And in Chile, today is the launch of a new art exposition entitled "2054," which reveals testimonies of survivors of torture under the Pinochet dictatorship that the government had sought to keep secret for decades. The stories were collected as part of a commission launched in 2003 to document torture under the dictatorship of U.S.-backed General Augusto Pinochet. In 2004, the Chilean government passed a law ordering the testimonies remain secret for 50 years, until 2054. But a project launched by Chilean artist Francisco Papas Fritas and torture survivors has now succeeded in declassifying these testimonies. This is torture survivor Scarlett Mathieu Loguercio.
Scarlett Mathieu Loguercio: "On London Street, I was held approximately 10 days. While I was there, I suffered all kind of tortures, specifically sexual political violence, psychological torture threatening me with the detention of my children, and psychological torture forcing me to listen to how they tortured other people, which is something very difficult to endure. Psychologically, you are left traumatized, because when they torture you, in some way, you are all the time resisting. But when you listen to how they torture other people—and I have talked about this with several people—it is one of the most difficult things to endure."
On Thursday, Democracy Now! spoke with artist Francisco Papas Fritas about the importance of declassifying these testimonies.
Francisco Papas Fritas: "This is important for Chile, because it opens up the real chance for Chile to take control and to demand truth about what happened under the dictatorship. This is something that neither the executive branch nor the legislature, nor even the judiciary, which has had its hands tied, have been able to do. This is what the families are asking for: justice and the reconstruction of memory—above all, memory."