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Abstract: Most studies of truth commissions assert their positive role in improving human rights. A
firstwave of researchmade these claims based on qualitative analysis of a single truth commission
or a small number of cases. Thirty years of experience with truth commissions and
dozens of examples allow cross-national statistical studies to assess these findings. Two
recent studies undertake that project. Their findings, which are summarized in this article,
challenge the prevailing view that truth commissions foster human rights, showing
instead that commissions, when used alone, tend to have a negative impact on human
rights. Truth commissions have a positive impact, however, when used in combination
with trials and amnesties. This article extends the question of whether truth commissions
improve human rights to how, when and why they succeed or fail in doing so. It presents a
‘justice balance’ explanation, whereby commissions, incapable of promoting stability and
accountability on their own, contribute to human rights improvements when they complement
and enhance amnesties and prosecutions. The article draws on experiences in
Brazil, Chile, Nepal, South Korea and South Africa to illustrate the central argument.
Abstract: The data in this report is derived from country submissions when possible,
and estimates when necessary. Estimates are extrapolated from each country’s
identified procurement, highest modern personnel totals, and strategic doctrine.
Except where noted, the military small arms and light weapons data
presented here is not official, comprehensive, or conclusive; it is for general
evaluation and comparison only. The complete methodology used here is described
in Chapter 2 of the Small Arms Survey 2006.
Small arms are state-owned handguns, submachine guns, rifles, shotguns,
and light and medium machine guns. Firearms are civilian-owned handguns,
submachine guns, rifles, and shotguns. Long at the forefront of international small arms issues, public debate and
activism in South America have largely focused on matters surrounding civilian
firearms, estimated here to total between 21.7 and 26.8 million. The reasons
for this civilian preoccupation are principally linked to chronic gun violence.
South America has 14 per cent of the global population, and roughly 3.5 to 4 per
cent of the world’s civilian firearms, but it suffers from roughly 40 per cent of
all homicides committed with firearms.
Military small arms are rarely part of public debate, largely because of a
strong culture of national security secrecy in South America. But military
small arms policy has attracted much closer scrutiny in recent years, especially
as military small arms and light weapons are diverted to criminals and
guerrillas, fuelling insurgencies and civil violence. This report focuses primarily
on issues surrounding surplus military small arms and light weapons in
the region. Law enforcement and civilian firearms inventories and issues are
recognized here as well, to ensure a balanced overall perspective.
The region’s military establishments do not have a strong record of identifying
or eliminating their surplus small arms, light weapons, or ammunition.
South America holds some of the world’s largest military small arms and
light weapons surpluses. Military inventories are not exceptionally large in
absolute terms, but they are a major element in global surplus problems. Among
the 12 independent countries of South America, there are an estimated 3.6
million military small arms as of 2007, 1.5 per cent of the global total. Of these,
approximately 1.3 million, more than one-third, are surplus.
Abstract: The purpose of the present report is to analyze the intelligence
agencies’ role in Pakistan’s political life through a better understanding
of the agencies’ objectives and mechanisms. Because Pakistan’s
civilian governments have been victims of the agencies’ manipulation in
the past, the new and very fragile government cannot ignore the decisive
role of the intelligence agencies in Pakistani politics if it wants to counter
the direct and more subtle manifestations of military control. The domestic
political role of intelligence agencies is always a combination of three
elements: militarization, comprehensive political surveillance, and state
terror. The intensity and relative importance of each component varies
over time and according to the specific situations in each country, but all
three are always present. Terror as it applies to individuals or groups can
be carried out by proxies and is intermittent, but it remains an essential
element of the system. An intelligence agency’s reputation for ruthlessness
is often as important as its actual efficiency.
Abstract: Chile once boasted a long history of stable democratic rule until socialist policies and economic chaos emerged in the 1970s, setting the stage for the coup d’état by General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte. Chile’s deeply rooted democratic culture survived sixteen years under Pinochet, however, and the people united under the common goal of returning Chile to civilian control. Claudio Orrego, mayor of Peñalolén in Santiago province and The Chicago Council’s 2009 Gus Hart Fellow, shared his vision of democracy in one of Latin America’s most stable and prosperous nations. He discussed government transparency, the role of information technology, and economic development through public-private partnerships.
