Chilean Bishops issue report on missing persons
Two Chilean bishops presented a report on Saturday dealing with the fate of individuals who disappeared after their arrest during the rule of General Augusto Pinochet.
Bishop Camilo Vial, secretary of the Chilean Episcopal Conference, handed over to President Ricardo Lagos 38 reports written by the Church, addressing the possible fate of arrested persons who disappeared following the military coup d'etat of 11 September 1973.
The data was compiled from information given in confidence to priests and bishops under total discretion. Bishop Vial is optimistic that what has come to light will expedite the discovery of the remains of some of the missing.
After presenting the documentation, the secretary of the Chilean Episcopate encouraged family members of the missing to trust in Chilean justice and said that "national reconciliation will be achieved with truth, justice, forgiveness, and reparation."
The search for the bodies was part of the agreement reached at the Table of Dialogue on Human Rights established in August 1998 at the initiative of President Eduardo Frei's government, which for the first time brought together military men and lawyers to discuss human rights. Members of the victim's families, however, refused to participate.