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Terrorism and Political Violence during the Pinochet Years: Chile, 1973-1989

Terrorism and Political Violence during the Pinochet Years: Chile, 1973-1989 Page 182 REFLECTIONS AND REPORTS Verónica Valdivia Ortiz de Zárate Chile has historically viewed itself as atypical compared to other Latin American countries, especially because of the political stability achieved following independence and the marginality of the military from explicit involvement in politics. Convinced of this particularity, the country was shocked by the violence exhibited by the armed forces on the morning of September 11, 1973, and during the days and months that followed the unseating of the constitutional president, Salvador Allende. Seventeen years of one of the most cruel dictatorships in the memory of Latin America brutally replaced Chile’s long history of civilian rule. Terror took control of a large part of the population, incapable of understanding and, least of all, responding to the violence that hovered systematically over it. As Norbert Lechner has put it to so well, Chilean society “was dying with fear.”1 The level of political and social polarization in Chilean society during the months and days leading to the military coup constituted one of the factors that, from the beginning, allowed the Pinochet regime to justify the violence it employed against the population at large. The high degree of concentration of power and http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Radical History Review Duke University Press

Terrorism and Political Violence during the Pinochet Years: Chile, 1973-1989

Radical History Review , Volume 2003 (85) – Jan 1, 2003

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2003 by MARHO: The Radical Historians' Organization, Inc.
ISSN
0163-6545
eISSN
1534-1453
DOI
10.1215/01636545-2003-85-182
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Page 182 REFLECTIONS AND REPORTS Verónica Valdivia Ortiz de Zárate Chile has historically viewed itself as atypical compared to other Latin American countries, especially because of the political stability achieved following independence and the marginality of the military from explicit involvement in politics. Convinced of this particularity, the country was shocked by the violence exhibited by the armed forces on the morning of September 11, 1973, and during the days and months that followed the unseating of the constitutional president, Salvador Allende. Seventeen years of one of the most cruel dictatorships in the memory of Latin America brutally replaced Chile’s long history of civilian rule. Terror took control of a large part of the population, incapable of understanding and, least of all, responding to the violence that hovered systematically over it. As Norbert Lechner has put it to so well, Chilean society “was dying with fear.”1 The level of political and social polarization in Chilean society during the months and days leading to the military coup constituted one of the factors that, from the beginning, allowed the Pinochet regime to justify the violence it employed against the population at large. The high degree of concentration of power and

Journal

Radical History ReviewDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2003

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