Boric, against Pinochet denialism: "statesman ever"

The Chilean President, gabriel boricstated this Wednesday that “Augusto Pinochet was a dictator, corrupt and thief”when reacting to the statements of a far-right constituent and a private poll published on Tuesday, in which 36 percent of those surveyed said that the Armed Forces “were right to carry out the coup” of September 11, 1973.

“Augusto Pinochet was a dictator, essentially anti-democratic, whose government killed, tortured, exiled and made those who thought differently disappear. He was also corrupt and a thief,” the president said on Twitter. “Coward to the end, he did everything in his power to evade justice. Statesman never”he added.

The president thus came out to respond to Luis Silva, one of those chosen by popular vote to draft the new Constitution. Silva belongs to the far-right Republican Party of José Antonio Kast, who obtained the first minority in the elections on May 7. Kast won the first round of the 2021 presidential elections and was defeated by Boric in the runoff.

Silvia said in an interview, referring to the dictator, that “there is a hint of admiration for the fact that he was a statesman.” She added that Pinochet “was a man who knew how to lead the State, he knew how to rearm a State that was in tatters”. And he openly avoided the word “dictatorship”, euphemistically referring to the “time” when he “was in charge of the government.” He did not deny the human rights violations, although he said that “with all the gravity they have” the regime should not be “simplified” for these crimes.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the coup led by Pinochet against Salvador Allende, and the pollster Cerc-Mori inquired into the opinion of Chileans: 36 percent of those consulted said they believed that the military “they had reasons” to overthrow the democratic government, the same percentage that the poll obtained two decades ago and 20 percent more than that carried out 10 years ago.

A survey that worries

On the other hand, the image of Pinochet as ruler and how he will go down in history was consulted. 64 percent see him as a “dictator”although the perception that it was “the man who promoted and modernized the Chilean economy”.

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In another reaction of the ruling party to this revelation, the minister spokesperson for the Government, camila vallejotold the press that he is “concerned” by the existence of denialism.

“50 years after the civic-military coup, we are concerned that there is denial and that there is an attempt to validate a coup d’état, a dictatorship, which violated human rightswhich massacred part of our people and caused injuries to this day,” he said.

The spokeswoman also made reference to “a political force” that has several representatives “who have openly recognized themselves as Pinochetistas,” alluding to the far-right Republican Party, the most voted in the elections of constitutional councilors (many of them against changing the current Constitution).

For its part, the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH) published a statement on the results of the survey and assumed that “should be taken as a lesson” and highlighted democracy as “a fundamental pillar of the rule of law.”

“Democracy is one of the fundamental pillars of the Rule of Law and there is no reason to validate its interruption, the independence of the powers of the State and respect for human rights embody its fundamental pillars. There is no other government system in which the guarantees of all people are better protected”the agency said in a statement.

against denialism

At the same time, a group of pro-government deputies, headed by the communist Carmen Hertz, presented a bill that typifies and sanctions denialismthe approval or justification of human rights violations, even with prison sentences of up to 61 days.

“We present a bill that classifies the denial of human rights violations committed in Chile between 1973-1990 as a crime that affects the human condition itself, since they affect the dignity and honor of the victims, the survivors and all people”wrote Carmen Hertz on Twitter.

Deputy Hertz argued to the press that this measure already exists in countries like Germany, Greece or Spain.

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