In defense of the victims of the dictatorship in Chile: A Vincentian Missionary

by | Jul 26, 2018 | Congregation of the Mission, Justice and Peace, News

The systematic and brutal violation of human rights that occurred in Chile in the years of the dictatorship led by Augusto Pinochet (from 11 September 1973 to 11 March 1990) and which resulted in arbitrary arrests, summary executions, torture, disappearances of people, exiles , … continues to worry and divide the Chileans, after 28 years of restored democracy, above all because in many cases justice has not been done and the reparations to the victims have been insufficient, in many cases this impunity has violated the national conscience.

Alejandro Fabres - Chile

One of our missionaries, who in his youth was among the victims of the repressive and penal methods of the dictatorship, addressed an open letter to the deputy Urrutia, recounting his experience when he fell into the hands of the executioners of the dictatorship. His letter had a profound impact on many of his readers and also on many confreres who did not know this part of the personal story of Fr. Alejandro Fabres, CM.

Just as during the dictatorship there were those who “did not see anything” or who did not believe in anything or systematically denied everything or justified the crimes, because it was necessary to “clean up the country”, so even today, there are those who claim to deny the facts, to erase the story, but what is worse, to justify and even make fun of the victims and denigrate them.

During a recent session of the Chamber of Deputies, which reported that the new right-wing government (which includes many of those who supported the dictatorship) had withdrawn a bill presented by the Government, which ended its mandate last March 11, to give financial aid to victims of human rights violations, a right-wing Deputy from the National Renewal Party, Ignacio Urrutia, celebrated the withdrawal of the project, saying that it was time to stop giving financial aid to terrorists , thus justifying the deaths, torture, harassment and assuming the guilt of the victims. These words aroused such an angry reaction from other Members, that a left-wing Member addressed the colleague responsible for such offensive expressions, challenging him so severely that it finally provoked the suspension of the session, given that the center and left deputies had abandoned the classroom in protest.

But the whole country has reacted and as is common today, especially through social networks, many Chileans have criticized the Deputies in harsh terms for his insensitivity and complicity with these horrendous crimes.

Edited and translated from by Aidan R. Rooney, C.M..


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