Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Uruguay takes responsibility for dictatorship crimes

Uruguayan president José Mujica will lead an important public act of commemoration today in which he will take responsibility, on behalf of the state, for the human rights abuses committed during the dictatorship (1973-1985). This is following a ruling by the Interamerican Court of Human Rights (CIDH) and refers particularly to the Gelman case.

The ceremony is due to start at 4pm local time and will be broadcast on television and radio. Various important people will be there, including the president, vice-president, head of the supreme court, and the leaders of the three branches of the armed forces. I think that's a pretty significant symbolic gesture, although Uruguayan daily El Pais points out that there is still political oppostion to the move and that various ex-presidents will not be attending and that the military will still be thin on the ground.

Macarena Gelman and her grandfather Juan Gelman will be present and will also attend a prior unveiling of a commemorative plaque in honour of Macarena's mother María Claudia García Iruretagoyena de Gelman and other victims outside the military defence service building.

Uruguay was more or less pushed into this by the CIDH, but nevertheless, I'm going to class it as good news.

Caso Gelman: acto sin el apoyo político esperado por Mujica (El Pais, Uruguay)
Estado uruguayo reconoce responsabilidad por crímenes de dictadura (Prensa Latina)

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