This video from the USA says about itself:
7 April 2014
Facing the Past: Revealing the truth about Chile’s dirty war.
For more information visit here.
In Chile, the murderous past under dictator general Augusto Pinochet is slowly coming under scrutiny. With new evidence of extermination camps, the families of the disappeared are yearning for justice.
“I started to testify and began to get rid of those pangs of guilt”, confesses Jorgelino Vergara. Aged only 15, Jorgelino worked as waiter at the secret Simon Bolivar extermination centre witnessing horrific torture and murder. More than 3000 people were kidnapped and killed after the army general seized power in 1973. After a long investigation, charges are being laid against more than seventy people accused of involvement in the brutality at Simon Bolivar.
One of them is a member of the much feared Lautaro Brigade, Adriana Rivas. From the safety of her Australian exile, she denies charges but her views on torture remain chilling: “Everyone knew they had to do that in order to break them because Communists would not talk. It was necessary”. The secrets and brutality of the Pinochet regime are laid bare at Santiago’s memory museum. The daughter of one of Rivas’ victims, who was beaten to a pulp and then injected with a lethal poison, is now a curator there. As she fights for remembrance and justice, she wonders: “How can a human being be part of this machinery of exterminating people?”
By John Green:
The conflicted alliance which brutally devastated Chile
Monday 29th June 2015
Reagan and Pinochet: The Struggle Over US Policy Towards Chile by M Morley and C McGillon (Cambridge University Press, £22.99)
IT IS one of the real tragedies of history that unpalatable truths invariably only come out many years after the events when we can do little about them.
This is certainly true of the criminal and blatant involvement of the US in the affairs of Chile that was instrumental in ousting a democratically elected socialist president and for the loss of the lives of many wonderful people.
In this book, the first comprehensive study of the Reagan administration’s policy towards Chile, the authors state: “During the first three decades of the 20th century, the United States transformed itself from a dominant regional into a competitive global power, all the while projecting its power abroad driven less by a desire ‘to make the world a safer place for democracy’ than to put down nationalist threats to an expanding US capital and commerce.” Chile came into that category.
Returning from leave a few days after president Allende’s 1970 election victory, a US official said that the White House “had gone ape. They were frantic, beside themselves.”
President Nixon immediately instructed the CIA to prevent Allende taking power and, although they were unsuccessful they did, with Henry Kissinger’s help, destroy his government in a brutal military coup led by their puppet General Pinochet.
The authors demonstrate how over the years — even for the US — the brutality and vehemence, with which Pinochet used to stamp on democracy in Chile, was damaging its image as an upholder of democracy and human rights.
The Chilean example was replicated throughout Latin America with terrible and long-lasting repercussions. Under Ronald Reagan the US made efforts to bring Pinochet to heel and put pressure on him to moderate the malevolence of his dictatorship, while at the same time being happy to have a right-wing authoritarian regime in control in Chile.
Reagan is shown by the authors to be an effete and ignorant individual, certainly in terms of world affairs. He was happy to let his presidential team do all the detailed negotiations and footwork for him. He was the ideal front man for a cabal of right-wing ideologues — the jovial and avuncular movie screen president behind whom the ruthless conspirators could hide.
The book is dense, and of course only covers the Reagan years, after much of the dirty work had been done. It also largely ignores what the US was doing in the other Latin American countries at the time but, even so, its meticulous and illuminating research makes it a highly useful reference work.