Monday, October 30, 2006

Good New?!

First bit of positive news posted on this blog in quite a while. Charges have officially been brought against the ex-leader of Chile, Augusto Pinochet. He's been put under house arrest for one homicide, 35 kidnappings and 24 cases of torture. It's a start, considering the dictator has been avoiding most charges, claiming his poor health as an excuse to not be brought to justice.

2 comments:

jamie s said...

I probably made my point in class about the "too little too late" aspect of the Pinochet house arrest, so here is another case of a recent South American human rights abuser sentencing.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/6048144.stm

The leader of the terrorist group Sendero Luminoso, along with many of its upper level members, has been recently sentenced. Abimael Guzman, the group’s head, who is about 70, has received a sentence of life in prison.
This example, along with the sentencing of Pinochet, make me think about some of the things we talked about with Diana Dicklitch- the nature of national vs. international trials. Chile and Peru both handled major trials involving individuals responsible for death of thousands without the involvement of the global community. Is it simply the scale of the abuses that necessitate intervention?

Elle said...

The talk we had in class about this case was extremely interesting. Although I realize that Pinochet committed gross atrocities, I agree with Alex K that this is good news. Although house arrest in a mansion may seem like an easy sentance, I think that the mere fact that something was done is extremely important. It sets a precedent for other similiar cases and also shows that human rights abuses can and will be prosecuted. The importance here is that someone was prosecuted and sentenced. Just think of the Milosevic trial. He died before he could be sentenced, and thus was never punnished in the eyes of the international community. Although this punnishment may be small, we should not forget how important it is.