University of Minnesota

Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Chile, Inter-Am. C.H.R., OEA/Ser.L/V/II.66, Doc. 17 (1985).






1. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has always assigned great importance to the work of institutions for the promotion and defense of human rights in Latin American countries. [1] Accordingly, it has been a consistent policy of the Commission to encourage the establishment of these institutions and stimulate their efforts since it considers that they can provide valuable service in the task of protecting and promoting the exercise of human rights in the hemisphere.

2. With respect to Chile, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in its 1983-84 Annual Report, expressed its concern about the situation of human rights organizations in the following terms:

A matter of serious concern to the IACHR is the range of actions and attitudes of high government officials concerning human rights organizations. The situation described throughout this report has predictably affected the work of these institutions. It is therefore necessary, in the judgment of the Commission that they be given greater cooperation by the Government to carry out their delicate task. The Commission thus requests that the Government of Chile exercises a maximum of prudence and judgment in its relation with Chilean human rights organizations and with institutions whose activities have a humanitarian purpose. [2]

3. In Chile, the work of defending the essential rights of individuals has, to a large extent, been possible because of the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church, which has taken the necessary measures for ensuring that this work can be carried on within its own structure.

4. The first institution of this type that arose in Chile immediately following the military coup was the Comité de Cooperación para La Paz. By order No. 158-73 of the Archbishop dated October 9, 1973, Raul Silva Henriquez, the Cardinal Archbishop of Santiago, established a special committee to assist persons in need, with a view to “helping Chileans, who, as a result of recent political events, are in dire economic or personal straits”. It was also stated that this committee “would endeavor to give legal, economic, technical and spiritual aid”. In addition, the above-mentioned order stipulated that the Committee was to establish relations with the institutions of other religious denominations with a view to jointly carrying out an ecumenical effort on behalf of the persecuted and the victims of recent events.

5. This was the origin of the Comité de Cooperación para la Paz (also known as Comité Pro Paz), an ecumenical agency comprising the following churches: Roman Catholic, Evangelical, Lutheran, Methodist Evangelical, Orthodox, Pentecostal, and the Jewish Community of Chile. Its first co-presidents were Fernando Aristia Ruiz, the Auxiliary Roman Catholic Bishop of Santiago, and Helmut Frenz T., the Lutheran Bishop. Fernando Salas, a Jesuit priest, was appointed Executive Secretary.

6. Subsequently, when the Comité de Cooperación para La Paz in Chile was dissolved at the demand of the Government, the Cardinal Archbishop of Santiago established the Vicaría de la Solidaridad in January 1976. This agency is under the authority of the Archdiocese of Santiago and, so far, has been undertaking work of outstanding importance in the defense of human rights. [3]

7. On December 10, 1978, the Chilean Human Rights Commission was established. To avoid duplication of effort, the Commission began by using documentation and reports from the Vicaría de la Solidaridad, while at the same time establishing its own files and beginning to publish its monthly reports. In a short time the Chilean Commission achieved its own identity and distinguished itself by the scope and the varied nature of its membership. The Government has systematically denied this institution legal recognition and in 1981 took steps to expel the jurist Jaime Castillo, its president and founder, from the country.

8. Together with the important work being carried out today in Chile in defense of human rights by the Vicaría de Solidaridad and the Chilean Human Rights Commission, many other institutions have come into being and have purposes connected with the defense of human rights. [4]

9. In these 12 years the organizations for the defense of human rights have faced serious obstacles and difficulties in carrying out their important work. To the demand by the Government in 1975 that the Comité Pro Paz be dissolved, must be added the constant harassment to which the principal officials of those institutions have been subject, as well as various acts of intimidation directed at those institutions by the State authorities. This has meant that the work of these institutions has had to be carried on in a climate of insecurity that has made it difficult and even risky.


10. The fundamental task of the Comité de Cooperación para La Paz in its two years of operation was the legal defense of persons subject to judicial proceedings, in particular war-time proceedings, as well as of all those who were detained for political reasons, without having been tried. Furthermore, the Comité Pro Paz played an important part in the legal defense of persons who had lost their employment for political reasons. This institution also created a free medical care service.

