ADL Voices Concern Over Anti-Semitic Remarks of Chilean Presidential Candidate’s Campaign Coordinator

New York, NY, November 6, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is calling on Michelle Bachelet, former Chilean president and current presidential candidate, to denounce anti-Semitic statements made by Senator Eugenio Tuma, who is reported to be one of her campaign coordinators in the current national elections.

“Senator Tuma’s anti-Semitic outbursts have no place in Chilean society,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director.  “Bachelet should publicly denounce Senator Tuma’s statements and make clear to the people of Chile that such views are unacceptable.”

In statements given to Controversia TV in October, and CNN Chile in November, Tuma urged the public to read the anti-Semitic writings of the Chilean Nazi writer Miguel Serrano and repeated hateful anti-Jewish and anti-Israel conspiracy theories.  Senator Tuma has a history of offensive and biased public statements.  In 2008, he vilified the State of Israel by comparing its actions to those of Hitler during the Holocaust.  In January 2012, on Chilean national media, he blamed Israel for the tragic ecological disaster in Torres del Paine Park.

In a letter, Mr. Foxman commended Ms. Bachelet for her past efforts in securing justice and combatting hate, but noted the absence of public condemnations of Tuma’s remarks.

“The silence so far from civic, religious and political leaders in Chile is troubling,” Mr. Foxman wrote.  “You have been at the forefront of the efforts to safeguard freedom, justice and democracy in Chile and to champion an end to discrimination and all forms of hate.  We are surprised that you have not yet spoken out to condemn forthrightly as unacceptable Senator Tuma’s statements, which only incite to hate and discrimination and to make clear that his bigoted views have no place in your campaign to return to the Presidency of Chile.”

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

More from this Section