A Church-led initiative to grant a prisoner amnesty to mark Chile’s 200th anniversary of independence has caused outrage among human rights groups.
Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera is to decide on Sunday whether to go ahead with the pardons which will include 35 former members of the military accused of crimes against humanity.
Human rights groups protested outside government house as the proposition was discussed. If the right wing Pinera backs the idea it will be in direct contrast with neighbour Argentina, where pardons have been lifted and military officials put on trial.
The crimes date back to the 17-year long dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet during which more than 3,000 people were killed or disappeared and about 28,000 tortured.