Chile declares day to honour victims of dictatorship
Santiago: Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has declared October 30 National Day of Victims of Political Execution, in memory of thousands killed by the regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet.
"This day is, without doubt, (dedicated) to those who were victims of intolerance and violence," Bachelet said as she signed the decree yesterday referring to the nearly 3,000 people who were murdered, or kidnapped and likely killed for political reasons during Pinochet's 1973-1990 rule.
"We thought it was an important and relevant way to be mindful of our compatriots who fell victim to the harshness of an age that must not be relived, and to yet again reaffirm our commitment to upholding human rights at all times and everywhere," she said in an address to relatives of the victims.
The honour, she added, was aimed at "preserving the memory of what happened to our society, so that new generations learn the lessons from history and make a moral commitment to prevent the same mistakes, the same horrors."
The Bachelets were among the victims the Pinochet regime's cruelty.
The President's father, air force general Alberto Bachelet, died in prison after he was detained by Pinochet agents, accused of treason and tortured.
Michelle Bachelet and her mother Angela Jeria were detained illegally, and after their release fled the country to exile. The younger Bachelet returned in 1979.