Chile Creates Human Rights Department for Pinochet Era Murders

Edited by Ivan Martínez
2015-12-18 12:14:53

Santiago de Chile, December 18 (teleSUR-RHC)-- Chile has created a special State department for human rights, which the government says will ensure its commitment to seek truth and justice for victims of the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

President Michelle Bachelet signed the new department into law in a special ceremony Thursday, saying the institutional framework will “provide strength and coherence as a state policy to human rights issues.”

The Pinochet regime (1973-1990) was one of Chile's most violent. According to official data, 903 people were reported as disappeared and 1,759 were executed during his 17 year rule, that followed the overthrow and murder of the constitutionally-elected President Salvador Allende.

Bachelet highlighted the necessity of a Human Rights Department, saying there was not previously a state agency capable of creating and designing public policies around advancing truth and justice for the numerous human rights abuses committed under the dictatorship.

The new department will operate under the auspice of the Ministry of Justice and will be responsible for promoting public policies on human rights and strengthening those legal aspects.

The new body will also design, develop and coordinate training programs for government officials on the topic of human rights, and coordinate mechanisms of participation and dialogue with human rights groups. It will also promote education from preschool to secondary school about the atrocities committed under the dictatorship and work to preserve sites of memorializing the victims. 


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