9 September 1985
Original:  Spanish









1.       The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has repeatedly pointed out the close linkage between the existence of a representative democratic system and respect for fundamental human rights.


2.       Such a conviction follows from the conception of democracy--as an ideology and a form of government--embodied in the principal instruments that comprise the inter-American system.


3.       Indeed, Article XX of the Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man states that:


Every person having legal capacity is entitled to participate in the government of his country, directly or through his representatives, and to take part in popular elections, which shall be by secret ballot, and shall be honest, periodic and free.


4.       For its part, the Charter of the Organization of American States has explicitly set forth the relationship between democracy and human rights by including the following among the principles it has affirmed in its Article 3:


d.       The solidarity of the American States and the high aims, which are sought through it require the political organization of those States on the basis of the effective exercise of representative democracy.


j.        The American States proclaim the fundamental rights of the individual without distinction as to race, nationality, creed, or sex.


5.       That relationship is also set forth in the Preamble of the OAS Charter in which the American States stipulate:


That the true significance of American solidarity and good neighborliness can only mean the consolidation on this Continent, within the framework of democratic institutions, of a system of individual liberty and social justice based on respect for the essential rights of man.


6.       In the Declaration of Santiago, 1959, adopted by the Fifth Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, which established the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Foreign Ministers of America agreed that:


Harmony among the American republics can be effective only insofar as human rights and fundamental freedoms and the exercise of representative democracy are a reality within each one of them ...


7.       Likewise, the American Convention on Human Rights, 1.969, confirms the linkage between the recognition of political rights in a democratic society and the exercise of human rights. Its Preamble reaffirms the purpose of the American States:


To consolidate in this hemisphere, within the framework of democratic institutions, a system of personal liberty and social justice based on respect for the essential rights of man.


8.       In turn, Article 23 of that Convention recognizes the political rights of citizens as one of the rights it guarantees. [1]


9.       In application of those rules the General Assembly of the Organization has repeatedly recommended:


... to the member states that have not yet done so that they reestablish or perfect the democratic system of government, in which the exercise of power derives from the legitimate and free expression of the will of the people, in accordance with the particular characteristics of each country.  [2]


10.     For its part, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has repeatedly insisted on the need to respect political rights since it believes that governments derived from the will of the people through periodic, free, and authentic elections are the best guarantee of the full exercise of the other human rights.  It has also held that the exercise of political rights excludes the monopoly of power by one person or one group and constitutes the basis of hemispheric solidarity, as recognized by the Charter of the Organization of American States and the Pact of San José.  [3]


11.     All this makes it possible to derive the concept of representative democracy from the above-mentioned international instruments, especially from the American Convention on Human Rights.  Accordingly, representative democracy is a system of government in which the population participates in the organization of public affairs, directly or indirectly, through representatives, who must be freely elected in periodic and authentic elections carried out by universal suffrage and secret ballot that will ensure the free expression of the will of the electors, who must have equal access to public offices.


12.     It is now appropriate to present the problems of political rights as they have taken shape in Chile since September 11, 1973. For that purpose an account will first be given of the political plan of the present government of Chile, from which will be derived its main lines of activity; then, the situation of the political parties and of other social groups whose activities influence public life; next, the exercise of the right to vote, as it has been practiced in the period covered by this Report; and, finally, the present situation characterizing the exercise of political rights in Chile.




13.     As stated in Chapter one, the Armed Forces, on assuming power on September 11, 1973, “solely for the period the circumstances require” [4] made it their goal “to restore the Chilean way of life, justice, and the institutional system that have been destroyed, aware that this is the only way of being faithful to national traditions, to the legacy of the Founding Fathers, and to the history of Chile, and of enabling the development and progress of the country to be guided forcefully in the direction the dynamics of modern times require of Chile in the international community of which it forms a part”.  [5]


14.     On March 11, 1974, the Government Junta announced the ideological basis of its governance, which was contained in the “Declaration of Principles of the Government of Chile”.  This document is of particular importance as regards both the diagnosis of the situation that caused the intervention of the Armed and Security Forces and the objectives, which the Government intends to achieve.  This document also refers to human rights, in general, and the exercise of political rights, in particular.


