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Foreign Minister Muñoz in the act of reparation of Gabriela Blas: "Chile cannot repeat its mistakes and must be able to build a more equitable society"

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heraldo Muñoz, attended the act of acknowledgement of the State's responsibility for Gabriela Blas and C. B. B., both women of Aymara ethnicity. This was done after reaching an amicable settlement agreement in the case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for the violation of their rights.

The ceremony, which took place in the Grand Chamber of the House of Deputies, was led by Minister Muñoz, who said that "the only possible reflection is that Chile cannot repeat its mistakes and must be able to build the most equitable, inclusive society, and -above all- more aware of the need to incorporate in all areas of social life respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, which we have longed for". He added that "this act is intended to contribute in some way to this, as well as to the reparation of Ms. Gabriela for the damages suffered".

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Furthermore, he indicated that there is much to do in our country. "Discrimination and abuse continue to exist, because of the colour of the skin, clothing, the way we speak, the surnames we inherited", he said.

The ceremony was also attended by the Minister of Social Development, Marcos Barraza; the Minister of Women and Gender Equity, Claudia Pascual; the President of the Supreme Court, Haroldo Brito; and the Undersecretary of Human Rights, Lorena Fries, among other authorities.

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The case goes back to July 2007, when Gabriela Blas lost her son while she was grazing in an isolated sector of the high plateau inside Arica. In denouncing the incident, she was arrested, interrogated and wrongfully accused of participating in the loss and death of her son. In fact, in a second hearing, her sentence was increased. Likewise, while in prison, her other daughter was given - without her authorization - for international adoption, uprooted from her culture and family of origin. In June 2012, Ms. Blas was released thanks to a presidential pardon that reduced her sentence in half.

In February 2013, the State of Chile was denounced for the violation of her rights and her daughter's rights under the American Convention on Human Rights. Furthermore, for breach, in the case of Gabriela Blas, of articles 7 and b and 9 of the Convention of Belem do Para.