Politicial Prisoners of ChilePrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Glenn Day

The tree was planted by Amnesty International to commemorate the six hundred political prisoners who disappeared in Chile between 1973 and 1977.

On 11 September 1973 a military junta toppled President Salvador Allende in a coup d`état and installed General Augusto Pinochet as head of the new regime.This was a dictatorial, authoritarian regime which trampled on human rights with the use of torture, disappearances, illegal and secret arrest, and extrajudicial killings. Thousands were being detained, and hundreds killed by the regime.It was in this context, that the first opposition to the Pinochet regime appeared in 1973, when several religious groups led by the Archdiocese of Santiago organized the Committee of Cooperation for Peace in Chile in 1973 in order to support human rights of those persecuted by the regime of Generla Augusto Pinochet.

At the end of 1974, a group of mostly women applied to the Committee of Cooperation for Peace in Chileto find out the whereabouts of their missing family members, the desaparecidos (Engl: the disappeared), who had been detained or killed by the brutal Pinochet regime. The new Association coalesced unofficially out of this group of people. Clotari Bles formally established the Association of Families of the Detained-Disappeared in 1975 out of his home in central Santiago.

After the opening of the notorious detention centers like Tres Álamos failed to produce any leads about their missing kin, they staged several hunger strikes to pressure the government into giving out information. In 1978, UNICEF and the Catholic Church became involved, and sent information about 613 cases to the Ministry of the Interior but there was no reply. In December, bodies of some of the desaparecidos were found in Lonquén. They had been seen being taken away by uniformed men in 1973. In February 1979, the group made a pilgrimage to the site where the bodies had been found.

In order to try to pressure the government to release information, members of the group chained themselves to the fence of the National Congress, where the Ministry of Justice was located. There was no response from the government.

Chile returned to democracy in 1990. 


Address:Hay Street, Queens Gardens , East Perth, 6004
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -31.959668
Long: 115.876839
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Tree
Monument Theme:Government
Approx. Event Start Date:1973
Approx. Event End Date:1977


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 21st July, 1988
Front Inscription

Plaque :

In memory of the six hundred political prisoners who disappeared in Chile between 1973 & 1977

Planted by Amnesty International

21st July 1988



Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au