15.     With respect to the “legal order respectful of human rights: the framework for the present Government” the Declaration of Principles of the Government states that:


Chile has always lived within a legal framework.  The majesty of the law invariably has been present in our social development.  But, in addition, that legal framework has always been a reflection of the deep respect Chileans feel for the spiritual dignity of the human person and, consequently, for his fundamental rights. It is in that respect for human rights rather than in its tradition of popular generation and constitutional succession of governments in which the essence of Chilean democracy is to be found.


Another important characteristic of our juridical tradition has been respect for freedom of conscience and the right to dissent.  These two aspects must be preserved by the Rule of Law which the movement of 11 September intends to recreate, but whose fundamental effectiveness has been maintained within the emergency measures that it itself contemplates. Human rights must be strengthened, so their exercise can be effectively enjoyed by all, and must be extended to encompass their most modern social expressions.  The right to dissent must be maintained, but the experience of recent years indicates the need to establish the admissible limits of such dissent.  Never again can we allow an ingenuous democracy, in the name of a misunderstood pluralism, permit organized groups that sponsor guerrilla violence to achieve power, or, feigning acceptance of the rules of democracy, to advocate a doctrine and a morality, the objective of which is to build a totalitarian state.  Consequently, Marxist parties and movements will never again be admitted to civic life.


Hence it follows that Chile is not neutral to Marxism.  It is precluded from being so by its conception of man and of society, which is fundamentally opposed to that of Marxism.  Consequently, the present Government does not fear or hesitate to declare itself anti-Marxist.


16.     With respect to “a new and modern institutional system; task of the present Government”, the Declaration of Principles states that:


... the Government of the Armed and Security Forces has assumed the historical mission of giving Chile a new institutional system that will embody the radical changes modern times have been producing.  Only in this way will it be possible to endow our democracy with firm stability and to purge our democratic system of the faults that facilitated its destruction, but it will go beyond a mere corrective effort and enter fully into the audacious field of creation.  Central to this new institutional system will be “the decentralization of power”, both in the operational and in the territorial sphere, which will enable the country to advance towards a “modernized society of authentic social participation”.


          a.       Functional decentralization: political and social power.


The new institutional system that is being created today will differentiate political power from social power and will clearly separate those who exercise it from the forms of exercising it.


“Political Power” or the power to decide matters of general interest to the nation properly constitutes the function of governing the country.


“Social Power”, on the other hand, must be understood as the power of the intermediate institutions of society to develop with legitimate independence towards achieving their respective ends thereby becoming vehicles of limitation as well as of enrichment of the action of political power.


Because of the lengthy erosion caused in our country by many years of demagoguery and the systematic destruction of all aspects of national life that has been accentuated by Marxism since 1970, the Armed and Security Forces of Chile, in fulfilling their classical doctrine and their duties towards continued existence of the nation, had to assume full political power on September 11.  They did so by overthrowing an illegitimate, immoral and failed government and thus fulfilled a widespread national aspiration that is today expressed in the support of a majority of the population for the new government.


The Armed and Security forces are not establishing any time limit for their Government, operation, since the task of rebuilding the country morally, institutionally, and materially essential to change the mentality of Chileans.  But, more than that, the present government has been categorical in declaring that it does not intend to limit itself to being a government of mere administration, which means a pause between two similar party governments; in other words, it is not a “truce” for reorganization only to return power to the same politicians who were so largely responsible, by acts of commission and omission, for the virtual destruction of the country.  The government of the Armed and Security Forces wishes to initiate a new stage in the national destiny and to open the way to new generations of Chileans trained in a school of healthy civic habits.


Nevertheless, although it does not establish any time limit, the Government Junta will in due course hand over political power to those whom the people elect through universal, free, secret and informed suffrage.  The Armed and Security Forces will then assume the specifically institutional role of participation that the new Constitution assigns them, which will be that which must devolve upon those responsible for ensuring National Security, in the broad sense this concept has in modern times.



