Their absent partners were their husbands, brothers, fathers, sons, absent because the Chilean dictatorial régime had arrested them or had made them “disappear” due to their opinions or political activities.
The reach and repercussion of Sting’s song They Dance Alone generated an increase of world attention towards the human rights situation in Chile. The song was censured by Augusto Pinochet’s régime even banning it from being broadcast by Chilean radio stations.
World opinion turned to Chile preceding and boosting the upcoming Referendum for the passing of the new Constitution, which then put an end to Pinochet’s dictatorship.
Currently a group of women also confronts bravely and actively the imprisonment of their husbands, brothers, fathers, or sons. They remember their absent loved ones despite the veiled or open threats of their country’s régime. They simply attend the office of the Mass every week, dressed in white. They are the Ladies in White.
Their activity began after the mass arrests that the Cuban régime carried out in 2003 against the political dissidents of the Caribbean island, a category which, in Cuba, ranges from independent journalists to private librarians. For some the death penalty was proposed, but finally they were all condemned summarily to sentences from 16 to 25 years in prison.
In view of the Chilean precedent, where Sting’s involvement played a very important role, we wish to most respectfully address him to propose that he consider adopting the cause of the Ladies in White. We are not asking him to compose a song, but rather that he channel his image and influence in favor of human rights, as he did with the Chilean women’s movement, to help spread the cause of the Ladies in White, not to end a country’s régime, but instead to achieve that the husbands, brothers, fathers and sons of these courageous women be set free.
All those who sympathize with this request directed to Sting, among other activities, are invited to sign this petition addressed to the British singer and songwriter.
Sign the petition here
(English translation courtesy of The Druid.)
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<a href="http://new.petitiononline.com/STINGDDB/petition.html"><img src="http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/blogosfera/boton.gif" alt="Damas de Blanco"></a>