The Government fully welcomed the decision of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to dismiss the accusation against President Sebastián Piñera and not to investigate human rights violations that occurred during the social upheast.
The Foreign Ministry issued an official statement stating that the decision “rightly rules out that there is a history of situations that may be considered crimes over which the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction.” Meanwhile, senior officials of La Moneda spoke out on the matter, such as spokesman Jaime Bellolio, who said that “with this that thesis of the radical left that meant that here there were systematic violations (of human rights)” is discarded,” and the Undersecretary of the Interior, Juan Francisco Galli, who maintained that what the ICC pointed out is that “in Chile there were no crimes, there was no State policy dedicated to committing crimes against citizens, neither by police institutions nor by the State of Chile.”
But the version emanating from the government does not conform to reality, warn the lawyers who took the complaint to The Hague. “The government cannot claim victory, on the contrary, and Sebastián Piñera should be very worried, because there are indications that both in Chile and abroad he and all those responsible can be judged,” lawyer Ricardo Ignacio Bachmann Fuentes, a doctor of law and professor at the Pablo de Olavide University of Seville, told El Mostrador. who coordinates the group of professionals.
The arguments for dismantling La Moneda’s optimism are at least three: first, because the ICC did establish that there were human rights crimes associated with the social explosion, he argues; second, because the investigation was not opened for now, and is waiting for the ad hoc processes in the Chilean justice system, such as the one carried out by the prosecutor Claudia Perivancich, to be resolved; and third, because the same group of professionals will continue to insist before the aforementioned international tribunal to rule on the merits of this issue.
“First, the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC recognizes the temporal, territorial and personal jurisdiction of the Court, in accordance with the Rome Statute. In turn, it establishes the commission of various crimes established in article 7 of the aforementioned Statute by agents of the State of Chile. Likewise, it accredits the requirements of systematicity and generalized attack against the civilian population, “says the professional at the outset.
“Both principles are difficult to prove, but (the prosecutor) acknowledges that. He expressly dismisses that they have been isolated cases, he says that there is an organized attack,” he clarifies to El Mostrador.
Regarding the principle of complementarity, Bachmann clarifies that “the prosecutor has considered – in the exercise of his discretionary powers – that it is pertinent to wait for the evolution of the actions initiated before the Chilean justice. In any case, he indicates, he will continue to receive background information on the same facts.”
Regarding the process can be resumed, the lawyer points out that “it can be inferred that it is not a final or conclusive decision, but rather it is communicated that it has been considered appropriate to wait for the progress of the actions signed before national courts”.
In relation to the steps to follow, the professional notes that together with a team of jurists of different nationalities, who make up the accusing team, “they will continue to send background information that justifies an immediate intervention by the ICC, in order to avoid impunity for the heinous crimes committed since October 18, 2019, which are the responsibility of the current government.”
Bachmann adds that they are already working on a brief to refute the prosecutor’s decision. “As an organization we will continue to fight, because we believe that the prosecutor’s decision does not make any sense, because he says that I will not open an investigation for the time being and I am available to be sent more background. Legally it does not settle anything, it is not decisive, it is not conclusive. We are going to explain to the prosecutor that justice that takes is not justice. And this matter is either resolved as the INDH said, or there will be impunity, and they cannot lend themselves to that,” he concluded.