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Chile

    August 22, 2017

     

    GOOD NEWS: Chile has decriminalized abortion!

    Chile’s Constitutional Tribunal has ruled in favour of decriminalizing abortion under three specific circumstances. This is an important step toward ensuring the protection of women and girls’ human rights across the country.

    A Chilean Constitutional Tribunal ruling on 21 August confirmed that the country’s constitution now allows for the decriminalization of and access to abortion under three circumstances: when the pregnancy poses a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or girl, when the foetus would be unable to survive outside the womb, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape.

    August 21, 2017
      A decision by Chile’s Constitutional Tribunal today to support the decriminalization of abortion under three circumstances represents an important win for human rights and for the protection of the lives and health of women and girls across the country, Amnesty International said.   Today’s ruling confirms that Chile’s Constitution allows for the decriminalization of abortion when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, when the life of the pregnant woman is at risk, and in cases of fatal foetal impairment.   “Chile has finally moved one step closer to protecting the human rights of women and girls,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.   “This victory is testament to the work of millions of women across the Americas and the world who fight against draconian laws that punish women and push them to seeking clandestine and dangerous abortions, putting their health and lives at risk.”  
    July 19, 2017
      The Chilean Chamber of Deputies has an historic opportunity to put the country on the right side of human rights, Amnesty International said ahead of a debate today on the potential decriminalization of abortion under three circumstances.   Late last night, the Chilean Senate passed a bill to decriminalize abortion under three circumstances: when the pregnancy results from rape or incest, when the life of the pregnant woman is at risk, and in cases of lethalfoetal impairment.   “Chile is finally taking a step away from the small number of countries that still expose women and girls to terrible suffering due to the cruel and draconian laws and policies that violate their human right to make free choices about their own bodies, health and lives,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.   “This historic vote, although limited, is a testament to the tireless work done by activists in every corner of Chile to ensure the country respects and protects women’s rights.”  
    April 07, 2017

    Image Courtesy of Pressenza.

     

    Members of the Defence Movement of Earth, Environmental Protection and Access to Water are facing death threats because of their work defending the right to water in Petorca Province, central Chile.

     

    On 28 March, an unidentified person threatened human rights defender Rodrigo Mundaca Cabrera, calling him on the telephone and stating: “We are going to kill you motherfucker, we will kill you”. Rodrigo Mundaca is a member and spokesperson of the Defence Movement of Earth, Environmental Protection and Access to Water (Movimiento de Defensa por el Acceso al Agua, la Tierra y la Protección del Medio Ambiente, MODATIMA) in Petorca Province, Chile.

    April 05, 2016

    Chile’s outrageous two-tier justice system is allowing police officers to beat, ill-treat and in some cases even kill peaceful demonstrators and other individuals and only face a miniscule sanction at best, said Amnesty International in a new report today.

    'I didn't know there were two kinds of justice' : Military jurisdiction and police brutality in Chile reveals that Chile’s military courts, which deal with cases of human rights violations committed by members of the security forces, regularly fail to adequately investigate and prosecute officers that are suspected of having committed a crime. Trials in these courts usually lack the most basic levels of independence and impartiality.

    “Chile’s military courts should not be allowed to investigate, prosecute and punish members of its own ranks – that is simply a no-brainer. It is akin to courts allowing criminals to be judged by their own families,” said Ana Piquer, Director at Amnesty International Chile.

    September 28, 2015

    Released 28 September 2015, 00:01 Mexico time (05:00 GMT)

    Chile’s draconian anti-abortion law is treating women as second-class citizens and putting their lives and health at risk, said Amnesty International amid a heated congressional debate to modify the legislation.

    “Chile’s outrageous abortion ban creates a climate of fear among health professionals whose first thought is often to report a woman or a girl to the police for a suspected abortion rather than give them life-saving treatment. It creates a two-tiered health system in which women are seen as mere child-bearing vessels,” said Fernanda Doz Costa, Researcher on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Americas at Amnesty International.

    July 23, 2015

    News that a Chilean judge is charging 10 former military officers for the killing of singer and political activist Víctor Jara in 1973 and that seven others have been arrested for burning 19-year-old Rodrigo Rojas to death and severely injuring 18-year-old Carmen Gloria Quintana in 1986 bring a glimmer of hope to the tens of thousands of victims of human rights violations committed during Augusto Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship, said Amnesty International.

    “These developments show that when there is political will, justice can be done. Authorities must now end the long wait for justice of thousands of victims of enforced disappearances and torture and their families,” said Ana Piquer Romo, Executive Director at Amnesty International Chile.

    “Suspected perpetrators of the Pinochet era must be prosecuted without further delay.

    “These historic moves should open a new chapter for justice in Chile and the authorities should ensure no stone is left unturned until all victims and their families are provided with the justice and reparation they are entitled to.”

    November 19, 2014

    The event was a legal milestone that sent a chilling message to human rights violators the world over.

    Eight years after being ousted from power, in October 1998, Augusto Pinochet, the ailing Chilean former leader and one of the world’s most notorious dictators, decided to travel to Europe to receive medical treatment.

