By Thomas Wright, Rody Oñate, Irene B. Hodgson
Mass arrests, torture, and executions common Pinochet's coup on September eleven, 1973. shortly humans begun fleeing Chile, and over the subsequent fifteen years a few 200,000 Chileans sought exile in approximately a hundred and forty international locations. Out in their discomfort and anger comes the 1st oral heritage, or tales, in their fractured lives. many that fled have been tortured, and so they clung to the primary that the dictatorship used to be an evil that needed to be destroyed. yet their zeal and unity with different refugees frequently didn't maintain households, and nearly all of marriages collapsed and kids frequently misplaced curiosity of their homeland and tradition. After civilian rule emerged in 1989, many returning exiles felt estranged from a fatherland perpetually replaced. "A compelling and relocating account."--Marjorie Agos?n, writer of Tapestries of desire, Threads of affection: The Arpillera move in Chile, 1974-1994
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The interviews made equally indelible impressions on the authors. Time after time, we heard individuals say how lucky they were lucky to have been arrested early, for example, before the military government had its intelligence apparatus honed; lucky to have gotten asylum in an embassy; lucky to have been tortured lightly. No one said the obvious: that they were lucky to be alive. We heard the most gruesome stories told matter-of-factly: stories of their torture, of their loved ones' deaths, of heart-stopping close calls with arrest or assassination.
Thus, despite the formal, symbolic closure of Chile's experience of mass exile, for the individuals still dispersed around the globe and for their families in Chile, the diaspora begun in 1973 was, and still is, a fact of life. Page 11 Two Prelude to Exile The Military Coup When Salvador Allende was elected president, some wondered whether Chile's armed forces would intervene to prevent the enactment of Allende's revolutionary agenda. Most Chileans, however, expected the military to honor its tradition of eschewing partisan politics a tradition that set Chile apart from the great majority of Latin American countries.
While the systematic use of imprisonment, torture, assassination, and disappearance was certainly more dramatic and fearsome than exile, it would have been unthinkable to most Chileans, to world opinion, and probably to regime leaders themselves to kill, disappear, or imprison indefinitely the hundreds of thousands of people who, as party and union members or leaders or merely as voters, constituted the Chilean left. Instead, after proving its determination to establish absolute control and its willingness to use terror to that end, the regime was able to force some and induce others of the left to leave the country and pro- * There is a wide range of estimates of the total number of Chileans who went into exile for political reasons.
Flight from Chile: voices of exile by Thomas Wright, Rody Oñate, Irene B. Hodgson