Chile's parliament rejected Tuesday a proposal for the creation of an investigative commission that would be in charge of clarifying the international denunciations of sexual abuses committed by Chilean peacekeepers deployed in Haiti as part of the United Nations Mission for Justice Support in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
UN Peacekeeping 15-year Mission Ends With Mixed Legacy in Haiti
The proposal had been submitted by Jaime Naranjo, a lawmaker for the Socialist Party of Chile. It received 55 votes in favor, one against while 24 deputies did not vote. The proposal was then rejected because it did not obtain the necessary quorum set at 62.
“The goal [of the proposal] was to clarify these facts. No one, in particular, was being accused, on the contrary, (we were aiming) at clarifying the accusations because the international image of our country is being questioned,” Naranjo told local media.
The deputy added that he will try to get his proposal back to vote because many lawmakers were unaware of the date on which they were expected to vote.
An investigation by the academic website The Conversation revealed last month that the MINUSTAH soldiers present on the Caribbean island between 2004 and 2017 have raped and sexually abused Haitian women and girls. Chilean peacekeepers among others from Brazil, Uruguay, and other countries used their power to abuse hundreds of vulnerable women and girls who found themselves forced to exchange sex for food and/or money, when not raped.
The investigation found that 256 children were born out of these abusive relationships.
According to The Conversation report, Chilean soldiers were implicated in the third of the cases, and Cap-Haitien (northern coast of Haiti), where Chile’s troops were deployed, is home to almost nine percent of the children fathered by MINUSTAH soldiers.
In late December, the Chilean Human Rights Commission (CCHDH) and about a dozen Haitian, women’s rights and pro-immigrant organizations announced that they would seek justice for the victims of Chilean soldiers.