Truth, justice and reconciliation are inseparable

We need to know if the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity are still living in our neighbourhoods

Re: your Jan. 1 editorial “Reconciliation brings new era”. Reconciliation under the shadow of impunity is impossible. I am painfully aware of this kind of reconciliation commissions. I came from a country that had one of such commission to deal with the crimes of the U.S.-supported Pinochet dictatorship [1973- 1989].

The Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission exposed the terrifying nature of the colonialist criminality against First Nations, however, no names of the perpetrators were attached to those crimes, and their names remain safely stowed away and protected in the shadow of impunity.

Justice is needed to end impunity, expose the implicit or explicit complicity of the state or its agents and restore a measure of confidence in a justice system, clearly biased in favour of those in power. Only justice, not money, can help in healing the soul of a nation deeply hurt and violated in its most intimate beliefs and values as a people. Social impunity and lack of justice are the absolute negation of reconciliation and fairness. In their presence, hideous feelings of racism, bigotry and misconceptions are enshrined, reinforcing a perpetual circle of false racial and social superiority, inequality and oppression, painfully present in our communities.

How many of those who killed 6,000 children, conducted chemical experimentations on humans, carried out illegal burials, forced starvation were prosecuted? These crimes were carried out by individuals, whose names remain protected by impunity. It would be impossible to imagine proclaiming reconciliation, instead of justice, to the survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. If the same criteria of the Canadian “Reconciliation” had been applied to the Nazi crimes, then Nuremberg would have never happened.

We need to know if the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity are still living in our neighbourhoods protected under the official cloak of anonymity and impunity and the “banality of evil.”

Truth, justice and reconciliation are inseparable and they need each other in order to accomplish the intended end, anything else is just wishful thinking.

Carlos Flores

Saanich