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  • Former Dictator Pinochet reviews troops inside the presidential palace.

    Former Dictator Pinochet reviews troops inside the presidential palace. | Photo: Reuters

Published 17 May 2019

"We value this ruling... but we consider it a duty to demand full justice, with penalties commensurate with the seriousness of these crimes," the complainants stated.

Chile's Court of Appeals Minister Mario Carroza, has charged Manuel Agustin Muñoz Gamboa with the aggravated kidnapping of two women who were detained and tortured by agents of the Intelligence Service of Carabineros (SICAR) during former dictator Agosto Pinochet's regime.

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The crime occurred in June 1974, underneath the Plaza de la Constitucion where the women, Patricia del Carmen Herrera and Ana Maria Campillo, were illegally held. It was there that Herrera and Campillo were handcuffed and blindfolded for several days and tortured, raped, and sexually abused.

Gamboa has been sentenced to five years and one day of imprisonment as the author "of the crimes of aggravated kidnapping," as well as "the kidnapping and rape of Ana Maria Campillo Bastidas and Patricia del Carmen Herrera Escobar between the months of June and July of 1974 in Santiago," the ruling stated.

Meanwhile, seven others—Francisco Segundo Illanes Miranda, Jose Luis Contreras Valenzuela, Wiston Humberto Cruces Martinez, Ernesto Arturo Lobos Galvez, Sabino Adan Roco Olguin, Alejandro Segundo Saez Mardones and Jose Hernando Alvarado Alvarado—were sentenced to 3 years and one day as accomplices. This sentence grants them the benefit of probation.

In a statement, the human rights organization, Corporacion Humanas said "this sentence represents, undoubtedly, an advance in the recognition of sexual violence committed during the dictatorship." The organization added the sentence shows "the serious damage caused by sexual violations and abuses and recognizes the need to repair the damage caused to victims by the state."

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Despite the ruling, the plaintiffs who began their legal actions almost 10 years ago in search of truth, justice and reparation, filed an appeal saying the sentence doesn't meet the severity of the crime.

"We value this ruling in what it represents as recognition of the crime committed, but we consider it a duty to demand full justice, with penalties commensurate with the seriousness of these crimes," the complainants stated.

"It is also about continuing on a path that can open spaces for other women, who also suffered torture and sexual violence under dictatorship and who have not yet taken legal action, to trust that it is possible to achieve truth and justice. That is why it is important to appeal, we seek justice not 'as much as possible,' but as truth and full justice," said the women.


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