11. Between October 1973 and December 1975 the Comité Pro Paz gave legal advisory services to a total of 6,994 cases of political persecution in Santiago; 1908 cases of political persecution in the provinces; 6,411 cases of dismissal from employment for political reasons; and a total of 16,922 persons benefited from the assistance they received from the medical program. [5]

12. In November 1975, the Government, in addition to ordering the arrest of Mr. José Zalaquett, the Head of the Legal Department of the Comité Pro Paz, and of Mr. Marcos Duffau, one of its lawyers, demanded the dissolution of the Committee itself. In a letter dated November 11, 1975, General Augusto Pinochet wrote to Cardinal Raul Silva Henriquez requesting the dissolution in the following terms:

To His Eminence Cardinal

Raul Silva Henriquez

Archbishop of Santiago


Your Eminence:

I have wished to inform your Eminence of the deep concern caused me by a campaign that has reached levels that cannot be ignored, and whose evident purpose is to produce the erroneous impression that there are differences between the Roman Apostolic Catholic Church and the Government of Chile.

These activities, carried out by the most various means, have been instigated by third parties and it would be a serious mistake for the harmony that should exist between the Roman Catholic Church and the Government, of which I am the President, to allow these sectors, in conjunction with declared enemies of the homeland, to persist in their nefarious purpose. Should these activities, many of them contrived, come to fruition, they would produce a distressing effect and the loser would be Chile.

From the foregoing and after a calm analysis of the public events and their repercussions, both within the country and abroad, we are led to seek the roots of some of these events and we find them in the Comité Pro Paz. Consequently we have considered that the above-mentioned institution is a means that is made use of by Marxist-Leninists to create problems that disturb the peace of the public and the necessary calm, the maintenance of which is my principal duty as President.

Therefore a positive step for preventing further harm will be the dissolution of the above-mentioned Committee.

In view of this situation, your Eminence, and invoking your kind understanding. I believe it is fully advisable for pertinent measures to be adopted for the termination of this institution.

I salute you with the affection of your always, constant friend who appreciates and honors you.


General of the Army

President of the Republic

13. The above-mentioned letter was answered by Cardinal Raul Silva Henriquez in the following terms:


I have received and carefully considered your communication of November 11 concerning the activities of the Comité Pro Paz, which indicates the advisability of terminating its activities for the benefit of the peace and quiet of the public.

First I must express to you, in all frankness, my opinion that the Comité Pro Paz has been providing, in very difficult circumstances, assistance of a clearly evangelical nature that is consistent with the legislation in force. The fact that the purity of the service rendered has occasionally been clouded by the interposition of elements alien to its original intent, is a risk inherent in all good works from which no institution can infallibly be rid. The information available to me supports, in my case, a global judgment about the action of the Committee that is very different from that which is reflected by the words of your Excellency, according to which the above-mentioned organization is simply a means used by Marxist-Leninists to disturb the peace of society. It is true--as I said publicly when celebrating its second anniversary (30.10.75) --that, in it, as in all human works, there are limitations and insufficiencies; but there are also, and predominantly, noble and sincere efforts crowned by a fertility that only God knows, although we have been able to appreciate its gleams. Hence I am unable to share the judgment of your Excellency.

With the same frankness I must now express my conviction that the measure advocated by your Excellency, that we take steps to dissolve the Committee, will in all probability --within and especially outside Chile-- cause appreciably greater damage than that which it is intended to prevent. I would honestly hope that in this matter I am mistaken, but the tendencies and experiences so far available point inequivocably in that direction. If this should occur, the responsibility will not be ours.

The churches that came together to form the Committee have, however, analyzed the suggestion of your Excellency with all the respect and depth that the high office of the writer and the seriousness of the case require. Bearing in mind that the best intentions sometimes clash with insuperable images or prejudices and that the effectiveness of a work of charity is resented when it generates, without seeking to do so, animadversions disproportionate to the good it intends, we have decided to accept this requirement of the Supreme Government--with the express reservation that the charitable and religious work so far undertaken by the Committee on behalf of those who suffer various forms of poverty, will continue to be performed within our own respective ecclesiastical organizations, and always within the framework of fraternal ecumenical collaboration.

