Independent Catholic News logo Welcome Visitor
Sunday, October 23, 2016
Protests planned when Chilean 'torture ship' visits UK
Comment Email Print
¬†Relatives of a priest who was tortured and killed on a Chilean navy training ship in 1973, plan to protest when it pays a courtesy visit to Dartmouth and London next month. The sailing vessel was used as a prison ship during the notorious Pinochet regime. A number of studies and reports to the National Truth and Reconcilatyion Commission have confirmed this - but the Chilean Navy has never admitted its horrific past. Patricia and Fred Bennetts, who are members of the Catholic Institute for International Relations, are the sister and brother-in-law of Fr Michael Woodward, an Anglo-Chilean priest who was tortured and murdered on the Esmeralda. Many others met a similar fate. The Bennetts are calling for the Chilean Navy to acknowledge what happened and apologise to the victims and their families. This year marks the 30th anniversary of General Augusto Pinochet's coup in Chile. Former Chilean political prisoner GermŠn F Westphal, writes: 'Thirty years ago, after the bloody coup of 1973, the Chilean Navy made a special contribution to the new military junta led by General Augusto Pinochet. They used the Esmeralda as a prison and torture chamber. 'Several testimonies and witness accounts have reported that at least 110 political prisoners were interrogated aboard the ship for more than two weeks without charges or trial. Reports to the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission have shown that 40 women were tortured, raped and psychologically abused. 'One Chilean lawyer held on board witnessed how the military officials stripped and savagely beat the prisoners and shot them with high-pressure jets of water that produced 'an unbearable pain in the head, ears, eyes and lungs'. One of those tortured on board La Esmeralda, was an Anglo-Chilean priest named Michael Woodward, died as a result. His body was thrown into an unmarked mass grave. 'The Esmeralda is a symbol of some of the most heinous crimes ever committed in Latin America.' Source: CIIR
Share:  Bookmark and Share
Tags: None

Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: