Casanova on Spain vs. Chile

March 5, 2011

Pînochet and his generals in 1973. Photo Chas Gerretsen, Nederlands Fotomuseum

ChristieBooks has just posted an English translation of Julián Casanova’s op-ed in El País from last month, comparing Chile to Spain:

Pinochet learned a lot from Franco. … The legacy of the crimes of the two dictatorships was tackled very differently in the two countries. In Spain, in the wake of the Amnesty Law passed on 15 October 1977, the state undertook not to initiate any judicial investigation in the future or to apportion blame with regard to “crimes committed by public officials against the exercise of the rights of the person”. … In Chile, though, and even though its democracy, watched over and constrained by the still living dictator, there was no derogation from the amnesty that the military had awarded themselves in the 1978 Law and the first democratic president, Patricio Aylwin, decided to establish a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Aylwin reasoned that there could be no national reconciliation unless the disappeared and the victims of the armed forces were first unearthed and then acknowledged.

More here.