Chilean bishop calls for new era of reconciliation in wake of torture report

.- Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Sergio Valech Aldunate of Santiago, Chile, called for a “new era of reconciliation in the country” this week after the publication of the final report on the use of torture during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and he expressed his hope for solutions “for the problems of the future and that the past be left behind.” Bishop Valech, who headed the Commission on Political Imprisonment and Torture for a year and half, sent the Commission’s final report to President Ricardo Lagos, which was drafted in response to the requests of 7,000 people who suffered incarceration to have their cases reevaluated.

Of these 7,000 cases, the Commission determined that 1,200 people suffered torture, among them 87 children under 12 years of age, who were either detained with their parents, born in prison, or even were still in the womb while their mothers were tortured.  In total, more than 28,000 people were affected by the Pinochet regime.

Bishop Valech acknowledged that, “to ask for pardon on behalf of the State is perhaps insufficient.”  Those listed in the report will receive economic reparations from the government, he announced.

Regarding criticism of the Commission’s work, Bishop Valech said, “People will never be happy about it, but we did what were asked to do as best we could.”

The Vice President of the Commission, Maria Luisa Sepulveda, noted that the 6,000 cases that were not recognized as violations of human rights correspond to persons detained during massive protests and were determined to be cases of “abuse of power.”

“We are not saying these things did not happen, but that they do correspond to the task of the Commission to determine which individuals were victims of imprisonment and torture,” she explained.  The Commission considered more than 35,000 testimonies.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family

Liturgical Calendar

July 31, 2014

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:47-53


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 18: 1-6
Gospel:: Mt 13: 47-53

Saint of the Day

St. Ignatius of Loyola »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: