The elections in Chile: a joint statement

Chile National Stadium, which was used during the military coup of 1973. Photo used courtesy of João Pina @pinaphoto

My time touring with Amnesty was a real education for me in what was really going on around the world. After all the suffering we saw in Chile I was alarmed that a Pinochet supporter is gaining popularity.

Sting and I have made the following joint statement:

We have supported human rights for the people of Chile for decades and their campaign for justice and accountability from those responsible for the ‘disappearance’ of thousands of their fellow country men and women during the dark days of the Pinochet dictatorship.

We are most concerned that the tangible gains made since the restoration of democracy over 30 years ago could be lost by electing an outright supporter and apologist for the abuses of the former brutal dictator. We urge all Chileans old and especially young to go out and vote. And vote for hope and a future where human rights are placed front and centre in a new constitution.

We understand the fears that lead to the election of many populist leaders. But we would ask you if those leaders have really given their countries what you dream of for Chile? We don’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone.


Hemos apoyado los derechos humanos del pueblo de Chile durante décadas y su campaña para que haya justicia y que los responsables de la “desaparición” de miles de compatriotas durante los oscuros días de la dictadura de Pinochet rindan cuentas.

Nos preocupa sobremanera que los logros tangibles conseguidos desde la restauración de la democracia hace más de 30 años puedan perderse al elegir a un partidario y apologista declarado de los abusos del antiguo y brutal dictador. Instamos a todos los chilenos de edad y especialmente a los jóvenes a salir a votar. Y a votar por la esperanza y por un futuro en el que los derechos humanos ocupen un lugar destacado en una nueva constitución.

Entendemos los temores que llevan a la elección de muchos líderes populistas. Pero les pregunto si esos líderes han dado realmente a sus países lo que ustedes sueñan para Chile. No sabemos lo que tenemos hasta que lo perdemos.

Peter Gabriel & Sting