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Human Rights Watch is concerned at the continuing practice of film censorship in Chile, which is carried out by a film classification council whose decisions are not made public and whose structure has remained unchanged since 1974, the first year of the military government. The grounds entertained in the law for film censorship are extremely broad and include prohibition on ideological grounds, although this norm has not been enforced by the council since the return of democracy. Censorship also extends to video cassettes and to films shown on television. Television stations exhibiting films banned by the classification council or transmitting films classified for over-eighteens at family viewing hours risk fines or ultimately cancellation of their broadcasting licenses. These prohibitions apply both to open television and cable services.

History and Legal Norms

Prior censorship of the cinema is mandated in the constitution of 1980. The final paragraph of Article 19(12) provides that “the law shall establish a system of censorship for the exhibition and advertising of cinematographic production.” This is an explicit exception to the rule in the preceding clause of Article 19(12) that assures “freedom to express opinions and to inform without prior censorship in whatever form and in whatever medium.” The constitutional protection that film censorship continues to enjoy in Chile complicates efforts to remove it from the statute books. Any amendment of the article in question must be carried by a congressional majority of two-thirds. Furthermore, the constitutional provision extends not only to films but also to film advertising, such as posters and trailers, and has been interpreted as applicable to videos as well.

Established in 1924, Chile’s film censorship council was originally composed of five persons: the director general of libraries, two persons designated by the president of the republic, and two appointed by the municipality of Santiago. The council was later expanded to eleven. Writing of the early 1950s, when he worked as a critic for the weekly Ercilla, journalist Hernán Millas described its center of operations as “a kind of attic in the National Library, a place which, for me and my colleagues, exerted a spell like I felt when I visited the headquarters of the Inquisition in Cartagena de Indias.... Although the council was made up of eleven persons, attendance was very sparse. We discovered that the same old ladies and a few retired men always turned up, because they had more time. A colleague found out that one of the members of the council was a friend of the education minister at the time, a verypious widow who was awarded the job to give her something to do.”27 The decisions made behind closed doors by the councillors have affected generations of Chileans, who are still forbidden to see Ingmar Bergman’s The Silence and must still wait until the age of eighteen to see in the original format Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon.

The legislation still in force in Chile today, Decree No. 679, dates back to October 1974, when the country had recently come under control of the military junta and its secret police. It was supplemented by the Regulations of Cinematic Classification (Reglamentos de Calificación Cinematográfica) issued by the Ministry of Education in April 1975. There has been little change of substance since.

Decree Law 679 established a Council of Cinematographic Evaluation (Consejo de Calificación Cinematográfica, CCC), described as a “technical body dependent on the Ministry of Education,” whose job is to “orient cinematographic exhibition in the country and carry out the evaluation of films according to the norms established in this law.”28 No film may be shown in Chile or imported into the country for exhibition unless it has been approved and classified by the council.

The council is composed of the director of Libraries Archives and Museums (Director de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos), three members of the judiciary, three representatives of the Council of University Presidents (Consejo de Rectores de Universidades), one representative of each branch of the armed forces (four in all), three representatives of the Ministry of Education, two representatives of the Parents and Tutors’ Association of Public High Schools and of Private Schools, (Centro de Padres y Apoderados de los Liceos Fiscales y de los Colegios Particulares), and three representatives of the Journalists Association, preferably cinema or theater critics. The aim here evidently was to create a body representative of the major institutions of the state, including the judiciary, public schools and the armed forces, with only a nod (the reference to film critics) to informed public opinion.29 Councillors, apart from thoseappointed for the public office they hold, have tenure for two years but may be re-elected indefinitely.30

The council’s job is to classify films and video cassettes into one of four categories:

· approved for general release;

· approved as apt for over-fourteens or over-eighteens;

· approved for educational purposes;31 or

· rejected.

A higher age limit of twenty-one in the original decree was later eliminated to reflect the reduction of the legal age of majority from twenty-one to eighteen.

