The country once known as the Switzerland of the Americas because of its political and economic stability is now a depressed country with a growing reputation for human rights violations.
The country once known as the Switzerland of the Americas because of its political and economic stability is now a depressed country with a growing reputation for human rights violations. Uruguay has been governed by a military backed government for more than five years. The military gained authority following intense activity by the Tumpamaros guerrilla group. In the process of breaking the Tupamaros the regime gained a reputation for human rights violations. These acts have come under attack from a bank director and former director of the Uruguayan National Workers Convention who spoke to newsmen in Bolivia.
SYNOPSIS: Senor Hugo Cores at his news conference in La Paz said the harshness and persecution in Uruguay has reached considerable proportions. He says those who have been jailed are subject to a propaganda campaign that is designed to alienate them from the rest of the population.
His statement comes at the beginning of what he calls a campaign of denunciation against the Uruguayan military government. He says the campaign will demand a political amnesty for a claimed six thousand political prisoners. The campaign will also seek freedom for the press in Uruguay.
Senor Cores alleged that a commando group has been operating outside Uruguay to work against opponents of the regime. He said he would stand by his claim that such a group has been active in Argentina since 1975. He claimed it is led by army officers.
Allegations such as these have bee frequent since the military in Uruguay crushed that leftist Tupamaros group. The United States Congress voted to cut military aid to the country on the grounds that it was constantly violating human rights. But the military backed Uruguayan government strongly denies the accusations, charging that they are part of a Maxist-led conspiracy. Their latest plan for the traditional political parties by 1986. But the regime's accusers find scope to condemn its human rights performance as uniformly bad.
Senor Cores says the alleged commando group cannot with scrupulous certainty be blamed for the deaths of four prominent South American politicians, but he said the truth would eventually come out. The four are exiled politicians Zelmar Michelini and Gutierrez Ruiz who died in Argentina in 1976, former Bolivian President General Juan Jose Torres, and former Chilean Foreign. Minister Orlando Letelier. He says they were too important throughout Latin America and too many people were interested in them to prevent the truth from becoming known.