Latin 'Untouchables' Face Heat ; This Week, Chile's Supreme Court Is Hearing Appeals to an Immunity Law That Has Shielded the Military from Prosecution

By Jen Ross Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 16, 2004 | Go to article overview

Latin 'Untouchables' Face Heat ; This Week, Chile's Supreme Court Is Hearing Appeals to an Immunity Law That Has Shielded the Military from Prosecution


Jen Ross Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


In recent months, Latin America has made significant progress in the struggle to redress the human rights abuses committed during the dictatorships of the 1970s and '80s, say experts.

Chile is the latest domino, as its Supreme Court began hearings this week in a historic appeal of an amnesty law decreed by the country's one-time strongman, former Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

The 1978 decree has shielded military and police from prosecution for murders or torture committed during the worst years of repression after Mr. Pinochet's 1973 coup. An estimated 3,200 Chileans were killed, or disappeared after being detained, in a widespread campaign to root out Pinochet's opposition.

Pinochet has long been seen as an untouchable in Chile. But in 1998, a Spanish judge used international instruments to argue for Pinochet's extradition from London. He was eventually returned to Chile though he has yet to stand trial, in part because of his deteriorating health.

Roberto Garreton, regional representative for Latin America for the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights, says Pinochet's arrest in London was nevertheless a watershed.

"That arrest had a fantastic effect," he says. "This was unthinkable 20 years ago, but in Chile, there are now 300 military officials with cases pending a resolution of the amnesty appeal, which should happen any day now." Mr. Garreton says it was a breakthrough not only for judges in Chile, but across the region.

"There is evidence of a consolidated advance across the region," he says. "If we win the amnesty appeal in Chile, it will widen a door that has been opened by the decision in Argentina."

Two weeks ago, Argentina's Supreme Court rejected its own amnesty. The court declared that crimes against humanity can never be prescribed. "It's an important precedent for the region," says Francisco Bravo, one of the lawyers leading Chile's amnesty appeal. "It's hard to tell what impact it will have here, since our court is pretty guarded in its jurisprudence. We'll soon see what signal it will send."

The advances in Chilean and Argentine courts have mirrored developments elsewhere. In Mexico, a special prosecutor filed charges against former Mexican President Luis Echeverria and 11 other officials in July. The charges were in connection with the 1971 "Corpus Christi massacre," in which police and paramilitary forces are alleged to have killed at least 30 student protesters in Mexico City. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Latin 'Untouchables' Face Heat ; This Week, Chile's Supreme Court Is Hearing Appeals to an Immunity Law That Has Shielded the Military from Prosecution
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.