Abstract: Although all countries, in theory report their authorized transfers - and
such information may even be available in certain public databases - the
task of providing an overview of SALW transfers, their parts and
munitions, is an arduous one. Nonetheless, despite the difficulties, we
have some extremely positive initiatives on a global scale, such as for
example, the Small Arms Survey, recognized as an important source of
information, especially on SALW production and transfers, as well as the
Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT) which has a
database containing transfer records going back to 1962.Despite these
important initiatives, themselves when researchers, activists and policy
makers try to understand a regional market, such as Latin America and
the Caribbean, they encounter a dearth of information. With the intent of addressing this shortcoming, En La Mira has, since 2007, dedicated an
issue to transfers of SALWs, parts and ammunition in this region. Further, according to statistics from the United Nations Commodity Trade
Statistics Database (UN-Comtrade or Comtrade), USD 6.7 billion were
exported between 2004 and 2006, while USD 6.5 billion were imported.
Despite the fact that Latin America and the Caribbean represent 6% and
3%, respectively, of total transfers worldwide during this period, 42% of
firearms related homicide is committed in the region. This discrepancy
between the international transfer volume share and the levels of armsrelated
violence in Latin America and the Caribbean calls attention to
itself, above all because of the tragic and startling number of homicides.
Obviously, far from wishing to increase arms transfers in order to be more
in sync with homicide rates, we decided, a year ago, to study this issue
and periodically monitor its development based on our interest in
understanding the primary legal entry and exit routes of firearms and
ammunition. The result is a report - based on customs information as
stated by Latin American and Caribbean countries and their respective
partners - whose objective is to describe the movement of the SALW
imports and exports, as well as ammunition and parts, during the present
decade. Based on this data, we answer the following questions: who
exported and who imported? From whom? What? And when?
It is worth restating that the intent of this report is not to explain the
cause of arms imports and exports by Latin American countries. Beyond
merely providing information, we do indeed wish to awaken, by means of
the information presented here, the curiosity of other researches, activists
and government staff members such that they may continue to perform research in their countries regarding the transparency of this information,
on who is using the transferred SALW, and how.
The data used for this report came from the NISAT database, which
contains more than 800,000 entries for SALW transfers worldwide since
1962. The NISAT database gets its information from different sources,
COMTRADE among them. In this study we decided to restrict ourselves
to data from this latter source because, in theory, all countries report
transfers to the UN. This data is declared in accordance with the
Harmonized System (SH) merchandise classification system. The HS has
existed since 1988and, in 2007, was revised for the fourth time; previous
revisions were in 1992, 1996 and in 2002. Regarding the period analyzed,
we are looking at data up until 2006, since at the time the study closed
this was the most recent year available on NISAT.
Abstract: Récemment, le CRDI a examiné pourquoi et comment il avait travaillé, au cours des trois dernières décennies, dans des pays en transition — transition de la dictature à la démocratie, d'une économie planifiée à l’économie de marché, de la guerre à la paix. L’objectif du CRDI était de mieux comprendre comment il recueille et diffuse l’information destinée à éclairer l’élaboration de la programmation et les prises de décisions. Comment le Centre avait-il été informé de l’imminence d’une transition? Comment s’était-il renseigné sur la situation ? Comment était-il intervenu?
Des études de cas ont été préparées sur l’Algérie, la Birmanie, le Cambodge, le Kenya, l’Afrique du Sud, les pays du cône Sud, le Vietnam et la Cisjordanie et Gaza. Ces huit études de cas et le texte d’introduction qui les accompagne montrent que le CRDI est depuis longtemps capable de travailler dans les situations à haut risque que l’on retrouve avant les transitions et dans la phase initiale de celles-ci. Il en ressort également qu’il a joué un rôle distinct dans l’aide à la recherche et à la conception de politiques axées sur le développement et qu’il a su habituellement adapter sa programmation à des contextes mouvants.
