Monitor: Spanish opinion in the wake of the Chilean foreign secretary's visit to Spain

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The Independent Culture
THE CHILEAN Minister's visit to Spain seems intended more for public consumption in his own country than motivated by a realistic appreciation of the situation. At this moment, the Spanish government has nothing to decide. But it can barely conceal how pleased it would be to free itself of the obligation to celebrate in Spain the trial of the senator accused of genocide, torture and disappearances.

El Pais

WE HAVE pushed our Chilean brethren to the brink of the abyss, in which can be glimpsed civil confrontation. Spain cannot carry out the role of international justice. No country can bear that burden. The feeble thesis that we must pursue crimes of genocide and state terrorism anywhere in the world does not bear close scrutiny. It is worrying to think about how this fragile doctrine could apply to our own history.


REPRESENTATIVES OF Spanish institutions listened with great courtesy to the Foreign Minister's arguments that General Pinochet should be tried in his own country, and not extradited to Spain. Behind the smooth forms, the Minister came up against the unanimous desire of all Spanish powers to keep the Pinochet affair within strictly juridical channels. The government cannot and does not want to cross the constitution and the law of criminal proceedings, which oblige state powers to maintain "an absolute respect for judicial decisions".

La Vanguardia

JOSE MIGUEL Insulza, Chilean foreign minister, is a socialist who was forced into 14 years of exile while Pinochet crushed human rights in Chile. It is a paradox that the socialists, so persecuted by the dictatorship, have to defend Pinochet and procure his return home. The anxious words of the Chilean minister, when he insists that his priority is to maintain peace in Chile, shows how unstable is that democracy. Unfortunately we cannot take seriously the idea that Pinochet may one day really be tried in his country. The visit achieved only the assurance that Spain would accept any British decision.

El Mundo