translated from Spanish: Historical Memory Foundation rejects Army appeal for Contreras images

The Historical Memory Foundation reacted, through a statement, to the measure of the Army to appeal to justice for the ruling that requires the removal of images of the former director of the DINA, Manuel Contreras, of the Academy of War and of the Escue Green Gables Engineers.” The Historical Memory Foundation regrets that in the appeal presented by the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Ricardo Martínez, the failure of the 5th Room of the C.A. of Santiago that welcomed our appeal and that required the Army to withdraw the plates of homage to Manuel Contrer the substance of the issue is once again circumvented: to assume institutional responsibility for the institution’s very serious and systematic human rights violations during the dictatorship,” he says. According to the foundation, “continuing to defend the permanence of photographs and plates of members of the institution linked to violations of the fundamental rights of thousands of Chileans, constitutes an affront and to maintain harm to victims and their families.” We find it interesting that the Army’s appeal alludes to respecting the institution’s historical memory. And, indeed, we do not seek to eliminate any vestiges of Manuel Contreras or others responsible for dD violations. HH., pretending that never happened,” he adds. For the foundation, “Contreras is part of the history of the Army. But exhibiting it in military compounds, especially where new generations of officers are educated, means raising it to example.” We believe that the Chilean Army should include references to Manuel Contreras and others, clearly pointing out the judgments of the courts of the Republic and the crimes committed. And we even propose to the Gral. Martínez, the conduct of courses by our Foundation, referring to historical memory, where violations to DDs are addressed. Hh. in which the Chilean Army had institutional responsibility,” he says. In that vein, he proposed “to the Commander-in-Chief, the homage to members of the Chilean Army who represent an example of respect for human rights, such as conscript Michel Nash, arrested who disappeared for refusing to fire at his connationals. No military unit is named after this exemplary Chilean soldier.” We want to raise our disappointment in order that, reading the appellate text of the Castrense institution, it shows us that there is a persisting self-perception, according to which the Army owes itself, as an institution to a part of the society that has created and maintained. We believe that the notion of autonomy of FF.AA persists.”, he adds. That, proves to be a serious mistake and a harmful element that explains many situations. For the time being, from the Historical Memory Foundation, we will continue to insist that both the Army, ff.AA. and Order as a whole, are part of the Chilean state. And that in this way, they must also respect the commitments we sign by the state. In particular international human rights treaties, where guarantees of non-repetition of violations of fundamental rights are enshrined,” he concludes.

Original source in Spanish

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