It is a sad day for Chile, to see the man who caused pain and horror to so many returning freely to the country whose legacy he destroyed. I had hoped that Garzón’s investigation would lead to conviction: to international recognition of Chile’s trauma. Nothing will bring back the dead and the disappeared, but we can’t just go on pretending that justice has been served while the preeminent author of our pain walks Chilean soil once again. Isi tells me that we must move on; that what’s done is done; that we have democracy now and I should be thanking God that I lived to see it. Too many of us are hasty in forgetting our collective nightmare. We have abandoned those who cannot forget without voice or recourse, and this, I believe, is criminal.
I feel old now, too old to have children just starting their adult lives. But still, they give me hope. Over the years, I have taught Dante to play the guitarrón, and Paloma has been blessed with the voice of an angelita. Hearing their music soothes the dull, constant aches in my arms and back, and sometimes even the questions and guilt in my heart. What did I do, to stop Pinochet? Very little. And now here he is, el pin8, back again to reopen old, half-scabbed-over wounds with his presence.