11 March 1990

Today Patricio Aylwin was sworn in as Chile’s new president. Half of my life, and all of my adult life, I have lived in a country controlled by a regime that preferred the terrorization of its people over democratic order and peace, and now I’m supposed to rest easy? Believe that everything will be fine? I can’t even say return to the way things were because I was only a preteen when this started. I have remained optimistic and positive up until now, especially before the results of the plebiscite were determined. But now I can’t help but think of Chile’s future. Is Pinochet still not in control of the military? How can we hope to create justice for the people who were killed, torture, and disappeared in a country where justice has not existed for close to 17 years? It is most likely more beneficial for my sanity to remain in high hopes for our new president, a fresh start, but part of me thinks that my father, like many others, will never get the closure he deserves for the atrocities he was put through under Pinochet’s horrific rule.

Pablo pressures me to think of the possibilities that moving on allow us. We’re getting married in the summer and he doesn’t seem to see a grey cloud on the horizon. He tells me a new president and a new life together means we’ll finally be able to relax and be normal, not having to protest and plan anymore. He can’t stop talking about kids. I think I want them too, but is there a real guarantee that this won’t happen again? Could I forgive myself if I brought children into the world just to have another rerun of Pinochet’s reign? Where is punishment for Pinochet? Pablo would throw a fit if he read this. I try to hide my doubt as much as possible, I mean we’re getting married, there’s a new president, I should be happy! I will be. I just want a little more reassurance that this is the right direction, and that the voices affected by this period of history will be heard, not forgotten.

1 thought on “11 March 1990

  1. ssvolk says:

    And now I’m going to switch from my cynical self to say to you: we have to live our lives and do what we can to make things better. We’ve been on hold for too long, and we know we can’t trust governments to do what we think they should be doing. So how do we make change ourselves? Maybe that means trusting those closest to ourselves. Start small…then get big.

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