government: presidential republic
state of civil and political rights: Free
constitution: 11 September 1980, effective 11 March 1981; amended many times, the last in 2005
legal system: based on code of 1857 founded on Spanish law, with elements from French and Austrian law
legislative system: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (Senado) and the Chamber of Deputies (Camara de Diputados)
judicial system: Supreme Court, Constitutional court
religion: Roman Catholic 70%, Evangelical 15.1%, other
year of last executions: 0-0-0
death sentences: 0
international treaties on human rights and the death penalty:
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1st Optional Protocol to the Covenant
Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (aiming to the abolition of the death penalty)
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
American Convention on Human Rights
Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to abolish the Death Penalty
Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture
Statute of the International Criminal Court (which excludes the death penalty) (only signed)
The death penalty for ordinary crimes was abolished in 2001. Both houses of Parliament voted overwhelmingly to remove the death penalty and replace it with a maximum sentence of life in prison, and, on May 28, 2001, the President signed the bill into law.
Chile's military courts retained the death penalty but it can only be applied in times of war.
Chilean Justice Minister Juan Antonio Gomez said the move simply brought legislation into line with judicial practice in Chile, since judges had seldom applied the death penalty.
The death penalty was first used in Chile in 1890. The last time the sentence was carried out was in 1985, when two former police officers were shot for the serial killings of several couples in the beach resort of Vina del Mar. The last death sentence in Chile was passed in July 1999. In recent years all death sentences had been commuted to life imprisonment.
On December 19, 2016, Chile co-sponsored and voted again in favour of the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly.