The Rettig Report, officially The National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation Report, is a 1991 report by a commission designated by then-President Patricio Aylwin (from the Concertación) encompassing human rights abuses resulting in death or disappearance that occurred in Chile during the years of military dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet, which began on September 11, 1973 and ended on March 11, 1990. They found that over 2,000 people had been killed for political reasons, and dozens of military personnel have been convicted of human rights abuses.
The commission included a group that had diverse affiliations. There were three commissioners who were associated with the Pinochet Government, two commissioners who were exiles under Pinochet, and its namesake, Raúl Rettig who was an ambassador under former-president Salvador Allende. The eight-member commission, including Jaime Castillo Velasco, José Luis Cea Egaña, Mónica Jiménez, Laura Novoa Vásquez, José Zalaquett Daher, Ricardo Martin Díaz, and Gonzalo Vial Correa (minister of Education 1978-79), released its report in February 1991.
Goals of the Commission
In the presidential decree in which President Patricio Aylwin created the Rettig Commission, he created a set of goals for the commission.
- Create as complete a picture as possible of the most serious human rights violations
- Gather evidence that allows there to be a creation of a list that identifies victims by name and their fate and whereabouts
- Recommend reparations for the families of victims
- Recommend legal and administrative measures to prevent violations in the future
The report determined that 2,279 persons were killed for political reasons. This figure included 957 disappeared after arrest and 164 "victims of political violence", a figure that included police officers and others killed by left-wing extremists.(p1122)
In 641 cases, the commission could not conclusively determine that the person was killed for political reasons. It found 508 cases that were beyond its mandate, and that in 449 cases, no information beyond the name of a disappeared person could be determined.(p1122)
As of May 2012, 76 agents had been condemned for violations of human rights and 67 were convicted: 36 of the Army, 27 Carabineros, 2 of the Air Force, one of the Navy and one of the PDI. Three condemned agents died and six agents got conditional sentences. 350 cases, pertaining to disappeared persons, illegal detainees and torture, remain open. There are 700 military and civilian persons involved in these cases.
Recommendations Provided by Report
The Rettig Report included recommendations to prevent future human rights violations in Chile including:
- Ratification of international human rights treaties
- Modifying Chilean national laws to match international standards of human rights law
- Assuring the independence of the judiciary
- Creating a society where the Armed Forces, police, and security forces respect human rights
- Creating a permanent office that works to protect citizens from future human rights violations
Implications of the Report
The Rettig Report's listing of a disappeared person as deceased and victim of a human rights violation created a legal determination of the victim's situation. This would allow the surviving family members with benefits including making it possible for them to resolve property and inheritance claims, apply for social security and any reparation benefits, as well as impacting the marital status of spouses.
The human rights violations have been looked at again in the Valech Report.
- Chilean Coup of 1973
- List of truth and reconciliation commissions
- Víctor Jara Stadium was a sports arena used as a detention and torture center listed on the report.
- Carlos Lorca
- Patio 29
- Villa Grimaldi Infamous torture center in Santiago.
- Colonia Dignidad is another detention and torture center listed.
- Esmeralda (BE-43) is another floating detention and torture center listed.
- Weissbrodt, David; Fraser, Paul (1992). "Report of the Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation". Human Rights Quarterly. 14 (4): 601–622. JSTOR 762329.
- Ensalaco, Mark (1994). "Truth Commissions for Chile and El Salvador: A Report and Assessment". Human Rights Quarterly. 16 (4): 656–675. JSTOR 762563.
- Report of the Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation
- Agence France Presse (6 July 2012). "Estudio revela que 76 son los agentes de la dictadura condenados por violaciones a DDHH". Chiliean newspaper La Tercera. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
- Memoriaviva (Complete list of Victims, Torture Centres and Criminals - in Spanish)
- Report of the Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation (English translation of the Rettig report, PDF file)
- Truth Commission: Chile 90, Website with English translation of the report
- Human Rights Watch Report
- Compilation of Different Truth Commissions