Posted by: turtlebella | 12 December 2006

Home despots

A very bad man died the other day. And I admit I did a little dance. I almost hate to admit that I find happiness in the death of another human being. And really, I should be a little upset that he never paid for his multitude of sins, sins so bad that really they should have another word for it. Atrocities? Yup, that’d be a good word. Torture? Check. Wikipedia gives a death estimate of 3,000 and at least 30,000 tortured during his 17 year reign. I’m going to assume those estimates are actually under-estimates.

Yes, I’m talking about Pinochet. Who overthrew the Salvador Allende’s democratically-elected government on September 11, 1973. This coup d’etat was CIA-backed. The Nixon administration helped to create the chaos in Chile that allowed the coup to take place. The United States is complicit in the deaths, detainment, torture, forced disappearances of thousands of Chileans.

Pinochet evaded justice, even though he was indited and even arrested in London. He was too frail, too ill to face justice, apparently. He would not apologize to his people. Of course, neither has the CIA nor former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger faced any kind of justice either.

Torture. People disappeared. Secret prisons. The CIA involvement. Does any of this sound familiar? I can’t put it better than The Unapologetic Mexican has done,

HOW MANY TIMES do we need to see it play out in the world? The elite, the executive, the few stealing the will of the People and installing leaders who are sympethetic to solamente una bandera? The planet, the children, and the soul of the world suffer as people become filled with fear, lose their light. The wealthy snicker and rationalize while the poor starve. Police control and violence grow. Reason and freedom of information wither.


It’s horrifying to look over our world and realize that the very same things happen over and over. It’s all related, and some refuse to expand their vision beyond one small happening. They want to cordon off one event or situation and claim it lives alone, is not related. It would hurt too much to see the obvious patterns recurring. It might mean that their favorite notions are false. But nothing happens in a vaccuum up in this joint, comprendes? And until we teach the history of the world and her people as it ought to be taught—interconnected motives and consequences that illustrate a few benefitting while a great many suffer and all the while truth perverted for the bloody dollar as the children sicken—we can only repeat, and repeat, and repeat this nightmare that robs happiness and life from humans all over this planet.

Democracy Now! had a good segment on Pinochet’s death and horrible legacy and about how much we still have to learn about what happened during the time he wielded his power like a club, I encourage you to listen to it/read the transcript.

Update: El Tecolote online has an open letter to Henry Kissinger, the last man of the Junta. I’ve linked the english-language version, but there’s also a version in Spanish, for those of us working on re-connecting to one of our ancestral/mother tongues- Nezua, luisa, bfp: guys that means you! :)



  1. I never understood the whole business about people being too old or weak or frail to be held responsible for their actions. Is it because the state doesn’t have the facilities to care for people with those kind of healthcare needs? No nurses in the prisons? I just don’t buy it. It’s completely unacceptable. At the very minimum he should have been put in a nursing home of the worst possible variety. It is unfortunate for most residents that nursing homes can be somewhat prison-like, but in this case it would be appropriate. He should not have been able to use the money he stole from the Chilean people to live out his days in luxury. How does that serve justice?

    It made me very happy that Michele Bachelet denied him a state funeral, at least.

  2. After reading your views, I know you will want to see this.

    It is our own governments attempt to gain more power for the few over the many.

    The Henshaw Incident case is a particularly frightening example.

    It is very alarming to see what the government is doing with the power it already has. Never mind what it might do with the power it is attempting to gain.

    Where has the constitution gone?

  3. I agree, totally bogus that this excuse kept him out of prison. Especially since no one is going to convince me that he didn’t imprison people that were ill or frail. (then again, I argue with myself, it’s not about an eye for an eye) But he should have had to face up to the music, so to speak. If only as part of truth and reconciliation, but also in the name of justice everywhere. Makes me hopping mad, really.

  4. I think this was the first time I ever had the thought that I’d like to dance on someone’s grave.

  5. The elites nearly always find a way to stay out of prison… kinda like in my home state of Connecticut, where the crooked governor got less time than the people who bribed him. Does that make sense? Would they have been able to bribe the governor if the governor weren’t corrupt? The judge in his case sentenced him to LESS than what his plea agreement had set forth… ugh…

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