What has been said does not mean that the Armed and Security Forces are going to wash their hands of their governmental succession and to observe its resolution as mere spectators.  On the very contrary, and as stated by the President of the Government Junta itself, “the Junta considers part of its mission to be that of inspiring a new and great civic-military movement”, which is already arising from the reality of events and will project the work of the present government in a fruitful and lasting manner towards the future.


17.     With respect to the “social power”, the Declaration of Principles affirms that it “is called upon to become the most important organizational source of civic expression”, for which purpose it is necessary:


To ensure the independence and depolarization of all intermediate bodies between man and the State.  Of particular importance are the organized unions, whether labor, business, professional or student bodies. In addition, the principle of subordination already set forth requires these bodies to develop autonomously to achieve their specific purposes, without the State taking control of them, nor with their objectives distorted by political party manipulation by them or their leaders.  Therefore, any political party intervention, direct or indirect, in the creation and work of the boards of directors of these unions, regardless of its nature, will be expressly prohibited. It is essential to understand that the above-mentioned depolarization is the only possible way of ensuring that these unions and other intermediate organizations are authentic vehicles of social participation, thereby fulfilling a desire that may be distinguished as a true sign of our times.  There can be no talk of social participation if the bodies called upon to channel it, instead of being vehicles of the genuine thought of the organized people, become docile spokesmen of the instructions of some political party, which instructions are also frequently based on the narrow electoral interests of that party.  The same requirements apply to the Municipalities.


18.     The passages transcribed indicate the central aspects guiding the action of the Government of Chile with respect to the exercise of political rights, and the institutional forms that exercise is to assume.  First, mention should be made of the explicit recognition that “formal democracy” practiced in the past has led to its own destruction by being infiltrated by Marxism-Leninism--a doctrine which, according to Decree Law No. 77 of 1973, the new Government has the mission of eradicating--which has been permitted by other political parties.  Second, this document sets forth the need to build a protected democracy, in the subsequent operation of which an important role will be assigned to the Armed and Security Forces, in accordance with the wide meaning the concept of national security has in modern times.  In the new institutional system, the intermediate groups will become the “most important organizational channel of civic expression” and therefore must be de-politicized, which will be complemented by a great civic-military movement inspired by the Government.  Third, the absence of time limits for the task proposed, which includes the ambitious purpose of changing the mentality of Chileans, is evident.  Once this profound reorganization, which includes the economic aspects, is achieved, the Government Junta will hand over political power to the person who is chosen by elections based on universal, free, secret, and informed suffrage.


19.     In accordance with this thinking and in the official letter sent to the Studies Commission of the new Constitution on November 10, 1977, General Pinochet stated that the draft that was being prepared should:


Provide for the legal proscription of the dissemination and activity of totalitarian doctrines, groups, and persons, the establishment of electoral systems that will prevent political parties from becoming monopolistic channels of civic participation; foster the existence of new forms of political association, understood as currents of opinion; prevent the interference of future parliamentarians or political groups in the establishment and operation of trade associations or labor, student, professional and neighborhood unions and the incompatibility of union activities and political activities.


20.     On April 6. 1979, General Pinochet made an important speech on the occasion of the inauguration of the academic year of the University of Chile.  In it he dealt at length with some of the essential aspects that make it possible to understand rather clearly the most important characteristics of the institutional system the Government intends to construct and the limits within which it is to operate in order to prevent the defects of the past and to overcome the serious risks it believes it faces at present.


21.     This speech centers around two leading ideas.  One of them is the interpretation that the goal of the political process initiated in 1870 was to reduce presidential power--as opposed to the system instituted by Portales--which gradually led Chile to social turmoil, political ineffectiveness, and economic stagnation as a result of the activities of parliamentarians until 1924 and as a result of the activities of political parties until 1973.  This interpretation is condensed in the assertion that “the country had been the slave and victim of its Congress until 1925.  Now it was the slave and victim of the political parties”.