Rejected films fall into four categories:

· “those that foment or propagate doctrines or ideas that are contrary to the fundamental principles of the fatherland or nationality, like Marxism and others”;

· those that offend states with which Chile maintains international relations;

· those that are contrary to public order, morals or good customs; and

· those that induce the commision of anti-social or criminal actions.

The first of these categories is in line with the prohibition of the expression of Marxist ideas contained in Article 8 of the constitution, which was repealed in August 1989. The CCC has not invoked it in recent years andconsiders it to have been tacitly repealed by the constitutional reform.32 The second category, also rarely invoked, is nevertheless an unacceptable limit. It assumes that governments have the right to hold other governments to account for failing to restrain their citizens’ exercise of freedom of expression, a proposition totally at odds with current standards of international law and incompatible with Chile’s international human rights obligations. The last two categories allow censors ample discretion in deciding when a film endangers public morality and public order, concepts that are left undefined in Decree Law 679.

From the standpoint of international human rights law, in any case, these considerations are irrelevant. The only exception the American Convention allows to its general prohibition of prior censorship are “public entertainments,” which may be “...subject by law to prior censorship for the sole purpose of regulating access to them for the moral protection of childhood and adolescence.”33 Even if films and video can be considered “public entertainments” (which is questionable since the latter are generally considered to be live performances) preventing them to be seen by adults is impermissable.

From 1985 until July 1996, the CCC banned fifty-two 35 millimeter films, and 299 films in video format.34 It is impossible to know how many films may not be shown because international distributors considered it a waste of expense to submit them for classification. The council’s deliberations are secret. The law does not require the names of the censors on the panel responsible for the decision to be identified; it is impossible to know how they voted. For years the public was merely informed whether or not the decisions were unanimous: in the case of rejected films the council was obliged only to explain its reasons to the distributors in writing. A new rule, introduced in 1992 required that the reasons for a ban be made public.35 However, no grounds are given, either to the distributors or the public, of the reasons for age-classification. In either case there is no mechanism to allow the producers or distributors to represent their views.

The functions of the CCC are not subject to any judicial control or oversight. A review panel, misleadingly called an appeals court, may be called on to reconsider the rejection of a film following the presentation of a written appeal.36 The “court” is composed of the education minister, the president of the Supreme Court, the president of the Bar Association and the head of the Defense Chiefs-of-Staff. Its decision is final and may not be reviewed by a court of law. For good measure, any film approved by the CCC may be suspended from exhibition “temporarily or permanently” by a joint decision of the ministers of the interior, defense, and education “when the circumstances require.”37

There is no appeal mechanism against a classification decision. Nevertheless, since these are administrative rulings of a public body, film classifications may be subject to later review and amendment by that body if in the public interest. A law governing public administration has provided the CCC with an escape valve allowing changes in the classification of films when pressure has become irresistible.38 Examples are the Chilean film Cien Niños Esperando un Tren, (A Hundred Children Waiting for a Train), originally classified as apt for over-twenty-ones although its actors were minors, and Dead Poets’ Society, classified for over-eighteens and later changed to over-fourteens as a result of its enormous popularity with schoolchildren in the months following the installation of the elected government. In a few cases bans havebeen reversed by the council, such as those affecting Imagen Latente and The Last Temptation of Christ, discussed below.

The council also is mandated to enforce the law by supervising cinemas. Enforcement is carried out by inspectors who are required, with police aid if necessary, to eject children surprised in the act of watching a film considered inappropriate, unless they can produce their identity cards and prove they are old enough.39 Adults irritated by the presence of minors in the cinema may have them expelled, and the inspector is required to note their names and addresses.40 An exception is made for under-age children who are married. Children are not allowed into the cinema to see any kind of film before 6:00 p.m. during schooldays.41

Article 63 of the regulations of 1975 expressly considers video cassettes as films for the purpose of the law; in 1989, Law No. 18,853 established a regime for the inspection of videos. This is of questionable constitutionality, since videos are principally for private domestic use and are not normally “exhibited” as the language of the constitution stipulates. For the private video collector, the consequences are moments of trepidation on passing through Customs. Any video of a commercial film rejected in Chile may be confiscated. Any video not classified by the council — the great majority of European films, for example — may be impounded and sent to the council for evaluation. If the film is accepted the owner still must pay a classification fee to recover it.

