March 4, 1988

These are exciting times! On October 5th there will be a plebiscite where we vote whether or not Pinochet should stay. I myself am on the fence. After all this complaining about how long the dictatorship has gone on too long, I worry what will happen to our country in democracy. What if it’s chaos? But there is much talk around me. My children, not surprisingly are voting No. My colleagues at school are on both sides. Some say No, they stand for democracy. Some say Yes, they say Pinochet has served us well, has brought us so far in these last 15 years. They also share some of the same fears I do, of chaos, of changes to society, worse economic blunders. We’re doing well, they say (and I sometimes say) why change it?

What they’re not mentioning, what nobody mentions, (and possibly they don’t know) is what I will call the dark side of the dictatorship. In the early days especially there was so many arrests, and torture, and disappearances. This, not surprisingly is why Rosa will be voting No. Rosa has been through so much. She lost a child because of the dictatorship, her oldest son was disappeared probably because he was a prominent organizer in their community during the early years of the dictatorship. She is an incredibly strong woman but I still see it in her eyes every day. She is tormented by not knowing where her son’s body is. For her, the potential end of the dictatorship is like a promise for a life without constant fear.

Well that’s all for now, Diary. I honestly have no idea what will happen. We will see!

1 thought on “March 4, 1988

  1. ssvolk says:

    All we can do is vote our conscience, Paula, and see what happens. For me, I’m voting “No,” but what I worry about is that the vote will be very close and the country still very divided. It’s not just that people won’t trust the outcome if the “Yes” won (I know I wouldn’t), but that we’d still be a long way from healing. As you say, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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