22.     The other leading idea of that speech is the permanent danger of the aggression of “Soviet imperialism”, channeled through the Communist Party of Chile, which with its hegemonistic pretensions uses the varied sources provided it by the system of formal democracy: subversion and terrorism.


23.     In view of this diagnosis, the speech proposes the institutionalization of a strengthened presidential power and the operation of a protected democratic system.  To that end, it postulates the appropriate regulation of political parties so as to confine them to the sphere of action proper to them, and to make the intermediate groups of society independent of their activities.  After reaffirming the principles set forth in the Declaration mentioned above--recognition of the dignity and spiritual nature of the human person, the common good as the goal of the State, the validity of the principle of subordination which implies acceptance of economic freedom as a necessary condition for political freedom--General Pinochet on that occasion stated;


We believe that, in accordance with our more than century-old tradition, such a goal can only be attained through a truly democratic form of government that clearly distinguishes essential from accessory freedoms.


Democracy, as a way of life, re-acquires a new validity in the new institutional system we advocate.  It does not, however, if the intention is to limit it to the form of government that was used by Soviet communism during the Popular Unity period.


We must make it clear that we do not assign to democracy the value of an end in itself but rather we conceive of it as a suitable means for achieving those other values we have mentioned, which, if they are not truly realized for all the members of the community, make democracy a mere name lacking any real content.


Directly related to this concept is that of universal suffrage, which again we do not regard as an end but rather as a means, which, in specified conditions, can conduce to the realization of those values, but in no way is a unique condition for guaranteeing them.



Universal suffrage does not, in and of itself, have the quality of being the only valid means of expression of the will of the Nation and of constituting the formula, which necessarily and mechanically gives rise to authority.  This way of thinking is contrary to that of the old democrats, for whom there is no democracy other than formal democracy, that of the periodical vote, that of the electoral act, from which arises the representation of a majority, frequently accidental and temporary, that does not always represent the true national feeling.


Indeed, our country directly, proved that neither formal democracies, nor popular suffrages, understood as operating formulas by themselves, are sufficient to effectively address contemporary conditions.


The mere dictation of a system of norms does not enable an authentic democracy to exist and to maintain its stability nor is the real expression of the popular will guaranteed by the promulgation of laws on popular suffrage or electoral rolls. All that is implacably transcended by totalitarian statism, which abolishes liberty.


Every society is based on a certain degree of consensus or common unity about specified values and basic objectives, which allow it to exist as such and to progress towards the goals they presuppose.  At the same time, every human society carries within it a degree of dissent whose elimination is the purpose shared equally by tyrannies of any color.


In contrast, a society that really wishes to live under liberty must be capable of bringing about a balance in the coexistence of the two realities, unity and dissent.


In Chile, such minimum consensus disappeared as a result of the advance and subsequent assumption of power by Soviet Marxism.


When the system in which unity and dissent had formerly coexisted was destroyed by it, the construction of a new system must necessarily embody that tragic experience, and since it is unacceptable to return to the old system that led us into imminent totalitarian peril, we must develop a new system capable of confronting the alternative of ensuring freedom, but which also keeps the nation safe from new Soviet infiltration through legal restrictions that will set virtual limits on civic dissent and protect the democratic system as a permanent way of life.


From this point of view the coexistence within one and the same community of two intrinsically antagonistic conceptions, as would occur if within a democracy totalitarian parties were permitted to operate legally, would be impossible, since these parties inevitably lead to the destruction of democracy.


It must be understood that these limitations also prevent the activities of those democratic sectors that vainly attempt to compete with totalitarian systems in a demagogic race that is lost beforehand.


In ending this summary examination of developments in Chile, we must reiterate that we have never set time limits but rather goals for the present Government, since the work to be done goes to the roots and involves a change in the oppressed and suffocated mentality of the body politic.


The permanent danger is so serious and great that we do not consider our mission completed and our duty fulfilled with the mere enactment of a new Constitution, no matter how accomplished the technical perfection of its norms may be.