The receipt of videos by mail order can be a bureaucratic nightmare. Arriving parcels are inspected randomly by customs, and if the addressee is unlucky he or she must make the journey to the central post office and pay duty to claim it. He or she is then given a piece of paper and referred to the CCC on the top floor of the Education Ministry. To recover the film a fee is payable for a license, as well as a “deposit for fees” — a contribution to the censors’ stipend — and a shipping fee for the dispatch of the parcel from customs to the CCC. Such archaic procedures scarcely encourage a free flow of culture, information, and ideas.

Despite an important revival in Chilean cinema in recent years, much of the work of prize-winning Chilean directors in exile during the dictatorshiphas not yet been put on general exhibition in Chile. Many of these works were not submitted to the censor, probably to avoid a futile waste of time and expense. Examples are Patricio Guzmán’s classic documentary The Battle of Chile and Miguel Littín’s The Promised Land. Pablo Perelman’s Imagen Latente was rejected by the CCC in 1988 because of its reference to the “disappeared,” prompting the withdrawal of the Journalists Association representatives from the council for three years until the ban was rescinded. The disruption of Chilean film culture after seventeen years of military rule is well conveyed by Littín, describing the first screening in democracy of his Oscar-nominated Actas de Marusia:

There, on a foggy night, more than a hundred people squeezed together in front of a screen which, moving in the wind, showed the now extraordinary images of a northern Chile at the beginning of the century, shaken by the social conflicts of the time. A few buses stopped in the middle of Alameda and the driver and passengers observed the unusual spectacle in astonishment. At the start of the projection, from the balconies of the big townhouse, Arturo Barrios and other young people had thrown pamphlets against censorship, which covered the sidewalk.42

The CCC: An Undemocratic Body in Democracy

While the composition, powers, and modus operandi of the CCC have been subject to only cosmetic change since the election of President Aylwin, the council has adjusted its role in three respects: first, it has increasingly refrained from exercising its powers of prior censorship43; second, it has reversed bans on some films and has lowered the age-classification of others; third, it appears, like television, to have concentrated on the protection of minors from exposure to excessive violence and explicit sexual content and films that seem to advocate deviant or antisocial behavior and in which minors are portrayed. Discussion of the role of the CCC is inevitably speculative because of the secrecy of its decisions and the fact that, unlike the CNTV, the CCC is not required to publish any periodic reports on its regulatory activities. The press only reports verysporadically on the issue of film censorship when a public debate is aroused by a particularly egregious decision.

An example occurred in July 1992 when the CCC prohibited the exhibition of two films, Bigas Luna’s Bilbao (1978) and Iván Zulueta’s Arrebato (1980), which had been included in a traveling retrospective of Spanish cinema organized by the Institute of Iberoamerican Cooperation and the Spanish Ministry of Culture. The two films were due to play in the Normandie art cinema in single screenings on July 23 and 24, as part of a successful tour that had already included eight Latin American countries. On July 18, the Normandie posted on its billboards the “rejected” certificates, which it had received without any explanation of the reason for the bans. Initial confusion was increased by the fact that Raúl Allard, undersecretary for education and president of the council, said he knew nothing of the case.44 After scandalized reactions in newspaper editorials, Allard called on the council to view the films again, citing the norm that administrative decisions are subject to revision. As a result of his intervention, the ban on Arrebato was lifted for adults over twenty-one. The about-face merely sowed more confusion and increased the impression of arbitrariness of the council’s decisions. It was impossible to discern on what grounds the ban on Bilbao had been maintained, since neither film was intended for commercial exhibition and both were of obvious cultural interest.45 Bilbao was a landmark in the cultural renaissance of the post-Franco transition in Spain, making its prohibition in Chile doubly significant.

