Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chilean Naval Tallship Esmeralda is coming to Victoria

The 1973 coup in Chile is an important one in the world for everyone to remember.   It is the only case I know of where a long term democracy was overthrown in a military coup.   Before 1973 Chile really had no history of dictatorship - 1924 to 1932 was close but there were still elections.

The Chileans have this stain on their nation and a military that still will not accept that what they did was illegal.  

The Esmeralda was used as one of the primary locations of political detention and torture in Chile from 1973 to 1980.   To this day the military of Chile has done nothing to acknowledge that the deaths, tortures and rapes that occurred on the ship from 1973 to 1980 were illegal at the time and remain illegal to this day.

To this day, the military of Chile uses the threat of another coup to ensure that the government of Chile does nothing to hold the murders, torturers and rapists to account for their actions.    The military has never acknowledged that the 1973 coup destroyed one of the most open and long term democracies in the world.

There is a campaign to have the ship not come to Victoria from August 1st to 5th.

I may do something public, but I am not sure what.  

I am trying to imagine what it must be like to be a sailor on this ship knowing that your bunk was used as a prison and likely had numerous women raped in it?  I assume that the military continues to tell the new recruits that coup was necessary to stop the communists.   I assume they tell them that the torture, rape and murders were needed to ensure there was no communist take over.  I assume they never tell the recruits that they should be ashamed to be serving in the only military that ever overthrew a long term democracy.

I my dream world, Canada would confiscate the ship and sink it to become a memorial to the horrors committed on the ship.
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