The divided opinion within Chile about Augusto Pinochet’s legacy stands in stark contrast with the unanimous international opinion. Nearly every major newspaper worldwide carried lines earlier this week like “dictator who ruled by terror” (New York Times), “the brutal and intensely anti-communist South American military dictator,” (Chicago Tribune), and “the former Chilean dictator whose government murdered and tortured thousands” (Washington Post). Meanwhile independent groups of people gathered in Chile to remember Pinochet’s life and to celebrate his death. It is as if the country has traveled back in time 15 years to re-open the bitter wounds that divided Chile when Pinochet was still in power.
Here are some photos of Pinochet supporters gathering at Escuela Militar, where Pinochet lie in wake earlier this week.
Thousands of people in front of Escuela Militar in Santiago.
This sign posted at Escuela Militar reads “World press lies. Million of us give thank to our valerous commander on chief. Love you Pinochet.” Mistakes nonwithstanding, the message is clear. Also a reminder that you should have someone check your work when you write in a second language….
The message on the flag behind the police reads “Thank you Tata for saving us from ‘Communism.’” Tata is an affection term that means roughly grandpa.
Reads “Thank you for freeing us from Marxism, General, and returning us the rightist state that they had stolen from us.” I feel that it’s appropriate to interject that winning by election isn’t usually stealing. This sign has another opinion.
“Thank you, Pinochet.”