The Last Temptation of Christ

The court ban imposed on the exhibition of Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ in January 1997 provides another key example of the highly restrictive jurisprudence followed by the Chilean courts in the Martorellcase. In the Last Temptation ruling, however, the protection of honor was extended much further, so as to include the honor of Christ himself as well as of those who follow his teachings.

The Last Temptation ban resulted, ironically, not from a prohibition by the CCC but from a judicial appeal against the council’s decision to reverse its earlier censorship of the film. In 1988 the CCC had rejected The Last Temptation for exhibition arguing that it contradicted the teachings of the Bible and “constituted a fiction of part of the life of Christ.”46 In March 1989 the CCC’s appeals panel confirmed the decision. Like many other titles still banned in Chile, the decision was taken at a time when the council was mandated to ban films found “contrary to the fundamental principles of the Fatherland or nationality.”

The distributors, United International Pictures, presented the film for a second time to the CCC in November 1996, and the council proceeded to reclassify it as apt for over-eighteens, using the principle of administrative review described above. Before the film could be shown, seven lawyers acting on behalf of a pro-censorship group known as Porvenir de Chile (Chile’s Future) filed a protection writ against the CCC, whose decision to lift the ban, it argued, offended the right to reputation of Christ and his followers, including the Catholic Church and the petitioners. Apart from their substantive objection to the film, Porvenir de Chile claimed that the council had no authority to revoke a decision of its appeals panel. Plans to exhibit the film were immediately stayed by a court order.

On January 20, 1997 the Santiago Appeals Court granted the protection writ, annulling the decision of the CCC to legalize the film and reconfirming the appeals panel’s original ban. On June 17, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the verdict on appeal, making the ban definitive. On the issue of legality, the court held that the decision of the CCC’s appeals panel was irrevocable and that the council had no authority to reverse a decision of a “higher organ.”

On the right to honor, the high court found that the figure of Christ had been “so deformed and humiliated, that his honor appears to be gravely affected, which certainly cannot be explained away, as has been tried, by attributing everything to a dream-like fantasy.”

Jesus Christ lived two thousand years ago and died on the cross, and although this court takes no position on hisresurrection, whose acceptance is a matter of faith, it must agree that the offense against his honor is detrimental to the honor of the petitioners themselves, tied essentially to their dignity as persons, since this implies, among other attributes, the capacity to determine one’s life in accordance with values and beliefs. For this reason, by offending, debilitating or deforming the person of Christ, the questioned film offends and causes grievance to those who, like the petitioners, base their faith in the person of Christ, God and man, and on the basis of this conviction and reality assume and direct their own lives.47

The Supreme Court agreed with the Appeals Court’s assessment that the portrayal of Christ was humiliating. The Appeals Court had objected the “portrayal of Christ as a secondary individual, without a scrap of dignity and completely robbed of his divinity”; Christ was made to appear an “insecure man of little personality,” whose “poor oral expression and exaggerated sentimentality only allow an absurd and demeaned image of the being who has substantially influenced philosophy, the Christian religions and universal history and the lives of millions of persons.”48

In Scorsese’s film, which is based on Nikos Kazantzakis’s book (never banned in Chile), Christ’s self-doubt and yearning for a fallible human existence reach a climax when he is dying on the cross. In a long sequence, the delirious Christ is saved by an angel and lives a parallel earthly existence married to Mary Magdalene. He is awoken from his seductive fantasy and finds himself once more on the cross. Christ dies after shouting with triumph at discovering that he had not, after all, betrayed his divinity.

