Sunday, 19 September 2021
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    'No a la impunidad 2 / No to Impunity 2', by Arpilleristas de Lo Hermida, Santiago de Chile. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
    'No a la impunidad 2 / No to Impunity 2', by Arpilleristas de Lo Hermida, Santiago de Chile. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


    Title of Textile:No a la impunidad 2 / No to Impunity 2
    Maker: Maria Madariaga, Arpilleristas de Lo Hermida, Santiago de Chile
    Country of Origin: Chile
    Year Produced: 2011
    Size (cm): 60cm x 70cm
    Materials: Scraps of material hand sewn onto burlap
    Type of Textile: Arpillera

    This arpillera dates from the latter years of the Pinochet regime in Chile. It is a classical arpillera, framed by the sun and mountains. It was made for export to highlight the reality worldwide of the struggle that saw women in public protests chanting "we want democracy" and demanding "Truth, Justice and Reconciliation."

    For these women, already very engaged with the struggle for democracy, saying ”No to impunity” was a core element of this struggle. In their opinion, law 2191, known as the Amnesty law (Amnesty to the perpetrators), written in 1977 by the then minister of Justice, Mónica Madariaga, was a retrograde step.

    This law, written five years after the start of the military coup that took power from the democratically elected President, Salvador Allende, was enacted in 1978 in order to avoid legal action in all cases of human rights violation from 1973-1978.

    In 1998 Chile’s Supreme Court ruled that the law should not apply to cases of human rights violations, paving the way for investigations in cases of detention, disappearances, torture, and execution to proceed. This resulted in prosecutions and prison sentences for former agents of Pinochet’s secret police (Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional, DINA).

    These prosecutions are positive steps in progressing the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation process. However, the 1978 Amnesty Law is still valid and it was only in 2010 that a bill to nullify it was brought to parliament; a bill which is still being debated. Declaring it void “would force Chile to come face-to-face with its troubled past and finally send the message that the abuses of the Pinochet era will not be tolerated again.” claims Guadalupe Marengo, Americas Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

    Owner: Conflict Textiles collection. Provenance Angélica Ponce, Chile
    Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Martin Melaugh

    Textile Detail Image(s)