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August 2011

Juan Guzmán is an arbitrator and criminal defense lawyer in Santiago, Chile. He has been a leader of the campaign to replace the current Pinochet-era constitution with a new, more democratic charter, and is currently writing a book about the subject with a group of constitutional law scholars. He has taught human rights law in Chile and at universities around the world and will lecture at Haverford College and the University of Pennsylvania in 2012. Guzmán has received many awards and honors, including, most recently, an hornorary doctorate from Haverford.

Trials are pending for the members of Pinochet's security forces indicted for the kidnapping and murder of Cecilia Castro.

For an update in English on the current status of other cases involving human rights crimes under the regime of General Augusto Pinochet, click here:

Torture: On August 18, 2011, the Valech Commission delivered a second report to the president of Chile, detailing its continuing investigation of torture under the rule of Augusto Pinochet.

9,800 cases were confirmed in this report. Earlier reports had confirmed 28,000 cases.

This means that a total of 37,800 people were tortured by Augusto Pinochet's security forces.

Update on the current Student Movement in Chile: Patricio Lanfranco reports that Chile is convulsed by massive student demonstrations. Students have been striking for more than two months over environmental, educational and constitutional issues, among others. Polls show 80% of the population supports their demands. A national strike was called for August 24 and 25, challenging the political elite, which the students claim is incapapble of providing a fully democratic new constitution. As a result of this movement so far, two ministers have lost their jobs and another is under "constitutional indictment" for repressing demonstrators.


APRIL, 2010

West Wind Productions asked Dr. Cath Collins to comment on the recent election of Chilean President Sebastian Piñera and its possible effect on the fate of judicial prosecutions for past human rights violations. Collins edits a monthly bulletin on human rights trial developments in Chile and the region and is director of the Human Rights Observatory of the School of Political Science at the University of Diego Portales in Santiago.

Read Dr. Collins' comments.


Judge Victor Montiglio, who replaced Judge Guzmán in the Court of Appeals when he retired, ordered the arrest and indictment of more than 120 former intelligence agents from the Pinochet dictatorship under charges of crimes against humanity in cases including Cecilia Castro’s.

The killers of Manuel Donoso have been tried, convicted and are in prison.