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Control Units and Democratic Repression in Chile

In December of 1992 the Chilean government began building an "anti terrorist" prison which is part of that country's new policy in the so called "struggle against violent extremism." This new prison will have a capacity to hold more than one hundred of the so called "dangerous prisoners," who will be isolated in individual cells in which a policy of total isolation and dispersion will be applied. They will only be allowed visits from their family members in rooms separated by glass and bars. The design and construction of this modern prison has required the help of experts from Europe, especially Spain.

According to the new laws, 137 prisoners will become the first tenants of this repressive marvel as they are considered to be terrorists because they participated in armed actions after March 1, 1990, date on which the current "democratic" government took office. In addition there are another 30 prisoners who are political prisoners who participated in armed actions during the dictatorship. The latter have not been given any type of amnesty and their prison situation is the same as that of the so called terrorist prisoners, a fact which has led them to begin a hunger strike in October of 1992, along with a series of actions by friends and family members of political prisoners, such as the occupation of the Cathedral of Santiago during mass. In a recent visit to Brazil the President of Chile declared that in Chile there are no prisoners for purely political reasons, which is contradicted by the recent pardons that he himself granted to four prisoners accused of killing the police chief of Santiago during the dictatorship. He commuted their sentences from life without parole to that of exile, a practice which still continues in Chile today. Just as there is still the death penalty even though it is supposed to be applied in only extreme cases of terrorist conduct.

Also approved was a law which punishes with up to three years in prison anyone who publicly exhibits any type of propaganda of groups considered to be illegal.

-UPA, Spain

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