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! :)