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Chile: Reaction to Pinochet Being Placed Under House Arrest

'We welcome today’s developments. This presents a real opportunity to ensure that those who committed human rights violations during the military government are finally brought to justice.

'These crimes may have happened many years ago, but to the families of those who ‘disappeared’ and were tortured and lost their lives justice is still essential.

'The human rights violations - ‘disappearances’, torture and extrajudicial executions - which were carried out during the military government of Augusto Pinochet in Chile constitute crimes against humanity and must be punished.

'In order to fight against the impunity since the Pinochet’s military government, the active and wholehearted action of Chile’s executive, legislative and judiciary is required.

'This is the culmination of the tireless work of relatives, lawyers and human rights organisations who have persevered despite serious postponements and numerous drawbacks. The decision offers renewed hope that their long struggle has not been in vain.'

The combined findings of two government commissions established in the early 1990s officially documented 3,197 cases of victims of 'disappearances', extrajudicial execution and death resulting from torture under military rule. However, this figure does not include the thousand of victims of torture who survived their ordeal.

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