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Latino Daily News

Thursday August 23, 2012

UN:  Chile Continues to Face Challenges with ‘Involuntary’ Disappearances

UN:  Chile Continues to Face Challenges with ‘Involuntary’ Disappearances

Photo: Chile's Forced Disappearance

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While progress has been made investigating and prosecuting enforced disappearances in Chile, challenges remain to ensure perpetrators serve their sentences, a group of United Nations independent experts said.

“Very few of the convicted perpetrators are effectively serving a sentence, due to the low penalties imposed or other benefits granted,” said the experts of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances at the end of their mission in the South American country.

In a news release, the group of experts praised the progress made by the Chilean authorities since the country began its democratic transition in 1990, ending the dictatorship that had followed a military coup in 1973.

“Other important challenges that Chile needs to overcome are the slowness of judicial proceedings, the application of military justice to current cases of human rights violations, the absence of an autonomous crime of enforced disappearance and the lack of a national plan to search for disappeared persons,” the experts noted.

The Working Group is scheduled to present a report to the Human Rights Council in March next year based on the information they gathered during and prior to their mission.