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Chile adds thousands to list of dictatorship-era victims

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • A new report finds an additional 9,800 victims of abuse and torture
  • Some 32,000 people came forward with new testimony
  • The report is not yet public

(CNN) -- A dark chapter in Chile's history was revisited this week when the Valech Commission, which carried out the most thorough investigation on persecution during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, revised upward the number of abuse victims from that era.

Nearly 10,000 people were added to the list of victims who were tortured or abused between September 1973 and March 1990, according to the new figures. About 32,000 in all gave testimony to the commission. Officials said many of those who came forward were not counted as victims because they could not prove political motives or lacked other evidence.

Besides these figures, though, the new Valech Commission report is not yet public. It was presented to President Sebastian Pinera on Thursday, and will be made public later.

According to the commission, 9,800 additional victims will be added to the list of 28,000 victims identified in the first report, carried out in 2004.

The initial report laid out the context in which the detentions and torture were carried out, and even the methods of torture used during that time of repression.

At the time, then-President Ricardo Lagos said the Valech Commission report "represents an act of dignity for the victims and an effort to heal the wounds of our national soul."

Another former president, Michelle Bachelet, reopened the commission's work in 2009.

Once Pinera reads the report, he can sign decrees giving reparations to the newly identified victims.

"We hope that this report from the commission will also contribute to peace and reconciliation," Justice Minister Teodoro Ribera said.

The Pinochet dictatorship ruled from 1973 to 1990, after which Chile returned to civilian rule under a democratically elected government.

CNN's Mariano Castillo and CNN Chile's Ivan Carvajal contributed to this report.