Human Rights Archive of Chile
Documentary heritage submitted by Chile and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2003.
The aim of the HUMAN RIGHTS ARCHIVE OF CHILE is to ensure that the historical memory of human rights violations and the defence of human rights, which is documented in various archives of national institutions, do not continue to deteriorate.
The archive seeks to safeguard this memory in order for it to be recognized and valued, because it captures a specific historical moment of actions of solidarity with and defence of persecuted and arrested persons during the military dictatorship that governed Chile from 1973 until 1989.
The archives of non-governmental institutions that today constitute the Archive originated as a form of preserving information and supporting the search for those disappeared during the military regime.
This Archive converts into an interior dialogue of a society that still has to overcome the legacy of human rights violations of the recent past.
All of the documents presented here are unique and authentic, reflecting the work of several institutions in the defence of human rights in Chile during the military regime. All archives originated from systematic recollection and classification of information that aimed at saving human lives, finding disappeared persons and denouncing the serious neglects of human rights in Chile.
In this new millennium, a time has come for Latin America to recover its memory. There is conviction that after so many authoritarian and totalitarian governments, the most important thing for the collective future is to respect fundamental human rights. Conserving the archives is necessary in order to set forth a public debate in these societies to enable them to question the presence or absence of the memory of human rights violations.
The future cannot be built on oblivion, on concealing what has happened. This idea applies to individuals, societies and humanity. To understand the raison d’être of democracy and respect for human rights, it is necessary to know and remember how the dictatorships functioned. Countries will be able to choose a future free of terror and the mistakes of the past, only by knowing and reflecting on their past.