Abstract: Récemment, le CRDI a examiné pourquoi et comment il avait travaillé, au cours des trois dernières décennies, dans des pays en transition — transition de la dictature à la démocratie, d'une économie planifiée à l’économie de marché, de la guerre à la paix. L’objectif du CRDI était de mieux comprendre comment il recueille et diffuse l’information destinée à éclairer l’élaboration de la programmation et les prises de décisions. Comment le Centre avait-il été informé de l’imminence d’une transition? Comment s’était-il renseigné sur la situation ? Comment était-il intervenu? Des études de cas ont été préparées sur l’Algérie, la Birmanie, le Cambodge, le Kenya, l’Afrique du Sud, les pays du cône Sud, le Vietnam et la Cisjordanie et Gaza. Ces huit études de cas et le texte d’introduction qui les accompagne montrent que le CRDI est depuis longtemps capable de travailler dans les situations à haut risque que l’on retrouve avant les transitions et dans la phase initiale de celles-ci. Il en ressort également qu’il a joué un rôle distinct dans l’aide à la recherche et à la conception de politiques axées sur le développement et qu’il a su habituellement adapter sa programmation à des contextes mouvants.
Abstract: This document aims to give an account of the presence and absence of policies on reparation, truth and justice in Spain from a comparative perspective. First of all, the main rules on material reparation that have been approved in Spain since Franco's death will be introduced. This will be followed by a comparison of the transitional measures of justice adopted in Spain, Chile and Argentina. The intention is to examine how different countries have responded to the similar challenges that emerge in the inevitably awkward and uncertain process of transition to democracy.
Abstract: Chile once harbored Nazi fugitives and has a history of racial discrimination, but its predominantly mixed-race population makes it an unexpected home for a neo-Nazi movement. Reporter Lygia Navarro examines why some brown-skinned, working class kids have bought into Hitler's ideology.
Abstract: General Manuel Contreras, one of the members of the Pinochet military junta which overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvadore Allende on 11 September 1973, was appointed, in 1974, as chief of the Army's Intelligence Service, DINA, set up by the junta on 15 June 1974 with the assignment to crush any opposition.
He held this post up until 1998, a period during which the greatest number of crimes were committed under the military dictatorship of Pinochet. As head of DINA, Contreras was in charge of the detention centres , and directed the break up and suppression of left wing groups by the use of torture, abductions and summary executions.
Abstract: As Chile prepared to bury General Augusto Pinochet, the National Security Archive today posted a selection of declassified U.S. documents that illuminate the former dictator's record of repression. The documents include CIA records on Pinochet's role in the Washington D.C. car bombing that killed former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier and his American colleague Ronni Moffitt, Defense Intelligence Agency biographic reports on Pinochet, and transcripts of meetings in which Secretary of State Henry Kissinger resisted bringing pressure on the Chilean military for its human rights atrocities.
Abstract: In 1989, Augusto Pinochet said: "I'll go to heaven. Where would I have gone, do you think? To hell? No, don't worry, I'll go to heaven" (BBC). Likely to agree are those Chileans who view Pinochet, head of the military junta that led Chile in the 1970s and 1980s, as a national hero and the economic savior of their country. But the ranks of those who disagreexe2x80x94both in Chile and abroadxe2x80x94loom large. News of his death on Sunday, International Human Rights Day, was met with jubilance (Times of London) by thousands of his opponents, who took to the streets of Santiago. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced that Pinochet will not receive a state funeral. Over the last ten years of his life, Pinochet teetered on the verge of prosecution for crimes against humanity and fraud, but ill health repeatedly kept him from standing trial. Amnesty International offers this timeline of the complicated criminal proceedings against Pinochet.
Abstract: Chile is a multiparty democracy with a constitution that provides for a strong executive, a bicameral legislature, and a separate judiciary. The Constitution written under the former military government retains certain institutional limits on popular rule. Some amendments to remove these limits were under review by the Congress at year's end. In January 2000, voters elected Ricardo Lagos of the Socialist Party as president in a free and fair runoff election. The judiciary is independent.
