The Minister of Women has repeatedly been called to rule on cases of sexual violence that have occurred in the context of arrests by State Agents. This time he did so through a public statement declaring that «President Sebastián Piñera has reiterated, first, the Government’s deep commitment to human rights and then that any complaint must be investigated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office and resolved by the Justice.»
In the first instance Isabel Plá said that she had not received any such complaints. While the INDH has filed 18 complaints for sexual violence. In the face of this, AML’s women’s lawyers, rejected the minister’s tenure in office for her sayings.
«According to the latest figures of this entity, there are currently 18 claims for sexual violence of both men and women. Still, this Saturday, after almost a week of silence, the Minister of Women, Isabel Plá reappears only to indicate that no allegations of sexual violence have arrived in her ministry; without referring to the cases of the two women already identified by justice and counted within the death toll of this State of Emergency,» the lawyers said.
In the meantime, the minister stressed that the main task of her ministry «will always be to safeguard the rights of women, to ensure their access to justice when they are violated; and maintain zero tolerance for any kind of violence.» Adding that the INDH is doing an important job and that sexual violence concerns are being investigated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
With regard to the questioned role of the Ministry of Women in recent days, she stated that she had been working permanently with the Ministry of Justice and the Under-Secretary for Human Rights to verify that the protocols of the Law Enforcement were complied with, they have also reiterated to the authorities of the National Women’s Service in all regions that if they are aware of any facts they report them to the relevant institutions.
For the lawyers «the Minister really seems to live in a bubble. He does not know of any allegations or complaints of sexual political violence other wisely, but they will knock on the door to his Ministry. We consider that the Ministry’s mission is not only to sponsor causes, but also to place emphasis on the end of violence against women. It cannot be that their only role is to ensure that detainees are separated from detainees.»
Finally since AML Women’s Defense call on the minister to follow her advice and not let it pass, to «do not let the state violence against women go unpunished, and we deeply regret that this very cosmetic modification of Sebastian’s cabinet Piñera has left unaltered a Ministry that has transited between complicit silence and re-victimizing words.»
The minister for her part expressed her available to assist with the requirements of the observer agencies that arrived in Chile.