We shall ensure its prompt implementation and operation.


We shall safeguard the consolidation of the new institutional system during a short but sufficient period, until we are sure that, within the foreseeable future, it is sufficiently sound and strong to resist a totalitarian attack.


The nation cannot permit itself the precipitate opening of political elections, for which it is not yet ready.  The deep wounds produced by Marxism are not yet closed and Marxism and its tools are endeavoring to keep them open as long as possible.


From every point of view an effective political recess is necessary to ensure that the economic reorganization achieved is translated into sustained development, which will offer all Chileans greater well-being and to ensure that it be consolidated in a new social model consistent with the institutional system of a truly free society.


The period of transition makes gradual progress possible, without periods of sterile stagnation, without the failures of an abrupt leap forward.  During that period, renewed and healthy civic habits shaping a tradition in the political institutions the new system provides for must arise and be developed.


To pass abruptly from the present regime to full democracy, with the creation of authority by elections, would only find as favored actors the former political groups and parties whose work was harmful to Chile.


24.     As may be seen, the institutionalization of the protected democracy postulated by the Government of Chile presupposes the nullification of any possibility of action by elements considered destructive that may act against it.  The implementation of this requirement implies that there will be what is known, as a “period of transition” to that protected democracy, during which there must be an effective political recess. The number of political actors accepted by the Government is significantly reduced either because they profess Marxism or because they propose a system that can be directly or indirectly used by it.


25.     In accordance with the objective of de-politicizing the intermediate groups, one of the first steps taken by the Government was to dissolve the Central Unica de Trabajadores (CUT). [6]  This objective was embodied in the labor legislation subsequently enacted by the Government. [7]  Then the Professional Associations were dissolved and became trade associations with functions and faculties in conformity thereto.  [8]


26.     The task of de-politicizing undertaken by the Government also affected the civil service when all civil servants were declared to be temporary employees. [9]  For their part the universities were taken over by the Government and government rectors, all of whom were military men, were appointed.  [10]


27.     With respect to the activity of other institutions, the reasons that motivated the dissolution of the Comité Pro Paz have already been mentioned in the chapter dealing with organizations for the defense of human rights.  The various difficulties that they face in practice and the way in which the authorities view the political impact of those activities were already described.  This has significantly affected the activities of churches of various denominations and especially the Roman Catholic Church.


28.     The 1980 Constitution contains these central policy lines.  However there are some modifications.  The initial statements about handing over power to the person who is elected through universal suffrage are replaced by the formula--applicable in 1989--of the appointment of a President by the Government Junta subject to ratification by a plebiscite.  The institutionalization of the participation of the intermediate groups is not proceeding as was to be expected in view of the initial importance assigned to them and the Constitution limits itself to reaffirming in Article 23 the prohibition of their involvement with any political party.


29.     Furthermore, as regards the time limits for the implementation of the new institutional system, the 1980 Constitution attempts to reconcile the need to achieve the goals proposed with the establishment of the prolonged periods resulting from the timetable set forth in Chapter I of this Report which derive from transitory provisions 27, 28 and 29.


30.     Two elements mentioned in the documents cited are faithfully embodied in the 1980 Constitution: the illegality of totalitarian political parties--which will be described in the following section of this chapter--and the strengthening of the functions of the President. With respect to this last-mentioned characteristic, the permanent provisions referring to the powers of the Executive have been considered excessive by some sectors of opinion in Chile.[11].  With respect to the strengthening of the powers of the President during the “transition stage”, the respective rules have been consolidating the process of concentrating powers in the President, which process included the resignation of one of the original members of the Government Junta--Air Force General Gustavo Leigh in 1978--because of political differences with General Pinochet.  This concentration of powers in the President, furthermore, results from the consultative role assigned to the organs instituted, such as the Council of State, the Economic and Social Council and the regional and communal development councils.  The analysis contained in Chapter II of this Report made it possible to draw the conclusion that what is at issue is an excessive concentration of powers.


