March 26, 2014
His Excellency Felipe Bulnes
Ambassador of Chile to the United States
1732 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington DC, 20036
Dear Ambassador Bulnes:
We are writing to express our deep concern regarding the opening of a new art school in Chiloé Island called “Art School, President General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte.” According to media reports, the school has adopted the Nazi swastika as its symbol and plans to disseminate Nazi ideology to its students.
Not only is the name of the school troubling, but the founder of the school, Godofredo Rodriguez Pacheco, is seen photographed with the swastika and has said to local media that “my ultimate goal is to form a political party, a nationalist proposal designed from Chiloé, and I don’t mind if people tell me I’m a Nazi.”
It is greatly alarming that so many years after Nazi war criminals sought to evade justice for their crimes by fleeing to the Chilean and Argentinian Patagonia following World War II, Nazi propaganda and hate is once again being spread in this region.
We greatly appreciate the important step taken by the Chilean Ministry of Education in refusing to accredit the school, and the statements made by Chilean deputies expressing their utter disgust that such hatred is being promoted in Chilean society.
Respectfully, we urge the Government of Chile to clearly condemn this deeply offensive glorification of Nazism, and call on the Minister of Education to publicly affirm that anti-Semitism, hate and discrimination in any form have no place in the educational system or elsewhere in Chilean society.
Abraham H. Foxman
cc: Gerardo Gorodischer, President of the Jewish Community of Chile