These churches thus intend to contribute, with no little sacrifice, to the strengthening of a positive relationship of reciprocal comprehension between the Government and the various religious denominations, which relationship they believe to be of maximum importance for the tasks of development and peace our nation urgently faces.

The steps for the dissolution of the Committee and the fulfillment of the obligations resulting there from will require a reasonable time for their execution. In due course your Excellency will be informed of those steps. For our part, we trust that the society and the government that represents it will be able to accept impartially and gratefully those who selflessly endeavored to serve, in the Committee, the high interests of charity.

Finally I wish to inform your Excellency that the plurality of churches, which make up the Committee, and of institutions that collaborate in maintaining it, requires us to inform all of them of the contents of the letters in which this decision has been embodied, so that their contents cannot be kept private.

The sacrifice this decision entails, enables us to hope that shortly the civil courts will be given back their full jurisdiction in matters that have so far been the subject matter of the Committee’s activities, with the consequent creation of an atmosphere of social peace in the country and of an extraordinarily positive image abroad.

Your most affectionate servant salutes your Excellency with the expression of especial esteem,


Archbishop of Santiago

14. The Comité Pro Paz ceased its activities on December 31, 1975.


15. The Government and the police and security services have not again adopted direct measures against organizations for the defense of human rights as such, after the dissolution of the Comité Pro Paz; they have done so, however, against their officials, who have frequently been expelled from the country and prohibited from entering it, have been arrested without charges and have been sent into forced relocations ordered administratively against them. In the opinion of the Commission, these measures constitute, in practice, an illegitimate impediment to the activities of such organizations and help to create a state of defenselessness in the persons concerned.

a. Expulsions from the country and prohibitions from re-entering it

16. In October 1974, the Ministry of the Interior prohibited the entry into the country of Helmut Frenz, the Lutheran Evangelical Bishop, who at that time was serving as co-president of the Comité de Cooperación para la Paz en Chile, and revoked his permanent residence permit.

17. As mentioned in the chapter on the right to residence and movement, the lawyer Jose Zalaquett Daher, Head of the Legal Department of the Comité de Cooperación para La Paz en Chile, was expelled from the country on 12 April 1976. Since then his entry into Chile has been indefinitely prohibited. This measure was adopted after he had been in prison for three months in the Tres Alamos Camp.

18. As also stated on the chapter on the right to residence and movement, on August 6, 1976, the Government of Chile expelled the lawyers Jaime Castillo and Eugenio Velasco from the country. They had been prominent in the defense of human rights and, on the occasion of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States held in Santiago, had submitted to the OAS important information on the state of human rights in Chile. These two professionals were also collaborating with the Vicaría de Solidaridad of the Archdiocese of Santiago. The Government of Chile accused Messrs Castillo and Velasco of being a danger to the security of the State without specifying the facts supporting that judgment. [6]

19. Mr. Jaime Castillo, who was authorized to return to Chile in 1978 and was subsequently appointed President of the Chilean Human Rights Commission, was again expelled from the country on August 11, 1981, but subsequently authorized to return. [7]

20. On October 1984, the measure of prohibition of entry into the country was again adopted against a leading representative of the human rights organizations, when Monsignor Ignacio Gutierrez, the Vicario de la Solidaridad of the Archdioceses of Santiago, was prevented from returning to Chile. [8]

21. On December 27, 1984, Denis O’Mara, a priest and leader of the Sebastian Acevedo Movement against Torture, was expelled on the grounds that he had distributed Christmas cards bearing a caption against torture to persons leaving a mass. [9]

b. Detentions and Arrests without due process

22. During the period covered by this report many persons directly connected with the defense of human rights have been arrested by order of the Government.

