March 11, 1990

March 11, 1990

Dear Diary,

I turned in my letter of resignation this morning. It still feels surreal that everything could be changing so fundamentally, but I am ready for this new chapter of my life. As you know, Andrea and I decided that if/when Pinochet ever abdicated his throne we would move to Chile, this time fulfilling my childhood dream of living in Santiago. Covering the “No” campaign was my first glimpse of what a changing Chile could look like, and being there truly transformed me. I haven’t had a single nightmare since coming back. While I am, of course, still terrified of confronting my father, being surrounded by such positive and fearless energy during the campaign gave me a renewed sense of self. I know this is not news since it is all I could talk about after the campaign, and especially after the win, but now, with the swearing in of President Aylwin and our imminent departure, I have been thinking a lot about what I want for myself—how I want to be in Chile, where I want to go.

For one thing, I want to be a voice of change through my job. I can’t believe I secured a position with la Nación! While it is obvious that the paper has been in the back pocket of the Pinochet regime until now, I believe it will have to change along with Chile. I mean they hired me after all. It is truly incredible that just two years ago I was a newbie journalist and now I am going to be a head writer for the most important newspaper in Chile. There is a lot to be thankful for.

I also want to move forward. I want to focus on my future and the future of my family. Of course recognize our past is important, but I don’t want to dwell on it. Andrea is of a different mind. She agrees with those that think justice is essential and confronting our past is the only way to move forward. Of course, she was not there. She did not go through what my country experienced and never witnessed the pain and suffering of my nation. She also doesn’t know Pinochet. Fighting him is a fruitless endeavor. He will never allow anyone to touch him or any of his men and there is still a large percentage of the country that supports him. Why waste time and energy trying to bring men to justice when they will win. We need to focus on rebuilding trust and democracy. I want to try to forget. Move forward.

Signing off,


2 thoughts on “March 11, 1990

  1. ssvolk says:

    How good that you’re back permanently, and with a job at La Nación – quite a coup! (or maybe I shouldn’t say that, sorry!). Anyway, I look forward to reading your articles, to see how you view Chile through your ojos casi-peruanos. Do you think you’ll ever reconcile with your father? That can’t be easy, but isn’t this what we’re asking the whole country to do?

    1. patricio says:

      Thanks! It is certainly a win for me. In terms of my father, I do want to eventually reconnect, but I need time to work through my demons first.
      Also, We should grab coffee some time! There is a great place near my new apartment, and I’d love to hear about your thoughts on reconciliation.

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