Chile declares day to honor victims of dictatorship

SANTIAGO- Chilean President Michelle Bachelet on Friday 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 referring to the nearly 3,000 people who were murdered, or kidnapped and likely killed for political reasons during Pinochet's 1973-1990 rule.

Chile declares day to honor victims of dictatorship
"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 honor, 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.
Two years ago, Bachelet, whose single term ends March 11, also established the National Day of the Disappeared, which is commemorated on August 30.

Saturday, October 31st 2009

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