[Translation of an article from El País of Montevideo for October 27. See original here and related articles here, here and here. The bill in question, which in effect overrides the controversial Ley de Caducidad by categorizing crimes committed by the dictatorship as crimes against humanity and not common crimes, had been approved in the Senate two days earlier. In March, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights condemned the Ley de Caducidad and more recently a group of university students occupied a campus building to demand passage of the bill overriding it.]
By a vote of 50 of the 91 members present, all the votes in favor being cast by members of the Frente Amplio, the House of Representatives at 2:14am on Thursday approved a bill that declares that crimes committed during the dictatorship are crimes against humanity, thus eliminating immunity for the commission of them.
Opposition legislators, both senators and representatives, criticized the move by the ruling party on the basis that it fails to respect two popular assertions on the question in the plebiscites of 1989 and 2009, in which the majority ratified the Ley de Caducidad, in effect since 1985.
Partido Nacional Senator Jorge Larrañaga wrote on his Twitter account today, “With the law passed in parliament yesterday, the Frente Amplio tore several pages out of the national constitution and passed over the will of the people”…
Before the beginning of voting yesterday, Representatives Javier García of the Partido National, Juan Garino of the Partido Colorado and Iván Posada of the Partido Independiente agreed that it would be a day of fierce debate that would be a turning point in history and respect for democracy.
For the governing party, the day would be “historic” because, as Representative Luis Puig told El País, “After 25 years of impunity, justice and truth can move forward.”
At the level of the administration, approval of the new law was said to be “an important signal for society,” declared Secretary of the Presidency Diego Cánepa to Radio Carve.
The official added that “to know the truth and to know the facts will help in national reconciliation”…
President José Mujica told El País last night that it will be the Supreme Court that should make a decision on the cases of violations of human rights during the dictatorship to be covered by the law passed today.
“There will have to be some decision by the Supreme Court and we will be waiting for what they decide,” he declared.
The measure, which re-establishes the state’s punitive authority, will allow the judicial branch to continue with the cases of human rights violations during the dictatorship (1973-1985)…