forgiveness nor oblivion, for that distant Tuesday
of a late Autumn lives in the memory, the skin
and gaze of a people that did not deserve so much
sorrow. Noone can and should not forget the desperate
chanting of the disappeared, reclined, who knows,
against the shadow of a peach tree, gasping for
a sunbeam. And the military know where they are,
they know their names, they heard their last sighs.
They know where they are, the Generals know, the
Admirals know. Pinochet knows, therefore we did
not feel sorry for his agony, we did not commiserate
with his plight, we do not grieve his death.
really does hurt us is the fact that the dictator
did not spend a single minute in prison and that
all sorts of subterfuges were used to evade justice.
Tenuous and lenient justice at that, fading away
in numerous habeas corpus, appeals and the coward
cries of a man who did not hesitate to kill and
torture, but whenever he had to face the lukewarm
Chilean justice, claimed impunity and insanity
so that he could seek refuge in the tranquility
of his home.
he knows, he always knew everything that went
on in this country, because he gave precise orders
to detain, torture and murder. The dictator dictated.
Thats why businessmen worshiped him, because
they rejoiced themselves buying Chile at a cheap
price. Thats why he was loved by large state
owners who recovered their land handed over to
poor peasants through the agrarian reform. Thats
why he was venerated by bankers that sold out
the country with the dictatorships support.
Thats why the Right greeted him unconditionally
in his days of obscure glory. But when the glory
was over, when slowly but surely the truth about
human rights violations became known, everyone
turned their back on him. Thus the dictator was
alone in the abyss of his senility. However, he
continued lying and betraying, as he always did,
because he was not as senile after all, because
he was not as lonely after all; because every
time he faced charges or some alleged health problem
arose, his supporters re-appeared again praising
they talked about economic growth, the countrys
modernization or its insertion in the world market,
of Free Trade Agreements and macroeconomic indicators.
And then the disappeared disappeared again, as
did the assassinated, the tortured, and the prisoners.
They disappeared between the interstices of an
omnipresent market that pierces the soul of a
wounded country. Like it was wounded on September
11th 1973 and every day and every night after
by the dictatorship of a dictator that knew, that
Pinochet never had the courage to admit his personal
and political responsibility for the State terrorism
he imposed on Chile for nearly two decades. But
no matter how many times he denied it or how many
deaths he dies, our people know, the world knows
of his cowardice and the cowardice of all those
that protected him. He killed us a thousand times,
but he could not kill our memory or quell our
spirit. He died and we are alive; he lost and
Tricot, a former political prisoner, is currently
a sociologist and Director of the Center for Intercultural
Studies, Ilwen, Chile.