23. In November 1975 the Government arrested two lawyers of the Comité Para La Paz en Chile and confined them in the Tres Alamos Detention Camp. They were Jose Zalaquett, mentioned earlier, and Marcos Duffau, who was responsible for the defense of persons detained by the Government pursuant to the state of siege. No judicial charges were laid against these persons, who for three months were confined as prisoners of the Government. As already stated, José Zalaquett was expelled from the country and has so far been prevented from returning. Marcos Duffau was set free. The detention of these two prominent lawyers of the above-mentioned organization took place a few days before General Pinochet requested Carlos Silva Henriquez to dissolve the Comité de Cooperación para La Paz en Chile.

24. On May 12, 1976, Mr. Hernán Montealegre, the lawyer of the Vicaría de la Solidaridad, was arrested in his home and taken to the Cuatro Alamos Camp, where he was kept strictly incommunicado for 17 days. Through a declaration of the Director of Information Media, the Government of Chile accused Mr. Montealegre of belonging to the Communist Party, of having been arrested in a “drop” used by that party, of possessing documents attacking the Government, and of being in touch with the intelligence services of Cuba. The Archdiocese of Santiago stated on July 15, 1976 that:

Mr. Hernán Montealegre is a distinguished jurist who was requested by the Roman Catholic Church to cooperate in providing legal assistance to persons most in need of it. He has fulfilled this task in an outstanding way, always in accordance with the rules of the Church, and the legal system in force. The Church is unaware of any reason for questioning his Christian authenticity and only has words of gratitude for his professional and human endeavors.

25. The declaration of the Archdiocese stated, when later referring to the charges made by the Government:

Foremost among the allegations for justifying his arrest and indictment is a “report” of the Vicaría de la Solidaridad to the Supreme Court, which--according to the official statement--constitutes an attack against the Government of Chile, based on inventions and suppositions. Mr. Montealegre is accused of having this report in his home and of having headed a group of lawyers that prepared it. The document concerned was submitted to the President of the Supreme Court on February 28 of the present year, under the signature and the responsibility of Monsignor Enrique Alvear Urrutia, the Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago, who at that time was replacing the Vicario de la Solidaridad. It is an exercise of the right of petition embodied in the Constitution whereby a series of juridical anomalies, documented in great detail, is being submitted to the Supreme Court to request that it take steps to correct them. This is a public document and any person may request it from the Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court of Justice.

26. After six months’ imprisonment in the Tres Alamos Camp and without any charge being made that justified it, Hernán Montealegre was released by the Government in November 1976, together with the other occupants of that camp, on the occasion of a mass release.

27. On December 10, 1981, agents of the security policy of the Government of Chile arrested German Molina Valdivieso and Pablo Fuenzalida Zegers, officials of the Chilean Human Rights Commission. The arrests took place as they were leaving the headquarters of that institution in Santiago, after attending a meeting celebrating the 33rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the third anniversary of the founding of the Chilean Human Rights Commission.

28. The two officials were confined in secret jails of the National Intelligence Agency, where they remained until December 14, 1981; in that place, Pablo Fuenzalida reported that he had been tortured, which led to the filing of a complaint with the military courts against the CNI agents. On December 14, 1981, they were brought before the military courts, accused of having committed offenses against the Weapons Control Law. On December 19, the Office of the Second Military Prosecutor of Santiago ordered the release of the prisoners since there was no evidence against them. In view of this, the Government immediately accused those officials in the Santiago Appeals Court, of committing offenses against the security of the State and of violating the rules prohibiting any political activity. They were detained for 116 days and were convicted of violating the political recess.

c. Forced relocations

29. In December 1984, the Government of Chile arrested Mr. Juan Restelli, the President of the Chilean Human Rights Commission in Arica; Mr. Hector Merida, Head of Communications of that institution; and Mr. Raul Iturriaga, Head of the Legal Department. They were all subsequently sent into forced relocations by order of the Government. These arrests took place on December 23 and the three persons spent Christmas Night on the way to the forced relocation. On the same date, the Government arrested the lawyer German Valenzuela, the President of Chilean Human Rights Commission, the lawyer Ernesto Montoya, the Executive Secretary, and Samuel Rivas, a lawyer of the same organization. They were also sent into forced relocation in distant places.