31.     The basic parameters of the conception of the Chilean’s Government of the exercise of political rights having been presented, the conditions in which that exercise occurs and the future institutional system it proposes, it is now appropriate to consider the ways in which that conception has been expressed in practice.  For that purpose, the problems the political parties have faced and the forms taken by suffrage on the two occasions on which it has been exercised will be presented.




32.     Consistently with the policy lines set forth in the foregoing section, the Government proposed to eradicate party activity, de-politicize the so-called intermediate groups and prevent any activity by other institutions that could directly or indirectly obstruct the above-mentioned objective.


33.     Thus, Decree Law No. 77 of October 13, 1973, “on the grounds that it is the mission of the new government to eradicate Marxism from Chile”, prohibited the following parties because it considered them illegal associations, “Communist, Socialist, Unión Socialista Popular, Movimiento de Acción Popular Unitaria, Radical, Izquierda Cristiana, Acción Popular Independiente and all those institutions, groups, factions or movements that support the Marxist doctrine or which because of their purposes or the conduct of their members are substantially in agreement with the principles and objectives of that doctrine, which are aimed at destroying or weakening the fundamental purposes and postulates embodied in the Act of Constitution of this Junta.”  All the above-mentioned political parties, with the exception of the Unión Socialista Popular, formed a coalition known, as “Popular Unity” that made up the Government whose President was Salvador Allende.


34.     That Decree Law, in turn, defined as a crime the mere fact of organizing, promoting or inducing the organization of the above-mentioned parties and movements.  It also ordered the cancellation of the legal personality of these parties and the transfer of their property to State ownership.


35.     Also in accordance with the conception that the other political parties had facilitated the action of the above-mentioned parties, Decree Law No. 78 of October 17, 1973, declared in recess all political parties and institutions, groups, factions or movements of a political nature not covered by Decree Law No. 77 mentioned above.  Decree Law No. 78 affected, inter alia, the following political groups; Partido Democracia Radical, Partido Demócrata Cristiano, Partido Democrático Nacional, Partidos Izquierda Radical, and Partido National.


36.     Subsequently, Decree Law No. 1,697 of March 12, 1977 ordered the dissolution of all parties and institutions, groups, or factions that had not yet been dissolved and also prohibited the execution or promotion of any activity, act or step, public or private, that was of a political nature and stipulated penalties for infringement of that prohibition.  This Decree Law also ordered the confiscation of the property of the political parties.


37.     These limitations on the operation of political parties are fully consistent with the distrust they cause in the Government authorities and with the conception they have of democracy itself.  Thus, General Pinochet stated in August 1981:


There are some who believe that the only way of participating is through movements.  They resemble those who argue that democracy is today the only possible form of government and do not understand that there can be other forms.  [12]


38.     On December 2, 1982, General Pinochet stated that:


The solutions to national problems will be achieved only through the participation of the grassroots organizations and not through politics.  [13]


39.     These policy lines are embodied in the 1980 Constitution, which stipulates in Transitory Provision 10 that, until the constitutional organic law relating to political parties comes into force, “it shall be prohibited to carry out or promote any activity, action or step of a political or party nature, either by natural or juridical persons, organizations, institutions or groups of persons.”


40.     For its part, Article 8 of the Constitution stipulates that:


Any action by an individual or group intended to propagate doctrines which are antagonistic to the family, or which advocate violence or a concept of society, the State, or the juridical order of a totalitarian character or based on class warfare is illegal and contrary to the institutional code of the Republic.


The organizations and political movements or parties, which, due to their purposes or the nature of the activities of their members, tend towards such activities, are unconstitutional.


The Constitutional Tribunal shall have cognizance of violations of the provisions set forth in the preceding paragraphs.


