Target: President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet
Goal: Demand justice for Chilean priest involved with several illegal adoptions during the military dictatorship
During the military dictatorship that took place in Chile from 1973 to 1990, the Catholic Church had a strong influence on the public and on the government. In particular, an investigation regarding a senior Roman Catholic priest has shown that during this era, women were forced to give their children up for adoption in order to avoid the “social stigma” associated with being a single mother, according to a BBC article.
Father Gerardo Joannon is under investigation for being involved with numerous illegal adoptions in the 1970s and 1980s. It is confirmed that in two adoptions, he lied to the mother about the death of her child and then later put the child up for adoption. Both mothers were put under anesthesia during childbirth. In addition, the priest arranged masses for these children despite knowing the truth.
At first, a regional church head urged Joannon to apologize to the families and travel to Spain in order “to initiate a process of psychological and spiritual accompaniment.” However, while the investigation continues in Chile, Chilean Judge Mario Carroza has barred Joannon from leaving the country for at least two months.
By signing the petition below, you are demanding that justice be served for the mothers that Father Joannon deceived and for the babies who were taken from their homes.
Dear President Bachelet,
In a recent investigation, it was discovered that Father Gerardo Joannon was involved with several illegal adoptions during the military dictatorship that took place from 1973 to 1990. Although Joannon justifies his actions based on his Catholic beliefs, the families that were torn apart by his decisions deserve justice.
During the 1970s and 1980s, it is confirmed that Joannon told two mothers that their children died during childbirth in order to secretly give these children up for adoption. In order to pull off this charade, both mothers were put under anesthesia while in labor and Joannon held masses for the “death” of their children.
Thankfully, Judge Mario Carroza barred Joannon from leaving the country for two months while his investigation continues. The amount of time that has passed since these crimes does not diminish their severity. Therefore, I urge you to ensure that Joannon is properly punished. He has broken apart families just because they did not fit into his traditional definition, and he should not have the power to cause that kind of damage.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Richard Espinoza via Wikimedia Commons