Pinochet torturers sentenced in Chile


This Spanish language 15 December 2016 video is about a commemoration in Chile of the kidnapping, disappearance, torture and murder of five months pregnant Reinalda del Carmen Pereira Plaza by the secret police of dictator Pinochet.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Ex-cops jailed for ‘disappearance

CHILE: A judge sentenced 35 former agents of General Augusto Pinochet’s secret police on Wednesday for the 1976 kidnapping and torture of a pregnant Communist Party member who was never seen again.

Judge Miguel Vazquez sentenced Pedro Espinoza, Juan Hernan Morales and Ricardo Victor Lawrence to 10 years in prison. The 32 others received seven-year jail terms for their part in the crime or four years as accessories.

Five-month-pregnant medical technician Reinalda Pereira, who aided dissidents resisting the dictatorship, was kidnapped on December 15 1976.

See also here.

Photo of Reinalda del Carmen Pereira Plaza

This photo commemorates Reinalda del Carmen Pereira Plaza.

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New Pacific marine parks


This video says about itself:

9 October 2017

Two countries have made a big new splash in ocean conservation. Niue, a tiny island in the South Pacific, has committed to protecting 49,000 square miles of ocean, including one of the world’s best habitats for reef sharks. Additionally, Chile will create two new reserves totaling 240,000 square miles. Both countries will restrict fishing in the new marine protected areas. All three reserves were scientifically supported by National Geographic Society’s Pristine Seas program.

Women’s rights victory in Chile


This video says about itself:

Chile court lifts total ban on abortion

22 August 2017

After years of debate, Chile’s Constitutional Court has approved a law to legalise abortion in some circumstances.

The development is seen as a major victory for women’s rights groups and President Michelle Bachelet, a former director of UN Women.

Al Jazeera’s Lucia Newman reports from Santiago.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Chile: Court upholds women’s right to a safe abortion

Wednesday 23rd August 2017

Judges finally overturn Pinochet dictatorship’s assault on the right to choose

CHILE’S Constitutional Tribunal has partially reinstated women’s right to a safe and legal abortion after the US-backed Pinochet military dictatorship removed it 28 years ago.

Parliamentarians approved a Bill earlier this month allowing a termination when the mother’s life is in danger, the foetus is unviable or the pregnancy is the result of rape.

Despite the majority vote in Congress and widespread public support for the Bill, right-wing MPs filed two requests for review before the tribunal, claiming the law would violate the constitutional guarantee of “protection of the unborn.”

Judges voted six to four on Monday to dismiss both requests and uphold the constitutionality of the new law, handing victory to President Michelle Bachelet, whose government championed the Bill.

“What has prevailed is tolerance and that every woman may make decisions based on her values, religion, principles or real options.

“Today I am proud to say we have fulfilled a fundamental commitment of our government to the women in our country.

“It has been a long battle, fought with the weapons of democracy and dialogue, overcoming barriers and prejudice that prevented hundreds of women in the past from alleviating their suffering.”

Abortion was allowed in some circumstances under Chile’s 1931 health code and hospitals interpreted the maternal harm provision liberally under President Salvador Allende’s Popular Unity government to offer virtual termination on demand, but this was outlawed in 1989 under the Washington-installed dictatorship.

The dictatorship, backed by the Catholic Church, argued that abortion was no longer necessary because of advances in modern medicine.

Legislators have introduced over a dozen bills to partly legalise abortion since 1991, but all have been shelved or rejected.

Until now, Chile was one of four countries in the Americas that banned abortion under all circumstances.

This video. om how the situation was until this recent decision, says about itself:

Chile: where all abortion is illegal

14 August 2015

Special report from Chile on the young girls who are forced to go through with pregnancies even if it’s the result of incest or rape, or to buy illegal abortion pills on the black market. Guillermo Galdos reports from Chile – which has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world.

Chilean Pinochet secret policemen convicted for murders


This 2012 Chilean music video is a song about the Pinochet dictatorship murderer Major Alvaro Corbalan Castilla, now convicted.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Chile: 33 Pinochet agents jailed for communist deaths

Friday 24th March 2017

CHILE’S Supreme Court jailed 33 intelligence agents of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship on Wednesday for the 1987 murder of five communist resistance fighters.

In the longest sentences handed down in a human rights case, former National Information Centre chief General Hugo Salas Wenzel and Major Alvaro Corbalan Castilla both received 15 years.

They were already serving time for other crimes.

Another 21 were sentenced to 10 years and the rest to a minimum of five years.

The five victims were members of the Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front, the military wing of the Communist Party.

