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Chile launches plan to search for more than 1,000 prisoners who disappeared during dictatorship

For the first time, the Chilean state will search for 1,162 detainees who disappeared during the dictatorship, President Gabriel Boric announced this Wednesday, settling one of the main debts of justice 50 years after the military coup led by Augusto Pinochet. For decades, the search for the missing, conducted almost exclusively by families, barely found the remains of 307. Still 1,162 people are yet to be traced. “This figure will hurt us and make our blood burn, because it gives an account of how much debt we owe as a state and as a society”, said President Borić when launching the national plan for the search for truth and justice. , the first official initiative of its kind, and one of his main government promises. Boric said the decree making the plan official was signed during a ceremony on the outskirts of the presidential palace in La Moneda, attended by ministers and relatives of the victims, but not by right-wing opposition forces. Five decades after the coup that overthrew the socialist government of Salvador Allende and established Pinochet’s 17-year dictatorship, the ruling party and opposition are divided over how to celebrate the anniversary.” On the stone of (…) let’s make an additional mistake”, criticized Javier Macaya, president of the Independent Democratic Union, one of the main opposition parties, after assuring that he was not invited to the ceremony. Tributes to the victims ended the night with relatives placing dozens of candles in front of La Currency and the faces of the disappeared were displayed on the presidential palace with the phrase: “Where are they?” Arrest and Disappearance. Its purpose is to guarantee access to information for family members and to implement compensatory measures. The search will now be the permanent duty of the state, not just the families, said Boric, who emotionally acknowledged that “justice has taken a long time.” Relatives of the victims participated in the preparation of the plan, who thanked the efforts of the Boric government after years of condemning the state’s abandonment. “No other government has had the political will that was necessary to pass this ordeal not only to relatives,” Gabi Rivera, president of the Association of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared, said at the ceremony. Most of the disappeared were workers and farmers. Their average age was 29. Arrests began as soon as the military coup broke out on September 11, 1973. So far, the main obstacle to finding the missing has been little cooperation from the armed forces, which relatives consider a “compromise of silence”. This has been maintained since the dictatorship (1973–1990). In a dialogue set up in the late 1990s, the military provided data on approximately 200 detainees whose bodies they claimed were dumped in the sea. However, some of their remains were found in common graves. Among the commitments signed in that instance was the appointment of special judges for cases of human rights violations that occurred during the dictatorship. Clues from these judicial processes form the basis of that information. Which is intended to synthesize the search plan announced on Wednesday. Justice Minister Luis Cordero assured on Wednesday that within the armed forces “it is clear that there are people who have information about the fate of the disappeared.” In 1990, when democracy returned, a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established. was established, which identified more than 3,200 victims, including the dead and the disappeared, abandoned by the dictatorship. In 2003, another official commission was opened which recognized some 38,000 victims.pa/ps/vel/dga/db/ atm/axle

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