Without impairment of the other sanctions established by the Constitution or the Law, persons who incur or who should have incurred the aforementioned violations shall not, for a period of ten years from the date of the Tribunal’s decision, be eligible for public duties or positions, regardless of whether obtained or not through popular vote.  Likewise, they will not become rectors or directors of educational establishments or teach, or exploit any medium of mass communication, or become directors or administrators thereof, or hold positions relating to the broadcasting or dissemination of opinions or information.  Neither will they be able to act as leaders of political organizations or of organizations related to education, local, professional, or business, labor, student, or of a union nature, in general, for the prescribed period.


If at the time of the Tribunal’s decision, persons referred to above held a public position, whether or not as the result of an election, they will lose same as matter of law.


Persons penalized in accordance with this precept, will not be eligible for reinstatement during the period indicated in the preceding paragraph.


The duration of ineligibility contemplated in this article will be doubled in case of recurrence of the offence.


41.     Article 8, reproduced above, does not proscribe, as it would have been legitimate to do, acts of violence intended to abolish the system of representative democracy.  Indeed, the acts punished by it are those “intended” to spread certain doctrines without requiring that that propagation have been carried out.  The declaration of unconstitutionality of organizations, movements, or political parties affects those that “aims’ at that objective; nor is it necessary that there have been objective actions for that purpose.  It is, therefore, an extremely wide formulation, which permits an excessive margin of discretion.  [14]


42.     It is easy to see the various consequences of the application of that article on the exercise of certain human rights: freedom of opinion and expression of thought is radically restricted for a whole sector of Chileans; access to public office and civil service jobs is severely limited; the exercise of the right to work in certain areas of the life of society such as education is eliminated and, should a public official be found guilty, he loses his job “by operation of law”, freedom of association and of performing managerial functions in a wide category of associations is proscribed.  The persons punished will be subject to these penalties for a period of ten years and, in the event of a repetition of the offence, for twenty years.


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[1]         Article 23 of the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights states:  1. Every citizen shall enjoy the following rights and opportunities: a. To take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives; b. to vote and to be elected in genuine periodic elections, which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and by secret ballot that guarantees the free expression of the will of the voters; and c.  To have access, under general conditions of equality, to the public service of his country.  2. The law may regulate the exercise of the rights and opportunities referred to in the preceding paragraph only on the basis of age, nationality, residence, language, education, civil and mental capacity or sentencing by a competent court in criminal proceedings.

[2]         OAS General Assembly resolutions 510 (X-0/80); 543 (XI-0/81.); 618 (XII-0/82); 666 (XIII-0/83); and 742 (XIV-0/84).

[3]         In this regard see Report on the Situation of Human Rights in El Salvador (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.45 doc.23, rev. 2, November 17, 1978), p... IACHR Annual Report, 1979-80, p. 151; IACHR Annual Report 1980-1981, p. 122; and IACHR Annual Report 1982-1983, p. 24.

[4]         Proclamation No. 5 of the Honorable Government Junta of Chile, September 11, 1973.

[5]         Decree Law No. 1 of September 11, 1973.

[6]         Decree Law No. 12 of 1973.

[7]         Decree Laws 2.346, 2.347, 2376 of 1978 and 2.756 of 1970.

[8]         Decree Law 2.757 of 1979.

[9]         Decree Law No. 6 of 1973.

[10]        Decree Law No. 50 of 1973.

[11]        Thus, Edgardo Boeninger, former Rector of the University of Chile, states in this regard that the permanent rules of the Constitution embody a presidential Cesarism with military protection ... there is virtually no important matter in which the legal initiative is incumbent on parliamentarians, their supervisory powers have been reduced to a minimum, their agreement is not required for decreeing states of emergency, except the state of siege, the President of the Republic can dissolve the Chamber of Deputies without there being any power offsetting this Presidential power ... See.  La Democracia: Unico Proyecto Posible, Que Pasa, May 10, 1985, p. 16.

[12]        El Mercurio of Santiago, August 19, 1981.

[13]        Idem, December 3, 1982.

[14]        In application of Article 8 of the Constitution, the Constitutional Tribunal, by decision of January 31, 1985 declared the Communist Party of Chile and other political organizations based on the Marxist-Leninist doctrine to be unconstitutional.