Chile’s Coup and Authoritarian Period LSJ/SIS 322 Spring 2009
Chile in the 1960’s • Period of social and political tumult • Nueva canción movement • Three major political forces: Marxists/Socialists, Christian democrats, Conservatives • Eduardo Frei elected 1964: major social and economic reforms • Agrarian reform to redistribute land • “Chileanization” of copper mines • (Chile produced 25% of world’s copper)
Unidad Popular Socialist coalition aimed to establish “via chilena al socialismo”, socialism without armed revolution
El pueblo unido jamás será vencido, el pueblo unido jamás será vencido... De pie, cantar que vamos a triunfar. Avanzan ya banderas de unidad. Y tú vendrás marchando junto a mí, y asíverás tu canto y tu bandera florecer, la luz de un rojo amanecer anuncia ya la vida que vendrá. The people united will never be defeated, The people united will never be defeated. Arise, sing, we are going to win. Flags of unity are now advancing. And you will come marching together with me, and so you'll see your song and your flag blossom. The light of a red dawn already announces the life to come. “El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido”
De pie, luchar el pueblo va a triunfar. Será mejor la vida que vendrá a conquistar nuestra felicidad y en un clamor mil voces de combate se alzarán, dirán, canción de libertad con decisión la patria vencerá. Y ahora el pueblo que se alza en la lucha con voz de gigante gritando: ¡adelante! Arise, fight the people are going to win. The life to come will be better. To conquer our happiness. and a clamor of a thousand fighting voices will rise, speaking a song of freedom. With determination the fatherland will win. And now the people, who are rising in struggle with the voice of a giant crying out: Forward!
El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido! La patria está forjando la unidad de norte a sur, se movilizará Desde el salar ardiente y mineral Al bosque austral, unidos en la lucha y el trabajo irán, La patria cubrirán Su paso ya anuncia el porvenir. The people, united, will never be defeated!The people, united, will never be defeated! The fatherland is forging unity, from north to south people will mobilize. From the burning minerals of the salt mines to the southern forests, united in struggle and labor they go, Covering the fatherland. Their footsteps announce the future.
De pie, cantar, el pueblo va a triunfar. Millones ya imponen la verdad De acero son, ardiente batallón, Sus manos van, llevando la justicia y la razón, Mujer, con fuego y con valor, ya estás aquí junto al trabajador. Arise, sing, the people are going to win, Millions now are imposing the truth. Their steel battalions are on fire, Taking in their hands justice and reason. Woman, with fire and valor, you are already here alongside the worker.
Allende’s economic reforms • Continued “Chileanization” of copper, nationalized mines owned by Anaconda and Kennecott in 1971 • Turned over land in large estates, and some factories, to workers • Audio: Inti-Illimani on the reforms
Ya no serán los campos Sólo de algunos Va a recibir el pueblo Todos los frutos Nacionalizaremos Muchas riquezas Sistemas financieros Grandes empresas The fields will no longer belong Only to a few The people will now receive All the fruits. Let´s nationalize Our riches Financial systems Big businesses “Canción de la propiedad social privada,” Inti Illimani
Con esta economía Será el estado (bis) Quien domine el control De los mercados (bis) Y se irán expropiando Carbón y yodo Salitre y otras yerbas Poquito a poco Toda la minería El hierro y cobre Con las demás riquezas De nuestro norte. With this economy It will be the state (repeat) That dominates the control Of the market (repeat) Carbon and iodide Salt and other minerals Will be expropriated Little by little All the mines Steel and copper And the other riches Of our north.
El poder de los señores Que hablan en gringo (bis) Y unos pocos criollos Que dan lo mismo. Hay algunos propietarios Los pequeños y medianos Agrícolas e industriales Que también son explotados. Son víctimas directas De monopolios Que por todo les pagan Menos que el costo. The power of the men Who speak in “gringo” (repeat) And of a few criollos Who are basically the same thing. There are some owners Small landowners and middle sized Agriculturalists and businesspeople Who are also exploited. They are direct victims Of monopolies For everything they get paid Less than cost.
