Thursday, April 07, 2016

Pinochet Still Lives Through Anti-Terrorist Law

El Mostrador takes a look at the long-standing controversy over Chile's anti-terrorist law, which was passed in 1984 during the Pinochet dictatorship. It allows for holding people without charges, phone tapping, and the like. If you'd like to see the law itself, here is the text. Pinochet's name, along with the junta, is right there at the bottom.

It clearly obstructs due process. The law is an authoritarian legacy that was used for repression and during her 2013 campaign Michelle Bachelet said she would not invoke it. She has not kept that promise and is even trying to parse her own past language.

[E]l Ejecutivo “no puede renunciar a ejercer alguna de las atribuciones que le entrega la ley” y que lo que dijo la Presidenta durante su campaña “tiene que ver con el juicio político que se hace de su eficacia y de las características de esta ley”.

And so her administration has used it five times in two years. Not surprisingly, that has created tensions within the Nueva Mayoría coalition. Added to this is the fact that it has been used a lot against Mapuche, to the point that the United Nations took notice in 2013 and condemned it.

It's amazing how "sticky" so many Pinochet-era laws have been, not to mention the constitution itself. Bit by but they've been removed or revised, but they've last a really long time.


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