30. In August 1985, Dr. Pedro Castillo, President of the Chilean Commission against Torture, was sent into enforced residence in the scantily populated island of Melinka, in the Los Chonos archipelago, in the south of Chile.


31. On several occasions, officials of the Government of Chile have severely criticized the work being done by human rights organizations and have attributed political intentions to them and even complicity in terrorist activities.

32. Thus, for example, General of the Army Fernando Paredes Pizarro, Director General of the Plain Clothes Police, in a lecture on terrorism delivered on August 24, 1982 in the Andrés Bello Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Chile, referred to human rights and to the institutions for the defense of those rights, and on that occasion included notions like those transcribed below:

The Declaration of Human Rights is openly used to protect extremists and subversive agents and, in turn, to denigrate statement and such respectable institutions as the Judiciary. In this maneuver of using juridical principles that are characteristic of the West and the democratic world, the Communists have been unexpectedly and effectively assisted by persons who (to be kind) are, perhaps, well intentioned but incredibly naive, as occurs with some high dignitaries of respectable institutions and even by leaders of some of the principal countries of the Western World. [10]

The struggle against terrorism presents the Plain Clothes Police and the CNI with innumerable and serious difficulties that stem primarily from the fact that the terrorists have been well trained in counter intelligence ... In addition, as the facts have shown, if they get into difficulties, they can count on the protection of all those who profess Marxist ideology and, furthermore, receive efficient cooperation and assistance from some members of respectable religious institutions through certain so-called Vicaría de Solidaridad, which have Marxist lawyers to give prompt and free legal assistance to persons who are tried as terrorists or accessories. [11]

33. On August 17, 1984, General Pinochet, after stating that the wave of violence occurring in Santiago and other places in the country was due to the Communist Party, stated:

However, it is difficult to apply legal sanctions. Whenever a terrorist is arrested, the lawyers of the Vicaría de la Solidaridad appear with the pertinent remedies of amparo. Some of these lawyers are avowedly communists. [12]

34. As a result of the above-mentioned declarations, the lawyers of the Legal Department of the Vicaría de la Solidaridad submitted a petition of protection to the Bar Association in August 1984, stating that:

The above-mentioned assertions, within the context in which they were made, signify a rejection and condemnation by the person who at present exercises the Executive Power of the professional activity of those of us who serve as lawyers of the Vicaría de la Solidaridad of the Archdiocese of Santiago ... The wide dissemination both in the country and abroad of the judgments being commented on may convince anyone who reads them of their truthfulness and induce any convinced person to the extreme position of performing an act that could affect our physical or psychological integrity. We wish to inform the Honorable Board of Directors that on earlier occasions some of us have been the victims of threats, attempts, and other acts undoubtedly due to our status as counsel for the defense of human rights.

35. The Bar Association, in a decision adopted on August 27, 1984, expressed its support for the lawyers of the Vicaría de la Solidaridad in the following terms:

In view of the accusations frequently leveled at lawyers who undertake the defense of persons accused of any kind of crime, it is the duty of the Bar Association to remind the public of the principles that inspire the legal and moral order in this matter.

1. The 1980 Political Constitution expressly sets forth, among the essential guarantees of any person, his right to legal defense and states that no authority or individual may restrict or disturb the proper intervention of a lawyer if it has been requested (Article 19 (3) (2)).

2. The Code of Professional Ethics states that the essence of the professional duty of a lawyer is to defend, with strict adherence to legal and moral rules, the rights of his client (Article 1), and to assist his client effectively and zealously in asserting his rights (Article 25).

3. The Organic Code of the Courts also states that lawyers are persons vested by the competent authorities with the faculty of defending the rights of litigants before the courts of justice.

