Deputy Commander of the United Nations military force in Haiti accused of committing human rights violations under the Pinochet Regime in Chile

Press release
en fr

November 8 2005, Paris, Santiago, Chile, Port-au-Prince, Haiti: The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), its Chilean member Human Rights Defense Committee (CODEPU) with their Chilean partner, and its partner organization in Haiti, the National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH) together demand the immediate suspension of General Eduardo Aldunate from his post as Deputy Commander in the military force of the United Nations Stabilizing Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

General Aldunate belonged to the National Intelligence Agency (DINA), the political police force during Pinochet’s regime (1973-1990), responsible for 3,000 extrajudicial executions, 1,200 disappearances, and the torture of 30,000 political prisoners. General Aldunate is also suspected of having been a member of the "Mulchen Brigade", which was responsible for the illegal confinement and assassination of M. Carmelo Soria in July 1976. Mr. Carmelo Soria was a Spanish diplomat then in charge of the United Nations Economic Commission in Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) in the Santiago headquarters.

FIDH, CODEPU and RNDDH are pleased with the opening of an investigation into General Eduardo Aldunate’s past, as announced by the Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Jean-Marie Guéhenno in charge of peace keeping operations in the Organization of the United Nations (UN), and together demand that the Secretary General of the United Nations that the report of investigation be made public as soon as possible.

The suspicions directed against General Aldunate must not harm the integrity of MINUSTAH’s actions, particularly those of the Chilean battalion and the civil police officers integrated in the mission. If the allegations against General Aldunate are confirmed, then FIDH, CODEPU and RNDDH demand the dismissal of the Chilean General from his duties within the UN and the Chilean Army. The United Nations must adopt a firm position which will constitute a clear message in favor of the fight against impunity both in Chile and in Haiti.

This event unfolds at a crucial moment for Haiti: the end of the transitional government, the organization of the up-coming elections, and the reform of the judiciary. FIDH’s international investigation report, Haiti: What will follow after a missed opportunity for transition? November 8, 2005 released today, provides a progress report on the last two (2) years of the transitional government and the presence of MINUSTAH, focusing particularly on human rights issues.

For the fight against impunity, both in Haiti and Chile; FIDH, CODEPU, and RNDDH request:

- the immediate suspension of General Eduard Aldunate, Deputy Commander in the UN military force (MINUSTAH); and his immediate revocation if the allegations against him are confirmed;

- the timely publication of the United Nation’s investigation into General Aldunate’s presumed involvement in the perpetration of human rights violations in Chile;

- the opening of an investigation into General Aldunate’s alleged human rights violations, particularly his implication in the illegal confinement and assassination of M. Carmelo Soria, the Spanish diplomat in charge of the United Nations Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) in 1976; and

- the continued fight against impunity and all other human rights violations in Chile via the Chilean government’s follow-up and prosecution of those who have committed violations.

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