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Sender: owner-imap@webmap.missouri.edu
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 98 08:02:05 CST
From: Thomas Kruse <tkruse@albatros.cnb.net>
Subject: Chile: News from the trenches
Organization: ?
Article: 27098

News from the trenches

From Thomas Kruse
5 February 1998

Estimado: Things are getting rather exciting around here. For the first time in a very long time a wide spectrum of political forces have united in their efforts to prevent Pinochet from becoming a senator for life. It is clear to us that he will eventually take his seat in parliament on March 11th, for the current balance of power does not favour us. However, Pinochet's decision to continue playing an active part in politics( formally that is, for he has never relinquished power) has backfired, for it has made ordinary people realise, for the first time, that our so called democracy is far from being perfect. In fact, it stinks, it's nothing but a "democradura", a surrealist cross between democracy and dictatorship typical of Latin America.

In short, Pinochet will become a senator, but the political cost of so doing will be very high. People have began to organize and several political and citizens'organizations have already been created. For us, the Left, the Pinochet issue is nothing but a detail. It has been useful to gather strength, unite and mobilize people, but we are very much aware that many of those who oppose Pinochet have their own political agendas ( Putting forward names/ candidates for the 1999 presidential election). Also, we know that many of those who are willing to organize today and mobilize against Pinochet, are not leftwing people and as such will not necessarily support an alternative form of government and society.

Anyway, people are angry, a massive demonstration is being planned for March 11th in Valparaíso and Santiago. Here in Valpo, toilet paper with Pinochet's face printed on it it's being distributed in public places (restaurants, bars,etc,.) A million signatures are being collected to protest against Pinochet's shameless action. The Association of Ex Prisoners of War of Valparaiso was set up a few days ago in order to fight against impunity and recover our collective memory.

Well Tom, as I said, things are getting excited around here. This also implies danger, for you never know what the Armed Forces are prepared to do in order to preserve their power (or the government for that matter). I have the feeling that the March 11th demonstration will turn violent and a lot of people will get injured or be killed by the police. As you can see, little has changed in our country....

Un abrazo y cariños...

Tom Kruse / Casilla 5812 / Cochabamba, Bolivia
Tel/Fax: (591-42) 48242
Email: tkruse@albatros.cnb.net

Zarembka, using OS/2 and supporting RESEARCH IN POLITICAL ECONOMY at http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PZarembka


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