4. The constitutional, ethical and legal principles mentioned are a faithful reflection of a fundamental right of any human being in modern states, which is the right to counsel and advice by a lawyer when he is accused--with or without cause--of the commission of any crime. A lawyer is the person responsible for asserting before the court the facts, which, in accordance with the law, favor his client, whether circumstances freeing him of liability, extenuating circumstances, or circumstances of another nature. It is the courts that must eventually decide on the basis of the evidence produced by the investigation and the proceeding.

5. We are certain that no citizen of the country would agree to be deprived of legal assistance if the circumstances of fate confront him with a penal action against him; likewise, it is necessary to understand that the lawyers who undertake the defense of persons charged with crimes, are fulfilling a professional duty, which permits the accused to exercise his right of legal defense and that the lawyer does not support or make common cause with the crime.

6. Of course the foregoing legal principles and considerations cover situations that give rise to proceedings with political connotations. In that connection we conclude that it is unacceptable to identify the professional work of defense counsels with adherence to the thinking or conduct of their clients.

36. The declarations of the highest Chilean authorities against organizations for the defense of human rights, in addition to representing a serious obstacle to the meritorious work they perform, have created a hostile attitude in certain sectors to such organizations. In practice, this has meant that their leaders and officials have to conduct their activities under difficult conditions and sometimes at a risk to their own safety. Many of those persons have been the subject of serious personal threats, [13] others, especially priests and laymen who cooperate with the Church in works connected with the defense of human rights have been kidnapped and attacked, [14] some have suffered bomb attacks [15], and have even been murdered, as happened to Mr. Jose Manuel Parada Maluenda, an official of the Vicaría de la Solidaridad.


37. It follows from what is stated in this chapter that, throughout the whole process that began on September 1973, the Chilean authorities have followed a sustained pattern of behavior aimed at hampering and even impeding the work of the institutions that have undertaken the defense of human rights because they consider it to be politically motivated. The perception of that work by the highest authorities led them to dissolve the first organization established in Chile for the protection of human rights. Subsequently, the entire range of means at the disposal of the Government has been used against leaders of those organizations: expulsions from the country, detentions without trial and administrative banning. The atmosphere of hostility generated by the Government has facilitated intimidating actions and even terrorist actions by unidentified groups that share the fundamental perception of the Government of the work of those institutions; none of those actions have as yet been investigated by the Government. All this creates a situation that warrants an emphatic condemnation by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.


[1] See IACHR Annual Report, 1980-1981, p. 125; Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Argentina, pp. 258-259; Report on the Situation of Human Rights in the Republic of Nicaragua, pp. 140-150; and Report of the Situation of Human Rights in Bolivia, pp. 107-114.

[2] IACHR Annual Report, 1983-1984, p. 96.

[3] Its first Vicar was the priest Christian Precht; subsequently Fathers Juan de Castro, Ignacio Gutiérrez S.J. and Santiago Tapia have been Vicars.

[4] Among those institutions and agencies mention may be made of the following: Servicio Paz y Justicia (SERPA); Agrupación de Familiares de Presos Políticos; Comité Pro Retorno de Exiliados; Agrupación de Familiares de los Desaparecidos; Agrupación de Familiares de Relegados; Comisión Chilena contra la Tortura; Movimiento contra la Tortura “Santiago Acevedo”; Comando de Defensa de los Derechos Sindicales; Comisión de Derechos del Pueblo (CODEPU); Comisión Nacional Pro Derechos Juveniles (CODEJU); Fundación de Protección a la Infancia Dañada por los Estados y Emergencia (PIDEE); and Asociación de Abogados por la Defensa y Respeto de los Derechos de las Personas.

[5] Comité de Cooperación para La Paz. Report on Two Years of Work. Santiago, 1976.

[6] The case of the expulsion of Messrs. Castillo y Velasco (Registered under No. 4288) was the subject of special concern to the IACHR, which approached various Chilean authorities to have them authorize their return to the country. On October 16, 1981 the Commission adopted resolution No. 55/81 relating to Mr. Velasco. See IACHR Annual Report, 1981-1982, p. 57.

