November 22, 1973

November 22, 1973

Dear Diary,

It has been hard to write since Mamá passed last month. Every time I see these pages I think of her and all the hopes she had for my future. I know I still have my whole life in front of me, but it almost feels as though a part of me died with her. I do not fight with Papá anymore about joining. I know in my heart I will never go to university in Santiago.

I start training tomorrow. There has been much buzz around here regarding the World Cup qualifying game that was held in the National Stadium yesterday. A couple days ago, they sent all the prisoners held there to the salt mines, which means Papá left last week to help run the Chacabuco operations. The game was a farce. The Soviets did not even show up, claiming that the stadium was “stained with blood.” Ha, the blood of traitors and communists. Papá and I have been talking about the happenings in Santiago, and I am so thankful that General Pinochet has finally restored order to our great nation.

While I, obviously, wasn’t in the capital to see what has been happening, it sounds like leftist violence had been escalating quicky and the capital was descending into chaos. I must admit, I am a bit worried about Antonio—not because I think he would do anything illegal or wrong, but I just don’t want him to be corrupted by his classmates or caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Santiago seems so distant. It feels like almost nothing has changed here in Arica except for a brief couple days in October when General Arellando Stark’s men took my leftist high school teacher and the tailor from my neighborhood.

I better get some rest. I have to be up at 6:00 tomorrow to start basic.

Signing off,



2 thoughts on “November 22, 1973

  1. ssvolk says:

    Hi, Patricio. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother. I’ll bet she’ll be proud of the career you have chosen. This is a hard time to join the Army, but it needs good men at this critical time. Now, Arellano Stark! There’s a leader. It must have been impressive to see him work. And I bet your father gives you lots of good advice. Anyway, keep writing and tell me what it’s like to be in the Army in the north.

  2. patricio says:

    Hi Steve. Yeah, Papá has lots of advice. Since Antonio is in Santiago, father sees me as the one to follow in his military footsteps. It is a lot of pressure, but he is a good man who wants the best for me. I’ll keep you updated!

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