Who should be punished?

Much of the conversation surrounding the aftermath of the oppressive dictatorial regime of Augusto Pinochet in Chile, at least among academics if not among the Chilean people, is about how the members of regime should, if at all, be prosecuted.

Following similar atrocities, such as the Holocaust, people who participated in the Nazi regime in Germany were prosecuted for their actions. But in Chile, this largely has not been the case. Clearly many Chileans just wished to move on from the memories of the regime, not bothering to push for the prosecution of many people who likely deserved to be. Many others, clearly did not feel the same way, arguing that many of the members of the regime, such as the men who tortured prisoners in the secret bases, should not be allowed to continue their lives as if nothing happened.

But if the decision is made to prosecute offenders, the question then become, who and how many people should be prosecuted. Some may argue that just the highest ranking officials should be targeted, as all other merely followed what their superior told them to do. Others would likely argue that following horrendous orders, such as repeatedly torturing several people, would justify prosecution, while others may argue that supporting a clearly oppressive and tyrannical regime in any sense is worthy of prosecution.

The opinion on where the line should be drawn likely varies from person to person, but most would argue that at least some people should face punishment.

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