[7] The second expulsion of Mr. Castillo is registered under No. 7878 and his case was included in resolution 24/82 of March 8, 1972. See IACHR Annual Report 1981/1982, p. 62.

[8] In connection with the prohibition of entry into the country of the Vicario de la Solidaridad, the statement of the Ministry of the Interior was as follows: “The recent declarations and acts of that priest in Rome are only a further episode in a long and repeated series of acts characterized by an unacceptable interference in the day-to-day political life of the country”. For his part, the Arbishop of Santiago on November 7, 1984 stated that “he has pointed out the seriousness of this measure, which he cannot accept, especially since it involves an episcopal vicar to whom he has delegated extremely difficult functions.” He added that he had requested the Government to rescind the measure, which, however, has not occurred.

[9] Las Ultimas Noticias, December 28, 1984.

[10] Investigaciones de Chile, Revista Institutional. January 1985, Second Edition No. 49, pp. 123 and 124.

[11] Ibid, p. 132.

[12] La Tercera de la Hora of Santiago, August 17, 1984.

[13] Among many examples mention may be made of a letter sent by an organization which called itself “Comunidad Catacumba (Catacomb Community)” to several officials of the Vicaria de la Solidaridad, including Enrique Palet, the Executive Secretary; Alejandro Gonzalez, Head of the Legal Department; and the lawyers Roberto Garreton, Jaime Hales, Ignacio Walker, Pedro Barria and Jorge Sellan. It contained serious threats. That led to the presentation on June 7, 1982 of a complaint to the Appeal Court by the Vicario de la Solidaridad of the Archdioceses of Santiago, Monsignor Juan de Castro. Also, during the course of 1983 and 1984 several officials of the Vicaria de la Solidaridad and leaders of the Chilean Commission on Human Rights received letters containing threats, signed by the group called Acción Chilena Anticomunista (ACHR).

[14] In a petition to the Supreme Court, in August 1985, Father Cristian Precht Bañados, Vicar General for the Pastoral Congregation of the Archdiocese of Santiago, requested the appointment of a special investigating judge to investigate the repeated threats, kidnappings and attacks which priests and laymen connected with the Pastoral Juvenil of the Roman Catholic Church in Santiago had been the subject of during the months of June, July and August, 1985. The cases cited in that petition include the kidnapping of Eladio Antonio Cespedes Vergara; the kidnapping of Marcela del Carmen Pradenas Tono; threats against Father Patricio Rojas and the nuns Bernarda Clara Sisti and Dolores Fionarranzo Frigo; the kidnapping of Cristian Alfonso Quiñones Armijo; threats against Father Ghislain Peeters; the kidnapping of Lufti Atala Bulto Quiroz; threats against Juan Manuel Muñoz Gatica and Francisco Ramirez Milano, the owner and head of the printing shop in which a large part of the publications of the Archdioceses of Santiago are printed; threats against Patricio Ivan Gonzalez Aravena; the frustrated kidnapping and the injuries to Soledad Gladys Ramirez Santibañez and threats to her husband Fernando Arenas Nuñez; the kidnapping of Carlos Alfonso González Vera; the kidnapping of Rodolfo Quintanilla Sanchez; the kidnapping of Maria Margarita Vilicio Wallberg; threats against Giancarlo Lando Osorio; threats against Luisa Victoria Baeza Fernandez; attack on Virginia Barrios Cabezas', threats against Elena Godoy Concha; the kidnapping of Maria Francisca Iribarren Arrieta and threats against her mother, Maria Eugenia Arrieta.

[15] In December 1983, a bomb exploded in the home of Dr. Mario Insunza, the physician of the Vicaria de la Solidaridad; a bomb with similar characteristics exploded in January 1984 in the home of Dr. Juan Restell, the President of the Chilean Commission on Human Rights; on October 6, 1984 a high powered bomb destroyed the parish church of Nuestra Señora de Fatima in Punta Arenas. Among the debris the lifeless body of a person was found with an identity card showing him to be an officer of the Chilean Army assigned to the CNI of Punta Arenas.


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