They were abducted in revenge for the Front’s kidnapping of an army officer in 1987 and thrown into the sea from a helicopter.

The families of Julian Pena Maltes, Alejandro Pinochet Arenas, Manuel Sepulveda Sanchez, Gonzalo Fuenzalida Navarrete and Julio Munoz Otarola will also receive compensation equivalent to £460,000.

Chilean mural art history


This video says about itself:

18 March 2017

The Chilean murals of the Brigada Ramona Parra remind us of lessons past and of those who stood up to imperialism and demanded a better life for the Chilean people.

Wildfires kill Chilean wildlife


This video from Chile says about itself:

3 February 2017

Amidst the forest fires emergency and the usage of SuperTanker and Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft to fight against the phenomenon, the Chilean game company Glacial Games demonstrated “SuperTanker The Game”, a new smartphone game that features foreign aircraft and politicians. The game, which can be downloaded for free on IOS and Android smartphones, allows its players to fly planes, dodge obstacles and put out the flames that consume the forests.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and former President Sebastian Pinera, but also Russian President Vladimir Putin are the game’s characters the players can pick to pilot the planes with. By tapping on only two buttons, the players can collect the water and release it over the burning trees.

The profits from playing this game will go the victims of the wildfires in Chile. There are plans to add more foreign politicians’ characters to the game.

You can download the game for Android phones here.

This 2015 video is called Chile’s beautiful scenery and wildlife.

From BirdLife:

‘Worst ever’ forest fires ravage Chile’s wildlife

By Irene Lorenzo, 3 Feb 2017

As strong winds continue to fuel the forest fires that are battering central and southern Chile, wild animals are fleeing the forests towards inhabited areas in search of food and shelter. CODEFF (BirdLife in Chile) has mobilized volunteers to help them.

A series of wildfires with multiple focal points have been affecting the central and southern regions of Chile since mid-January, stoked by high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds. The extension of these fires has been described by the media as the worst forest fire in Chile’s history, affecting seven of the country’s 15 regions.

The fires have already had a terrible human cost; thousands of people have had to abandon their homes for their safety, and over 1,500 houses have been completely destroyed. Eleven people have been confirmed dead, many of them firefighters. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of both local emergency services and international aid from countries such as the United States, Mexico and Peru, the country’s people are getting the help they need.

But humans aren’t the only species affected by the wildfires. Those that live in safe areas have reported that wild animals have started fleeing into towns, leaving their habitats to look for food and shelter. Wildlife rehabilitation centres across the country are treating all manner of animals affected by the fires: various species of snakes, birds and even larger felines such as the colocolo Leopardus colocolo and the cougar Puma concolor.

The regions of central Chile are very rich in biodiversity and host a variety of endemic species such as the Chilean mouse opossum Thylamys elegans and the Kodkod Leopardus guigna. It’s difficult to estimate the real damage these fires are causing in these forests but we do know that over 511 thousand hectares have already been burned as of 31 January. Of these, more than 50% is land used for forestry, around 20% are prairies and bushes, another 20% are native forest and the rest is agricultural land.

From the beginning, CODEFF has been contributing to the tracking, rescue, care and recovery of wildlife affected by the fires. They are working with teams of veterinarians and have trained over 100 volunteers to offer help in the most affected areas.

CODEFF is running a campaign to collect medicines and medical supplies for the treatment of burned animals. Safety equipment is also welcome, as it is used for volunteers – this includes helmets, filter masks, leather gloves and safety shoes.

They are also coordinating with various government agencies and other NGOs to go to the most remote areas in search of injured animals.

One of the main concerns at the moment is that some of the areas affected by the wildfires have been assessed as being Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) by BirdLife International. The damage needs to be assessed and sadly CODEFF can only monitor the situation for now. Analyses are being carried out through remote sensing and once they have more information, they will deploy new teams to help the affected wildlife.

If you wish to help CODEFF’s work, an account has been made available to collect funds to cover the expenses of this emergency. Please contact finanza@codeff.cl for details.

If you live in Chile and own medical supplies and safety equipment you could donate, please get in touch with Mauricio.valiente@codeff.cl.

This 26 January 2017 video is about the wildfires in Chile.

Wildfires are major polluters. Their plumes are three times as dense with aerosol-forming fine particles as previously believed. For the first time, researchers have flown an orchestra of modern instruments through brutishly turbulent wildfire plumes to measure their emissions in real time. They have also exposed other never before measured toxins: here.

Researchers studying centuries-old trees in South America have found a tight correlation between wildfires and a warm weather fluctuation that has become more frequent in recent decades — and will continue to be more frequent as the climate warms: here.