The Esmeralda is considered by some to be the jewel of the Chilean Navy. This beautiful tall ship, is four-masted topsail schooner and stated to be the second tallest ship in the world. However, it is this ship that carries a horrible past. It is a ship that symbolizes torture and human suffering, for during the early Pinochet years in Chile, the ship was used as a floating jail, where political prisoners, people who voiced their disagreement with Pinochet’s dictatorship and crimes in Chile, were imprisoned and tortured. Many never left the ship alive.
To date the Chilean Navy has blamed the tortures that took place on the vessel on a few bad apples. The navy has actively concealed evidence and covered for the people who committed these crimes. Until the Navy stops denying institutional responsibility for these crimes the ship is not welcome in Victoria, British Columbia. We hope by denying this ship access we will let them know this ship is not welcome until responsibility is admitted and the guilty are brought to justice. To read more go to No Esmeralda Campaign 2011.