Saturday, November 14, 2009

Humans rights and the Chilean transition

via Robert Funk: Sebastián Piñera reportedly went to a meeting of an organization of retired military officers (Chile Mi Patria) and promised to limit prosecutions and to make sure cases did not go on for years.

It is quite striking how that constituency remains relevant for the right, which has had an uneasy relationship in recent years in the wake of all the Pinochet corruptions scandals and human rights cases. In my chapter of the Chile book coming out next year, I analyze the ways in which the concept of "transition" is viewed differently by different political actors (for an early version as conference paper, see here). The very idea of transition is politicized. I quote Army Commander in Chief Oscar Izurieta, who in 2006 said:

The only thing that remains pending for us is undoubtedly the number of people that are being processed. When all these processes end, we would soon proclaim the transition definitively completed.

And so a full 19 years since Pinochet left power, we have the candidate of the right sending the message that if elected, he would do what the military wants to end the transition.


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