University of Minnesota

Inter-Am. C.H.R., OEA/Ser.L/V/II.34, Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Chile, Doc. 21 corr. 1 (1974).





1. On July 29, the Commission sent to the Government of Chile the preliminary recommendations resulting from the note transcribed in Chapter XV of this report.

2. Now, after reaching the conclusions summarized in the previous chapter, the Commission feels it is its duty to make the following recommendations to that Government:

1. In order to safeguard the rights referred to in Article I of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, and with the promptness required by these circumstances, an exhaustive, detailed, speedy, and impartial investigation of the following acts should be ordered:

a) The imposition of cruel conditions of living, punishment and forced labor on certain prisoners, as occurred for example in the case of those who were confined on Dawson Island.

b) The use of psychological and physical torture in the following establishments: 38 Londres Street in Santiago; Air Force War School in Santiago; a section of the Santiago Military Hospital; Central Bureau of Investigations in Santiago (a place known as “La Patilla”); Tejas Verdes; and the Navy ship “Esmeralda”.

c) The reception of persons arriving at Tres Álamos, the Santiago Central Jail and Capuchinos, Tejas Verdes and Buen Pastor detention centers with visible signs of having been subjected to torture or maltreatment, without the officials of those establishments having denounced such facts to their superiors;

d) The conduct of the officials who directly or indirectly have been indicated in this report as performing, participating, instigating or covering up the acts indicated in the above points.

The Commission feels that such an investigation should be carried out so that: a) unity of viewpoint be ensured in establishing and evaluating the facts, for which purposes the persons performing this task should be able to take action throughout the territory of the country, and b) any reasonable possibility of suspicion that those responsible for the investigation do not have the essential independence and resources to properly carry out their mission be excluded a priori.

The Commission considers, finally, that this mission must ascertain the exact identification of those responsible for the acts indicated in this recommendation, for their subsequent trial by regular judicial officials of Chile in accordance with the relevant provisions of Chilean law.

2. That, in order to safeguard the rights referred to in Article XXV of the American Declaration, a rapid survey should be made of the status of all persons who are still deprived of their liberty without any charges being brought against them, in order to release all those who do not constitute a serious and certain danger for the maintenance of public peace.

3. That, in order to safeguard the rights referred to in Article XVIII of the American Declaration, and pursuant to the authority exercised by the Chilean Government Junta, precise rules should be enacted to ensure that even in “time or state of war,” when, during the state of siege, the President of the Republic, in exercise of the exceptional authority granted to him by Article 72.17 of the Constitution, orders the arrest of a person, petitions of amparo and habeas corpus on behalf of the prisoner before a civil judge, and the intervention of that judge, shall require administrative officials to bring the prisoner before the judge, to provide him with a complete copy of the decree under which the detention was ordered, to inform him exactly where the prisoner is being detained, and to inform him immediately of any subsequent transfer to another place of detention.

4. That, in order to safeguard the rights referred to in Article XXVI of the American Declaration, and pursuant to the authority exercised by the Government Junta a remedy of review should be established to make possible a full examination of all of the verdicts handed down by the Councils of War, in order to verify the regularity of the proceedings and to decide on their validity, appropriateness and, as the case may be, the possibility of reducing the penalties imposed, with particular reference to those verdicts in which by whatever route, or by resorting to whatever argument, there has been retroactive application of the “state of war” or more severe rules than those in force at the time the allegedly unlawful acts began, or penalties have been imposed only because of the idea or convictions of the accused.

5. That, in order to safeguard the rights referred to in Articles I and XXIV of the American Declaration, the means available to the office responsible for locating persons detained or whose whereabouts are unknown should be expanded by requiring all officials in charge of establishments of any kind where persons are detained to submit, within the brief period that may be set for the purpose and under the strictest responsibility a detailed list of such persons, indicating the name they claim and the name on the identification document, if the two are not the same; date of birth; complete address at their last residence or that of their family. It would also be desirable to enclose a photograph of the prisoner, in view of the fact that, as the Government stated, there are often serious difficulties in identifying persons because of the fact that there are persons who have several identification documents under different names. The Central Information Office should process all such data, in order to be able to provide reports requested from them by those who claim to be parents of persons presumed to be imprisoned, or by any lawyer so requesting. The Director of the establishment to which we have referred should be required to report by telegram, within 24 hours, on any release or new admission that occurs.

6. That, in order to safeguard the rights referred to in Article XVIII of the American Declaration, independent labor courts should be speedily reestablished and the special provisions contained in Decree-Law 32 should be eliminated.

7. That, in order to safeguard the rights referred to in Article XX of the American Declaration, steps to effect the most rapid reconstruction of the electoral register with the assistance of modern techniques should be immediately adopted so that the citizens of Chile will be able to exercise their political rights without unnecessary delay.

8. That, in order to safeguard the rights referred to in Article IV of the American Declaration, steps should be adopted to progressively restore freedom of expression of thought, both by individuals and through the mass communication media, without prejudice to holding responsible those who might abuse the exercise of that freedom, pursuant to the provisions of ordinary law on the subject.

9. That, in order to safeguard the rights referred to in Articles I, VIII, and XXV of the American Declaration, consideration should be given in the future reform of the Constitution is lessening the President's authority during a state of siege, by granting to prisoners who are not charged with a crime the right to leave the territory of the country.


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