SANTIAGO – Family members of the victims of late dictator Augusto Pinochet criticized the Chilean Supreme Court on Wednesday for the recent release on parole of seven people convicted of committing murder, kidnapping and other crimes against humanity during the 1973-1990 military regime.
The Organization of Family Members of Executed Political Prisoners (AFEP) delivered a letter to Chief Justice Haroldo Brito in which they express their disapproval and characterize the release as a “serious and ignominious aggression toward the victims and family members of the victims of state terrorism.”
Last week’s decision by the high court’s Criminal Chamber to grant parole to seven of Pinochet’s agents violated domestic law and provisions of international agreements signed by Chile, the AFEP said.
The victims said they could not understand “how perpetrators who show no remorse regarding the crimes they committed, the damage they inflicted, and who continue to attempt to justify their crimes against humanity, could now be considered to be reformed and rehabilitated, and reincorporated into society.”
While opposition lawmakers are considering the possibility of impeaching the judges who paroled the seven oppressors, the Criminal Chamber on Wednesday denied a parole application from another Pinochet-era convict.
According to official figures, during the Pinochet dictatorship some 3,200 Chileans were killed by state agents, including 1,192 whose bodies have never been found, while 33,000 were tortured and jailed for political motives.