Human Rights NATIONAL

Punta Peuco inmates send letter to Bolsonaro “We want to die in freedom”

SANTIAGO – Prisoners of the notorious Punta Peuco prison have sent a letter to Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro. In the letter, they complain about their treatment in the high security prison and ask for attention to their case. All inmates in Punta Peuco are convicted for human rights violations during the military dictatorship.

Punta Peuco prison was built after the military dictatorship to separate human rights violators from other convicted criminals. The prison has often made headlines because the treatment of prisoners in the facility is privileged, as the facility is built in Tiltil, a military community, where inmates can use sports facilities, computers and televisions.

Among the prisoners held in the facility is Miguel Krassnoff, who saw 20 years in prison added to his current 700-year sentence yesterday, for the killing of 53 Communist Party members.

In the past, politicians and human rights groups have tried to get the prison closed, because of the inmates´ situation in comparison to the rest of the prison complexes in the country. But being able to play tennis every day while being locked up, is still considered inhuman and cruel, according to the current prisoners.

Protests against liberation of Pinochet’s criminals

“We want to die in freedom”

The inmates in the Punta Peuco prison have sent a letter to the recently elected Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who is an acknowledged admirer of the Pinochet dictatorship. According to La Tercera, the prisoners tell the president-elect about how his “comrades in arms suffer from inhuman and degrading cruel treatment, while they want to be treated with justice, in a humanitarian way, and who want to die in freedom, surrounded by the love of their families and friends.”

The letter continues with complaints about the trials the convicted human rights violators have had in Chile. “200 former military men have been deprived of their liberty and are being held in different prisons of our country, and over 1,500 trials have been launched against us. It is more than 45 years that the military government handed over the command of the nation to a new democratically elected leader.”

The letter concludes with a call to Bolsonaro, asking him to meet with relatives of the imprisoned human rights violators. Amongst the inmates who signed the letter is Eduardo Iturriaga Neumann, a former director of Pinochet’s secret police, who carried the nickname “La Discothèque” — because he masked his sexual abuse of blindfolded prisoners with loud music.

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