Chile - August 2023
President Boric presents National Search Plan for victims of enforced disappearances during dictatorship
A national plan to search for victims of enforced disappearances during the Pinochet dictatorship was launched by President Gabriel Boric on 30 August, International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. The Plan aims to shed light on the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and whereabouts of victims, their recovery and identification, as well as to guarantee the rights of victims and their families to truth, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. The plan will have an assigned budget for its implementation, and is part of the initiatives launched in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of the coup that overthrew President Salvador Allende in 1973. Over 3,200 people were killed or disappeared during the dictatorship.
Social Development minister resigns amid corruption probe
A close ally of President Gabriel Boric, Giorgio Jackson, has quit as Minister of Social Development. Congress’s right-wing legislators had threatened to promote a constitutional complaint against him, after having called for his resignation for months. Jackson’s approval had waned after last year’s public rejection of a draft constitution generally endorsed by Chile’s left, and criticism of his leadership had intensified as a consequence of a corruption probe. His party, Democratic Revolution (Revolucion Democratica), which is part of the Frente Amplio ruling coalition, has been implicated in a scandal involving the transfer of public funds to a foundation with ties to it. Further criticism of Jackson’s leadership revolved around the theft of computer equipment and other resources from the Social Development Ministry. While Jackson argued that the accusations against him by right-wing political parties were being used as an excuse to paralyze government-backed reforms, President Boric accepted the resignation.
Supreme Court convicts former members of the military for political assassinations carried out during the dictatorship
Chile’s Supreme Court issued separate non-appealable rulings, in which it convicted former members of the military and security agencies for crimes related to the kidnapping and political assassination of two victims of the dictatorship, Victor Jara and Carmelo Soria, nearly 50 years after the crimes were committed.
Seven retired officials were found responsible for the coverup or commission of the kidnapping, torture and assassination of singer-songwriter and Salvador Allende supporter, Victor Jara, in 1973. They received sentences between eight and 25-years imprisonment. Along with the head of the Allende Government’s Prison System, Littre Quiroga, Jara was singled out among the thousands of detained supporters of Allende, tortured and killed.
Another ruling convicted eight former military and security officers of different crimes related to the kidnapping and assassination of Carmelo Soria. The convicted individuals received sentences between 10- and 15-years imprisonment. Soria, Spanish diplomat and member of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, was killed in 1976 for political reasons, given his communist political affiliation.