The Appeals Court decision merits further discussion since it reveals a mode of thinking inconsistent with the value placed on freedom of opinion and pluralism in a secular democracy. In essence, the verdict was a theological disquisition on the nobility and divinity of Christ, backed by meticulous quotations from encyclopedias and religious historians. It reads like the pronouncement of an ecclesiastical tribunal rather than a court representing a culturally diverse nation of mixed beliefs and faiths, in which church and state have been separated since 1925. The judges evaded their responsibility toreconcile the rival claims of freedom of expression and the principle of honor by establishing, on legal argument, where their limits lay in the case before them. After citing sources selected to support their point of view that the film was offensive to the “true” Christ, the court claimed that “respect and protection of honor takes precedence, furthermore, over freedom to emit opinions and inform.” This claim, unsupported by any argument, is incompatible with the principles of human rights law, as already noted in regard to the Martorell case.

In the judges’ closing comments they argued that

protection of the necessity of information or expression bears a close relation to the truth of the events and for this reason the historical deformation of an event or a person ceases to be information. For this reason, the court believes that the right to emit an opinion is the right to describe a reality but never to deform it making it appear as something else. [Emphasis added.]49

By disallowing the use of free speech to present an alternative view to an accepted historical reality, the verdict is contrary to the essence of freedom of expression in a democratic society, which upholds the right to make such challenges without fear of censorship.50 As the European Court of Human Rights established in 1979:

Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of such a society, one of the basic conditions for its progress and for the development of every man. Subject to paragraph 2 of Article 10 [of the European Convention on Human Rights] it is applicable not only to “information” or “ideas” that are favorably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population.Such are the demands of that pluralism, tolerance and broad-mindedness without which there is no democratic society.51

By accepting that the film offended the honor of Christ, the judgment opened the door to the prohibition of any work critical of the orthodox view of figures who are worshiped or widely venerated.52 As one commentator asked:

Christ’s character as a “person” has been resolved historically and theologically, but to extend this into the legal arena is audacious to say the least. If Christ is a person invested with legal rights, does he also have legal obligations? What is his civil status, his nationality or his patrimony? Is he domiciled at Ahumada 312, as the petitioners maintain?53

Nor could the judgment establish that the honor of the petitioners was affected, since the film obviously made no reference to them, nor indeed could it be read as an attack on the Christian faith or on Christians generally. Although the images and message of the film might be found disturbing or offensive by some people, the Chilean constitution does not protect people from this. To do so would transgress its own principles of pluralism which do not allow the suppression of divergent opinion. The court did not attempt to establish any objective basis for finding that the petitioners’ grievance at the contents of the films amounted to an attack on their honor.

The Appeals Court held that there was no prior censorship in granting the protection writ, citing an anachronistic and misleading definition of prior censorship as “any preventive procedure that forms part of a state policy, applied beforehand by vigilant administrative officials in authoritariangovernments.”54 Here the court merely reproduced the same erroneous ruling used two years earlier in the Martorell case, making no reference to the findings of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on that case.

The Last Temptation verdict has two other disturbing implications. First, it constitutes another judicial precedent — following that of the Martorell case — for the improper use of a protection writ to obtain the limitation of a human right guaranteed in the constitution. The admission of repeated writs of this kind is an invitation to anyone who feels his or her reputation is endangered by a publication to apply to a court to have it restrained.55 By asserting that the CCC has no authority to reassess films banned by its appeals panel, the judgment prolongs indefinitely the prohibition of films under norms that violated international rules when they were in force and which are now plainly unconstitutional. This makes the case for new legislation on the regulation of cinema overwhelming, since until the laws are changed, and even if the CCC desists from further prohibitions, those it formally decreed are irreversible, placing the state in permanent violation of its treaty obligations not to permit prior censorship.

In May 1998, the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights declared admissible a complaint lodged against the Chilean state by six lawyers representing the Association of Lawyers for Public Liberties (Asociación de Abogados por las Libertades Públicas), a Chilean civil liberties group. The complaint held that the judicial ban on the screening of The Last Temptation of Christ made the state responsible for violating freedom of expression guarantees in Article 13 of the American Convention.

