Brazil President slights indigenous rights

  During his speech at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday, Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro was adamant that throughout his tenure, the country would be open to global investors. In a weak attempt at creating a semblance of balance between economic growth and environmental protection, Bolsonaro stated, ‘It is now our mission to make progress…

Mapuche murders not just a right-wing issue

The killing of Mapuche youth Camilo Catrillanca earlier this month triggered outrage throughout Chile and the resurgence of a prevailing fear that the country is becoming increasingly militarised. President Sebastian Pinera has indeed acted upon his electoral promises, which included restructuring the dictatorship-era anti-terror laws in order to make it easier to criminalise the indigenous…

How relatives of Chile’s disappeared are exposing dictatorship-era torturers

The return of the right wing to power in Chile has come at the expense of those still seeking justice for crimes committed during the 17-year U.S.-backed dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, which ended in 1990. Former President Michelle Bachelet’s failure to close the luxury five-star prison of Punta Peuco that houses ex-torturers and military agents…

BOOK REVIEW: Ingrid Olderock. La Mujer de los Perros

“In this type of investigation, objectivity is non-existent.” Alejandro Solís Muñoz’s statement in his prologue to “Ingrid Olderock: la mujer de los perros” necessitates reflection. Objectivity, in the wrong hands, is a weapon of normalising violence and human rights violations. The end result would be normalising the dictatorship and its atrocities. It would also be…

In Chile, dismissing Mapuche resistance as terrorism

Saturday marked the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People. In the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s futile rhetoric, “The interests of the indigenous people must be part of the new development agenda in order for it to succeed … Together, let us recognize and celebrate the valuable and distinctive identities of indigenous people around the…

Human Remains May Stir Memories Of Chile’s Dictatorship Past

Chile’s struggle for memory against a dictatorship-imposed oblivion has braced itself for another sliver of discovery. On July 28, water works-related excavations in Las Brisas led to the discovery of human bone fragments. Buried just 10 kilometers south of the town of Santo Domingo, the location corresponds to the vicinities of the first dictatorship era torture…

Chile “There Is No Revolution Without Songs” Exploring the death of a revolutionary Chilean folk singer, as well as the notorious School of the Americas and the United States’ role in the horrors that befell those who opposed Chile’s dictatorship.

Sept. 11 marks the anniversary of a tragedy in Chile, and the immediate aftermath of this incident resulted in a multitude of horrific events that echo through history — even if they’re only starting to be acknowledged. Following the suspicious circumstances of former President Salvador Allende’s death at the presidential palace La Moneda on Sept….

UN’s dubious human rights appointment

As Chile continues to grapple with the struggle between memory and oblivion, the UN’s nomination of former president Michelle Bachelet as Human Rights Commissioner has evoked different opinions. For many victims of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship, Bachelet had represented a link between politics and justice, in particular due to her own family’s history as victims of Pinochet’s National…

Chile must not forget dictatorship era crimes

Chile remains a country of contradictions, influenced by the struggle between memory and forgetting. The dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet has left a legacy that has not been adequately challenged since the country’s return to democracy. Human rights and memory groups in Chile have struggled against state institutions and military secrecy over dictatorship crimes. They demand,…