Chilean state launches search for ‘disappeared’

Chile coup

The families of the men, women and children killed or disappeared during the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet will finally have the official support of the state in their search for their missing kin. As Chile prepared to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the military coup on Sept. 11, President Gabriel Boric presented the country’s first National Search Plan, aimed at finding and identifying the remains of those who are still missing. So far only 307 sets of remains have been found and identified out of 1,469 officially listed as having been “disappeared” or murdered by the dictatorship. The plan, announced on Aug. 30, the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, includes an ongoing budget to explore sites where the victims may have been buried, and the use of new software to centralize and digitalize the information dispersed across the justice system, human rights organizations, and national archives. The move represents a significant if belated step forward in a country where, until now, it has been left to the victims’ relatives and civil society groups to seek truth and justice. (The New Humanitarian)

Chile is currently in the process of drafting a new constitution to replace that instated under Pinochet.

Photo via BBC News

  1. Chile: street clashes at coup commemoration

    The presidents of Chile and Mexico held a joint press conference in Santiago Sept. 10, marking the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Chilean coup. The presidents’ appearance followed an initially peaceful march to commemorate te coup’s victims. However, things turned violent when the march was set upon by Pinochet supporters armed with rocks and Molotov cocktails. (Jurist)