Proposals for Reform

Despite what appears to be an increasing consensus for the abolition of prior censorship, an amendment to Article 19(12) of the constitution tabled bythe government in the Chamber of Deputies in April 1997 has not progressed, and at the time of writing (August 1998) Congress has still to vote on the issue. The reform proposed is simple: to replace the word “censorship” with “classification” and remove the word “publicity” from the last clause of Article 19(12). The effect would be limit the CCC’s role to the classification of films and abolish controls over film advertising.

While the political spectrum supporting the change embraces opinions ranging from the left-of-center PPD through to the liberal wing of the RN,56 and the press appears united behind it,57 the majorities required by law for a constitutional reform are not assured. Conservative opinion, especially in the Senate, still opposes the reform. Sen. Sergio Diez of RN has compared films with narcotics: “Everyone agrees that drugs must be combated. Certain types of spectacle are equivalent to a kind of moral drug against good customs. That is why the State is obliged to take measures.”58

Apart from the constitutional reform, Congress has still not acted on a bill to reform the composition and functions of the CCC, introduced by the Alwyin government in January 1992. The bill, drafted by the Education Ministry, is essentially a updated version of the 1974 law and retains prior censorship. Its main purpose is to eliminate the political veto of films, to allow classifications to be modified by a review panel, and to replace the category of “rejected” by “objected” films, which also may be reconsidered by the appeals panel. It increases the technical representation of the council, cuts representation of the armed forces from four to two members, and makes it a requirement for all of the council’s decisions to be well-founded. “Objected” films fall into three categories: pornographic, excessively violent, and those thatare offensive to a social, religious or ethnic group. These films may not be put on public exhibition. On prior censorship, therefore, the older bill has been superseded by the January 1997 initiative, although its other proposals will be taken into account when Congress eventually establishes new mechanisms to regulate the cinema.

27 Hernán Millas, “La Tijera de la Dictadura sigue cortando,” La Epoca, July 26, 1992. (Translation by Human Rights Watch.)

28 Article 1.

29 Although the CCC was created before the 1980 constitution was drafted, its top-heavy composition is similar to that contemplated for the CNTV, the television watchdog body, by jurist Jaime Guzmán in the constitutional drafting commission. Guzmán argued: “On theother hand, I have considered that in regard to radio and television it is necessary to put together an autonomous council, independent of the executive branch, which may be an exact expression of Chilean institutions, of the best of these institutions, of those which, if they one day become corrupted, one would have to assume that the country as a whole has become corrupted.” Enrique Evans de la Cuadra, Los Derechos Constitucionales (Santiago: Ediciones Jurídicas), Vol. 1, p. 314. The identification of the “country as a whole” with the judiciary, the educational system and the armed forces suggests an evident conservative bias.

30 Article 9 of the regulations.

31 According to Article 24 of Decree 679, “films of an educational, scientific, technical or cultural character that the universities import or produce for their exclusive use, may be exhibited on university campuses with the classification of strictly ‘cultural granted’ by the Council of Rectors, after they have sent information in writing to the Council of Cinematic Classification.”

32 Human Rights Watch interview with Hilda Hernández, member of the CCC, June 2, 1998.

33 American Convention on Human Rights, Article 13 (4).

34 "52 cintas se han prohibido en la ultima década,” El Mercurio, January 22, 1997.

35 "Fallo de comisión será público,” La Epoca, August 11, 1992.

36 Films finally shown as a result of an appeal include Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris, exhibited for the first time in 1992, nineteen years after its release. Oliver Stone’s Salvador, banned for ideological reasons in 1987, was finally passed for exhibition in 1992, coinciding with the director’s visit to the country. Stephen Frears’s Prick Up Your Ears, authorized in the same year after a two-year ban, became the first candid film about homosexuals to be shown in Chile. “Censura autorizó la exhibición de Salvador de Oliver Stone,” La Epoca, January, 1992; Alejandro Jiménez, “Los ocultos llamados del deseo,” La Epoca,August 7, 1992.