    But as he arrived in London, members of the Chilean diaspora – many of them survivors of torture during Pinochet’s brutal regime – saw a golden opportunity for the former dictator to be investigated, after Chile had systematically refused to do so.

    Armed with the International Convention against Torture – a ground-breaking treaty under which governments had agreed that those suspected of committing or ordering torture could be tried by state parties all around the world – lawyers began a fierce battle.

    Never before had the Convention been successfully used to prosecute a former head of state suspected of having ordered or committed torture, and the results were astonishing.

    October 06, 2014

    Originally Released  00:01 BST 6 October 2014

    New legislation which would overturn an amnesty law that has been shielding perpetrators of human rights violations committed during Pinochet’s brutal regime is a monumental step forward against impunity, said Amnesty International today.

    “For many years this law acted as a shield, hiding those responsible for serious human rights abuses from justice. Victims have been forced to live knowing those that tortured and killed were enjoying impunity for their crimes,” said Guadalupe Marengo, Deputy Director Americas Programme, Amnesty International.

    “The overturning of the law would be an historic moment for Chile and would bring the country one step closer to addressing the crimes of the Pinochet regime, as well as sending a clear message that Chile does not protect those responsible for human rights violations.”

    The Amnesty Decree Law, passed in 1978, exempts all individuals who committed human rights violations between 11 September 1973 and 10 March 1978 from criminal responsibility.

    June 19, 2014

    Chile’s commitment to decriminalise abortion in cases where the pregnancy was the result of rape, the woman’s life is in danger and when the foetus is not viable is a positive step forward to ensure and protect the rights of women and girls in the country, said Amnesty International today.

    The reforms were announced as part of Chile’s adoption of the recommendations made under the United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR), before the Human Rights Council today. Abortion is currently completely illegal in Chile.

    “By planning to decriminalise abortion, Chile is showing its willingness to respect and protect women and girl’s rights to life and non-discrimination,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    “While the proposed reforms currently only refer to decriminalising abortion in three instances, Chile is finally acknowledging the need to bring its legislation on abortion into line with international human rights standards, which is a welcome first step in the right direction.”

    September 11, 2013
    March in Santiago, Chile, 30 August 2009, for the International Day of the Disappeared.

    By Kathy Price

    Kathy Price leads AI Canada’s campaigning on human rights issues in Latin America.

    It has come to be known as “the other 9-11” – an infamy that changed the face not only of Chile but of Canada too.

    September 11 marks 40 years since a bloody military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet in Chile overthrew the democratically-elected socialist government of President Salvador Allende. The US-backed coup installed a brutal military dictatorship, unleashing years of vicious repression against anyone suspected of supporting Allende. Thousands were tortured, disappeared or murdered. The persecution, in turn, forced thousands of refugees to seek a safe haven in Canada, enriching the fabric of countless communities.

    I was a communications student at McGill University at the time and a new member of the university’s Amnesty International group. My introduction to the terror that was transforming Chile’s democracy came via an encounter I have never forgotten. As part of a university video project, I interviewed a newcomer to Montreal; Bernabe Videla Torres, a refugee from Chile.

    August 14, 2013

    Roger Plant joined Amnesty International in 1972 to cover the organization’s work on Latin America. A few months after Pinochet took power by force, he went to Chile to document the arbitrary detentions, torture and disappearances. The result was a groundbreaking report that helped shine a light on the reality of life in the Latin-American country.

    As a young researcher, Roger Plant had only been working for Amnesty International for less than a year when Augusto Pinochet launched his coupe d’état in 1973. With his feet barely under the desk it was a baptism of fire - a seminal moment that would eventually define his career.

    “The day of the coup I was in London. I was at home when I was called and we rushed into immediate action. I remember very quickly contacting the various Chilean friends and contacts trying to get a picture together of what was happening,” he explained.

    A few months later, he was sat on a plane at London’s Heathrow airport bound for Santiago de Chile via New York. Following a phone conversation with Amnesty International’s General Secretary, the late Martin Ennals, he was still unsure if he would be allowed into the country.

    July 11, 2013

    The Chilean State must provide an 11 year old girl who was raped by her stepfather and is now pregnant, with all the psychological and medical support she needs, and make available all the options regarding the pregnancy including safe abortion services, Amnesty International said today.

    Chile is one of just a handful of countries around the world that criminalise abortion in all circumstances.

    This means that girls who are pregnant as a consequence of rape, or where the pregnancy threatens their life or health, are compelled to continue their pregnancies regardless of the risks. The criminalization of abortion constitutes a breach of international human rights law.

    The girl, known as Belen, was repeatedly raped by her 32 year old step-father. She is now 14 weeks pregnant.

    “The Chilean state is responsible to provide her with every support necessary as she contends with the horrendous physical and psychological consequences of being raped and pregnant as a result. Her life, health, hopes and dreams are all in the hands of the authorities,” said Guadalupe Marengo, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

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