Uruguay: the PIT-CNT trade union center repudiates the bill that would benefit repressors with home detention

The trade union center of Uruguay PIT-CNT repudiated the bill to grant house arrest to people over 65 years of age, a proposal that would benefit 26 repressors of the last military dictatorship. The initiative was presented by the conservative Cabildo Abierto (CA) party, led by the senator and retired military Guido Manini Rios. The proposal is currently under debate with divergent positions within the multicolored right-wing coalition.

“Relativize gravity”

The Representative Table of the PIT-CNT (Inter-Union Plenary of Workers-National Convention of Workers) stated that will oppose those who committed crimes against humanity “not paying for their crimes with effective imprisonment”.

The proposal is aimed at those deprived of liberty who have not committed crimes of rape, aggravated homicide or crimes against humanity, a figure authorized for events after 2006, when it was included in the Uruguayan penal code.

“We will defend democracy and a rule of law of those who were part of the dictatorship and exercised State terrorism, “said the PIT-CNT in a statement released late yesterday. Fernanda Aguirre, director of the central’s secretariat for Human Rights and Social Policies, explained that the Cabildo Abierto initiative, a formation that is part of the governing coalition, is a way of “Protect and try to relativize the seriousness of those who committed such heinous crimes, such as rapes, murders, kidnapping of children and forced disappearance”.

“To relativize the seriousness of these crimes is also to make a nod to dictatorial periods”Aguirre stated. The declaration is the first measure in a series of actions that will be taken to prevent the initiative from prospering, added Aguirre, who is also the director of the Luz Ibarburu Observatory (OLI). On November 16, together with the OLI team, the secretariat will appear at the Senate Constitution and Codes Committee to comment on the project.

Lacalle Pou “a priori” in favor

In the last days the Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou was in favor of the proposal and said they were studying the project. “Perhaps we have some doubts regarding age, for generating a special regime”explained the president, who in turn added that one of the changes to be proposed would be to move the age to 70 years. “It is the first approach to a positive a priori vision on the subject”, he pointed.

The project is currently under debate. From the National Party of Lacalle Pou there are divergent opinions on the subject. The Nationalist Senator Gustavo Penadés (PN) advanced his personal positioning: “A priori I am in favor of the project”, he told the newspaper The Daily. While your training partner, Jorge Gandini assured the Uruguayan morning newspaper that he has “Some important doubts”About the proposal.

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From the Colorado Party, also a member of the government coalition, Senator Raul Batlle indicated that “as it is” considers it difficult for his party to approve the proposal. Quoted by The Daily, Batlle pointed out that the issue of covid is mentioned “only on the air.”. In addition, he considered that the situation in the prisons does not justify the project either. “If the prisons are bad and there is overcrowding and that, the underlying issue is that” and “we have to fix it”, he claimed.

The senators who promote the initiative to grant house arrest assure that the bill “It seeks to protect the population most at risk from the possibility of an outbreak of covid-19, in particular of new strains in detention facilities.”

Positions against

For his part, the Minister of Labor and Social Security and leader of the PIndependent artido, Pablo Mieres, had stated that it does not share the initiative because the benefit is a “very directed signal” to people imprisoned for human rights violations during the last dictatorship.

While groups of boys, girls and adolescents who are direct victims of State terrorism in Uruguay, such as the Collective Memory in Freedom, expressed his rejection of the project. Cited by The Daily, they pointed out that “Poor old men”, What “They have ever been called, to generate pity in society, they are soldiers who committed crimes that included kidnapping, persecution, rape, torture, prison, murder, house searches and theft of babies.”

“They did not take into account any humanitarian principle when they committed these heinous crimes for which they are being tried today. It is contradictory to raise the health emergency, when the Cabildo Abierto, which is a government, continues to lift restrictions imposed by the covid-19“, they pointed out.

Too consider it worrying that Lacalle Pou is planning to meet with a representative of the Montevideo Forum, a organization that seeks the release of soldiers convicted of crimes against humanity. From Memoria en Libertad they point out that, on the other hand, the organization that brings together the former politicians (Crysol) “has not received a response to their request for a meeting and at Memoria en Libertad we were never answered the request for a meeting requested in October 2020”, they claimed.

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