Tomás Hirsch: tribute to the victims of the Chilean civil-military dictatorship

12.09.2019 - Valparaíso, Chile - Tomás Hirsch

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Tomás Hirsch: tribute to the victims of the Chilean civil-military dictatorship

We transcribe here the tribute that the Humanist Deputy made from the Chamber of Deputies on September 11:

“This September 11 marks the 46th anniversary of the civil-military coup that overthrew the constitutional government of Salvador Allende. This coup gave rise to the longest and cruelest dictatorship in our national history.

On this date, many of us cannot escape the memory of and tribute to the victims of repression and their families, who to this day fight for truth and justice. Tribute to those who have been waiting for decades to know where their children, their parents, their partners are.

They are the greatest expression of the dignity of the Chilean people, of the thousands of people who do not forget, despite attempts to erase memory, to hide or suppress history through denial, silence or educational policies.

This September 11, once again thousands of people throughout the country show us that memory is persistent, that it pushes and gives strength to those who seek justice. Memory requires us to remember in order to understand what we are and to define what we want and what we can be.

Along with the bitter memory of the bombing of La Moneda, the images and voices of those who are no longer there will return to many of us. President Allende’s last speech, the cowardly attack on the house in Tomás Moro street, the persecution of the constitutionalist military in the War Academy, the tortures and murders in Villa Grimaldi or in the Simón Bolivar Barracks, the death flights in the Tobalaba airfield, or the eradication of the inhabitants in the garbage trucks in Villa San Luis de Las Condes.

But when we reconnect with that pain, we also meet with those who are still present in our memory. With those who remind us that before the coup d’état there was a Chile with a better past and who inspire us to build the future.

The calm voice of President Allende is still present in the conscience of the Chilean people. Those who are no longer here inspire new generations to create a fairer and more supportive society.

And with them, from hope and from memory, we will once again succeed in defeating the culture of fear, death and violence.

In the name of so many, in the name of humanists, and I would like to say in the name of this Chamber but that it is – although it does not appear in the chambers – empty, and so necessary is a tribute from this entire Chamber of Deputies, to those who suffered so many human rights violations, to the thousands and thousands of detainees who disappeared, exiled, tortured, to all of them on this September 11, our tribute, our memory, forever.

 

Translation Pressenza London

Categories: Human Rights, South America
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