and planning
of terrorist policy of the state in dictatorship.
has the duty to legislate in conformance with international
law that obligates states to respect the principle that "Crimes
against humanity are not subject to statutes of limitation
of amnesty laws."
Judicial Branch has the obligation to intensify the investigation
of human rights cases until reaching results incumbent to
judicial investigations, namely determine the truth and penal
sanction for those responsible for the crimes.
Executive Branch must understand that the demands of the Association
of Relatives of the Disappeared are unchangeable and must
adopt all measures that may achieve our historic objectives.
we accept the task of publicizing, raising awareness, and
seeking support, socializar for demands of the family of the
victims as a commitment to the life and legacy of each disappeared
to Human Rights Today