37 Article 18 of Decree 679.

38 Article 8 of Organic Constitutional Law No. 18,575 on the Bases of the Administration of State (Ley Organica Constitucional 18.575 de Bases de la Administración del Estado) states that “the organs of State Administration shall act on their own initiative in carrying out their functions or on petition by parties when the law expressly requires it or use is made of the right of petition or complaint.”

39 Articles 38 and 43 of the regulations

40 Article 19 of Decree 679.

41 Article 20 of Decree 679.

42 Miguel Littín, “Censura: y sin embargo, se mueve,” La Epoca, August 18, 1992.

43 The council banned two films in 1990, one in 1991, six in 1992, one in 1993, one in 1994 and none in 1995-1996. “52 cintas se han prohibido,” El Mercurio, January 22, 1997.

44 "Censuran dos películas incluídas en retrospectiva de cine español,” La Epoca, July 19, 1992.

45 Earlier in the year, the CCC had rejected a promotional poster of the El Rey Pasmado, by Spanish director Imanol Uribe, which showed Goya’s painting of The Naked Maja, and insisted that the distributors cover the Maja’s behind. Allard intervened on this occasion, too, to get the decision reversed. Jazmín Lolas, “Censura cambió de idea: permite una de las películas,” La Epoca, July 21, 1992. It was also reported in the press that La Tarea, by Mexican director Jaime Humberto Hermosilla, was able to be shown at the Viña del Mar International Film Festival in October 1991 due to last-minute intervention by education ministry officials. According to “unofficial sources” the film had been banned by the CCC for its sexual content.”La tarea, otra cinta cuestionada,” La Epoca, July 21, 1992.

46 "Critican censura a filme en TV cable,” La Epoca, August 29, 1996.

47 Sentence, June 17, 1997, paras. 13,14. (Translation by Human Rights Watch.)

48 Sentence, para. 7.

49 Last Temptation of Christ judgment. Seventh Chamber of the Santiago Appeals Court, para. 18.

50 José Zalaquett, “La Ultima Tentación Judicial,” La Segunda, January 28, 1997.

51 European Court of Human Rights, Handyside judgment of December 7, 1976, Series A, No. 24, para. 49.

52 Zalaquett, “La Ultima Tentación...,” La Segunda.

53 Christ’s domicile was given in the petition as an address on the Paseo Ahumada, in downtown Santiago. Lucas Sierra Iribarren, “Razonamiento Judicial,” El Mercurio, January 26, 1997. (Translation by Human Rights Watch.)

54 Last Temptation of Christ Judgment. Seventh Chamber of the Santiago Appeals Court, para. 14.

55 An example was a protection writ applied for by descendants of a nineteenth-century senator and government minister, Claudio Vicuña Guerrero, against the producer of the 1998 Chilean film Gringuito. The film included a dance sequence in the Vicuña family’s mausoleum in Santiago’s General Cemetery, which the family found offensive to its honor. The writ was unanimously rejected by the Santiago Appeals Court, but an appeal is currently before the Supreme Court. G. Núñez, “Apelan en caso Gringuito,” La Tercera, August 8, 1998.

56 Renovación Nacional’s political commission pronounced itself in favor of the constitutional reform in May 1997. “RN aprobó poner fin a censura cinematográfica,” El Mercurio, May 29, 1997

57 El Mercurio was categorical in an editorial supporting the government proposal: “The inclusion of cinematographic censorship in the same constitutional statute which prevents prior censorship in general constitutes a vestige of state paternalism which is inconsistent with the spirit of the constitution. If the constitution’s drafters made an exception to this rule regarding cinematographic matter, their apprehension was motivated by the desire to adopt precautions against the totalitarian ideological propaganda which characterized the Cold War.” “Censura Cinematográfica,” El Mercurio, February 14, 1997.

58 Carmen María Vergara, “Senador Diez se opone a reforma constitucional del Ejecutivo que suprime la censura,” La Segunda, February 5, 1997.

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