doc. 21 corr.1
25 October 1974
Original: Spanish


Findings of “on the spot” Observations in
the Republic of Chile
July 22 – August 2, 1974






A.          Freedom of Association and the Right of Assembly

The Right to Work


          1.          Freedom of assembly has virtually disappeared.


          No meeting is permitted for any purpose, if authorization has not previously been requested or if the police have not been informed. Only family meetings or meetings that might be of interest to the Government are permitted. It need not be said that no type of meeting that is political or related to activities more or less tied in with politics in the broad sense is tolerated.


          2.          Regarding freedom of association, it should be recognized that, while some political parties have definitively been banned, all the other political parties and agencies, groups, factions or movements are temporarily prohibited from carrying out any activity (Decree-Laws 77 and 78).


          Labor unions, on which the Constitution has expressly conferred the status of legal entities (Art. 10, Nº 14), have been deprived of that status. (See for example Decree-Law 12 of September 17, 1973). Union activity has moreover been considerably affected by the reforms introduced into labor legislation and in labor courts, which place the fate of workers virtually in the hands of their employers, who, in turn, even if they should wish it, cannot resist governmental coercion.


          3.          The Commission received many statements to the effect that the mere allegation of sympathy for sectors with Marxist or Christian Democrat leanings is enough to cause the dismissal of workers and blacklisting which denies them any possibility to work.


E.          Attacks on Private Property


          4.          In some cases, detained persons who were questioned by the Commission and others who gathered around to make complaints, denounced the fact that, during raids and searches or in making arrests, those who took part in such activities destroyed furniture and possessions, or made off with them. This has happened particularly in homes of modest resources.


          This has aggravated the harm and suffering undergone by prisoners' families, who at a time when they were deprived of their main source of income—the wages earned by the head of the family—reportedly lost part of their meager belongings.

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