Victims of Chile's violence honored
`Wall of names' goes on display
SANTIAGO, Chile -- (EFE) -- A group of former political prisoners unveiled
``the wall of names'' Sunday to honor those who were killed in the Villa Grimaldi
Although the monument was to have been unveiled by Housing Ministry officials,
who promoted construction of the Peace Park on the spot where the military
regime's most notorious torture and extermination camp was located, no
government representatives were invited to the ceremony.
The officials were snubbed because of the tensions between the government,
which supports Gen. Augusto Pinochet in his fight against extradition to Spain to
face charges of human rights violations, and those who suffered under his regime.
During the 1973-1990 Pinochet regime, some 3,000 people, including foreigners,
were detained, tortured and ``disappeared'' in Chile.
On Oct. 17, Pinochet was arrested in London on a warrant issued by Spanish
Judge Baltasar Garzon, who wants to try the former military president in Spain for
human rights violations.
The former Villa Grimaldi prisoners said it would be ``inappropriate''
government officials to participate in the ceremony when their president supports
The prisoners said in a communique that it would be ``inconsistent and
unacceptable'' for officials to participate in the act ``when their government
defends [Pinochet] diplomatically, politically and legally in London and Madrid.''
``They were our friends and companions, we were here with them, they died,
survived. Because of our love for them and our respect, we therefore cannot
accept it,'' the communique said.
The monument is a semi-circular wall, 15 feet high and 26 feet wide, on
written on a black background with gold letters the names of the 230 people killed
or disappeared in the extermination camp located at the foot of the Andes
Mountains in eastern Santiago.
The same words inscribed on the monument to the Disappeared at Santiago
General Cemetery -- ``In forgetting, we always remember'' -- were also inscribed
on the Villa Grimaldi wall.