Santiago de Chile (EFE).- The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, began his first visit to Chile this Sunday by visiting the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, located in Santiago and dedicated to commemorating the victims of the military dictatorship (1973-1990).
Boric and Scholz, who landed in Chile from Argentina and will leave for Brazil tomorrow, will then go to the La Moneda palace in person to hold a bilateral meeting and offer a joint statement around 7:30 p.m. local time (23:30 GMT).
The Chilean ruler will also show the German chancellor the so-called White Room, where almost 50 years ago the socialist president Salvador Allende took his own life on September 11, 1973 to avoid surrendering to the coup leaders led by Augusto Pinochet.
This is the second meeting held by both leaders, who already met last September in New York within the framework of the 77th UN General Assembly.
Chile and Latin America have not been a priority of German foreign policy in recent years, but Scholz -in office since December 2021- seeks to deepen political and economic ties with the region at a time when Germany is suffering the impact of the war in Ukraine.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, there have only been three visits by German chancellors to Chile: Helmut Kohl (1991), Angela Merkel (2013) and now the social democrat Scholz, who governs alongside Greens and liberals.
Cologne dignity, in focus
Although the energy transition and the climate crisis will occupy part of the meeting, sources from the German Chancellery informed EFE in Berlin that Scholz will also address the case of Colonia Dignidad, a German enclave founded in 1961 by Nazi non-commissioned officer Paul Schaefer and which operated as clandestine detention center during the Pinochet regime.
In Colonia Dignidad, located almost 400 kilometers south of Santiago, Schaefer subjected more than 300 people to forced labor, punishment, mental manipulation and, in some cases, sexual abuse, many of whom followed him to Chile from Germany.
The settlement also served as a torture center for the National Intelligence Directorate (DINA), Pinochet’s secret police, and it is estimated that more than a hundred opponents of the regime were murdered in the compound.
Human rights organizations accuse both the Chilean and German courts of not sufficiently prosecuting the crimes committed in Colonia Dignidad, now renamed Villa Baviera.