The armed forces are constitutionally subordinate to the President through an appointed civilian Minister of Defense but enjoy a large degree of legal autonomy. The President must have the concurrence of the National Security Council, which consists of military and civilian officials, to remove service chiefs. The Carabineros (the uniformed national police) and the civilian Investigations Police are under the operational control of the Ministry of Interior and were responsible for law enforcement and maintenance of order. A National Intelligence Agency was formed, also under the Ministry of the Interior, to coordinate intelligence-gathering and analysis functions. Civilian authorities maintained effective control of the security forces. Some members of security forces committed human rights abuses.
Abstract: This report assesses the availability of legal remedies for addressing corrupt practices in the natural resource industries. Legal Remedies for the Resource Curse is a digest of practical experience in using law to combat corruption across jurisdictions.
When resource extraction companies can obtain oil, diamonds, gold, coltan, timber, and other natural resources through covert contacts with unaccountable government officials, the losers are the people in the communities where the wealth originates. The power of corrupt governments frequently derives from monopoly access to natural wealth, bolstered by foreign government and industry allies. Local populations suffer the effects of the "resource curse," including the destruction of their immediate environment and the social and economic devastation that follows: arbitrary eviction and dispossession, unlawful arrest or harassment, and neglect of health care, housing, and education.
This report reviews some of the main legal instruments used to date to combat natural resource corruptionxe2x80x94as well as new, untested legal remedies that appear promising. Focusing on resource spoliation in Africa, it provides case studies to demonstrate what has and has not worked. The report treats the "home countries" of resource extraction companies separately from the "host countries" where they operate. It looks at both criminal and civil means of redress. Although corruption in transnational resource extraction is generally subject to inadequate legal safeguards, the report identifies opportunities for civil society action.
Abstract: Violence is a particularly relevant subject for analysing factors
affecting people's security. In order to work properly, every social
system requires the production of reciprocal certainties, securities,
acknowledgements and expectations that are met to a reasonable
degree. The lack of these certainties threatens social stability and
people's psychological well-being.
Social change creates new factors of insecurity or diminishes the
importance of old ones. Transition from a rural society to an urban
one, and from an economy with high levels of intervention by the
state to a free market one, are two examples of changes that modify
areas of certainty, causing some to disappear while creating new ones.
At the same time, these social changes cause existing security
mechanisms to be modified; in other words, they modify policies and
measures aimed at dealing with factors that cause insecurity.
This paper evaluates the changes experienced since 1930 as a result
of a perception of insecurity based on crime and political violence
in Chile. It refers, therefore, to expressions of interpersonal and inter-
Abstract: By the end of the 1960s, the polarization of Chilean politics had overwhelmed the traditional civility of Chile's vaunted democratic institutions. The centrist agreements of the past, which had enabled presidents to navigate a difficult course of compromise and conciliation, became more difficult to attain. The American Central Intelligence Agency had influenced elections in Chile dating back to 1958, but in 1970 the socialist candidate, a physician named Salvador Allende, was elected president. In a reflection of Chile's increased ideological polarization, Allende was elected president with 36.2 percent of the vote in 1970. Unable or unwilling to form coalitions, the left, center, and right had all nominated their own candidates in the mistaken hope of obtaining a majority.
Abstract: On February 25, Riggs Bank agreed to pay $9 million into a fund for victims of Augusto Pinochet to settle a case over the bank's role in hiding the former Chilean dictator's ill-gotten gains. This latest development in the decades-long fight to hold Pinochet accountable for his crimes stands in stark contrast to the twisted human rights rhetoric--and record--of the U.S. government.
Abstract: Trauma and Transitional Justice in Divided Societies, written by the Institute's Judy Barsalou, reports on the recent Institute conference that explored, from different disciplinary perspectives, how divided societies emerging from violent conflict have sought justice and reconciliation through various transitional justice mechanisms and what impact these mechanisms have had on trauma and reconciliation.
Abstract: Generally, truth commissions are bodies established to research and report on human rights abuses over a certain period of time in a particular country or in relation to a particular conflict. Truth commissions allow victims, their relatives and perpetrators to give evidence of human rights abuses, providing an official forum for their accounts. In most instances, truth commissions are also required by their mandate to provide r#ecommendations on steps to prevent a recurrence of such abuses.