justice in perspective

LATEST UPDATE

January 2008: On 12 August 2003, President Ricardo Lagos acknowledged the use of torture and offered a formal apology for it, finally giving torture victims the recognition that they needed.

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TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE PROCESSES

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Chile:

National Commission on Political Prison and Torture

south chileNAME OF MECHANISM

Comision Nacional sobre Prision Politica y Tortura - National Commission on Political Prison and Torture

YEARS OF OPERATION

November 2003 – November 2004

MANDATE AND OPERATIONS

Mandate: Established by decree 1040 to investigate human rights abuses (prison and torture) in the period of September 11, 1973 to March 10, 1990, to "rigorously establish a list of Chileans who were deprived of their liberty and tortured for political reasons" and make recommendations regarding the provision of symbolic reparations.

Staff: 8 commissioners

Result: 35,868 testimonies have been registered.

FINAL REPORT

Informe de la Comision Nacional sobre prision politica y tortura, [Click here to read in Spanish] was released on November 10, 2004. The report states that the dictatorship used systematically torture. Three categories of reparations have been recommended: individual, collective and institutional.

LATEST UPDATE

January 2008: On 12 August 2003, President Ricardo Lagos acknowledged the use of torture and offered a formal apology for it, finally giving torture victims the recognition that they needed.

By March 2005, it was determined that 27,255 Chileans would get government compensation: US$190 per month and free education, housing and health benefits for the victims and their relatives. [HRW]

It was also made known that Riggs Bank, which had agreed to be bought by the PNC Financial Services Group Inc., will pay $9 million to create a fund for victims of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who once routed money through the bank [AP]

Amnesty International has criticised the Commission for its limited mandate (excluding foreigners and those tortured for non-political reasons), and argues that the Commission should also include a truth-seeking aspect, since torture victims were excluded from the Truth and Reconciliation process. [AI]