Son propiedad privada Y en el gobierno Con mejor garantía Seguirán siendo. Pero no hay que enchuecarse Con los empleados Y para los obreros Buenos salarios (bis) Yo me moriré cantando Porque he nacido chicharra Les doy también la partida Para la reforma agraria. They are private property owners And with the new government They will continue to be such With better guarantees. But they must not get stingy With their workers For all the workers, Decent salaries (repeat) I will die singing Because I was born a chatterbox But I also want to suggest we talk about Agrarian reform
Con arado se despiertan Tierras que estaban dormidas, Por eso hagamos, compadre Las formas cooperativas. Ya se acaba el latifundio El campo al quien lo trabaja Se hace la reforma agraria El momento es importante Nadie se ponga adelante. Y los técnicos agrarios Ya se ponen al servicio Del campesino chileno Que ha encontrado su destino Lands that had lain dormant Will awaken with the plow For this reason, brother, let´s make Cooperative forms of agriculture. The latifundio is finished The fields will be for he who works them The agrarian reform will be done This is an important moment No one should step ahead (of others). And the agricultural technicians Will place themselves at the service Of the Chilean peasantry Who have found their new destiny
Ya se acaba el latifundio El campo al quien lo trabaja Se hace la reforma agraria El momento es importante Nadie se ponga adelante. Con el pueblo en el gobierno Se descubren mil caminos Aceleran la reforma Los consejos campesinos Ya se acaba… The latifundio is finished The fields will be for he who works them The agrarian reform will be done This is an important moment No one should step ahead (of others). With the people in government A thousand paths will be discovered The reforms will be accelerated By peasant councils Repeat.
US reaction • Document 1: Sept 15, 1970 handwritten note taken by CIA director Richard Helms, recording orders of US President Nixon to foster a coup in Chile: • 1 in 10 chance perhaps, but save Chile! • Worth spending • Not concerned • No involvement of Embassy • $10,000,000 available, more if necessary • full-time job – best men we have • make the economy scream • 48 hours for plan of action
US reaction • “Not a nut or a bolt shall reach Chile under Allende. Once Allende comes to power we shall do all within our power to condemn Chile and all Chileans to the utmost deprivation and poverty.” • Edward Korry, US Ambassador to Chile • US began economic blockade of Chile • Intervened with World Bank, IADB to freeze Chile’s credit
US reaction • In first year, economy grew 8%, inflation low; but by 1973, inflation topped 300% (500%?) • Shortage of commercial goods • Society deeply polarized -> strikes, instability • Allende called for a popular referendum on his economic program, to be held Sept. 11, 1973
After the coup • Thousands of Chileans, members of Allende’s UP party, were rounded up by armed forces, placed in concentration camps • The Red Cross estimates that as many as 7000 were held in the National Stadium
In the National Stadium “Every night we would hear the screams of the workers who were executed in the east wing of the National Stadium in Santiago. The next day, the blood stains were washed away with hoses. Every day, observers would see a pile of shoes that had been worn by the victims of the previous night." • (Pablo Antillano, Venezuelan journalist in the Morning Star, September 28, 1973. Chile. Libro Negro)
Document 3 • Report by US Naval Attache Patrick Ryan on Chile’s coup: “close to perfect”. This was written on October 1
Document 4 • Dept of State Memo by Jack Zubisch Nov 16, 1973, sent to US Secy of State detailing post-coup executions. • Shows list of numbers killed, etc • Amnesty International and the UN Human Rights Committee: 250,000 Chileans detained for political reasons between September-December 1973, many tortured and executed • Testimony from the stadium
CIA support Well through the 1970’s, CIA continued funneling money to torturers and murderers in Pinochet’s government, because, as Secretary of State Kissinger told Gen. Pinochet, “In the United States, as you know, we are sympathetic to what you are trying to do here.”
The victims • Immediately after coup: • UP members, supporters of leftist parties, anyone affiliated with Allende • Students, professors, university personnel • Military who opposed to coup • Union members • Family and associates of the above groups • As dictatorship wore on, growing human rights movement also targeted
Growing resistance • Catholic Church, human rights groups, students’ groups, trade unions • First national protest May 11, 1983: “The Time Has Come to Say Enough!” • 1988 plebiscite on Pinochet rule: Pinochet voted out (53 to 44%) • Patricio Aylwin, first civilian president since Allende, took office 1990
The Rettig Commission • Truth Commission, created 1991 to investigate acts ending in death/disappearance • Concluded in 1996 that: • A total of 3,197 people died or went missing between September 11, 1973 and March 11, 1990. • Of these, 1,102 classify as disappeared and 2,095 as deaths. • Valech Report (2004): 27,000 were incarcerated without trials and subjected to torture • Latin American Institute on Mental Health and Human Rights (ILAS) estimates 200,000 directly affected by repression
Pinochet’s legacy • After stepping down as president, remained “Senator for Life” • Margaret Thatcher: Pinochet "saved Chile for democracy” • Presided over period of economic growth
Pinochet’s legacy • Detained in 1998 when visiting Britain, on warrant from Spanish judge • Eventually released on medical grounds in 2000, returned to Chile • When died in 2006, 300 criminal charges pending against him in Chile