Today holds both promise and dread. As I write this, I watch the new President, Patricio Aylwin, bastion of the Partido Demócrata Cristiano, deliver his address at the estadio nacional. There must be eighty thousand people; it’s a sea of bodies. They’re listening to an impassioned speech about Chile’s grand transition which, while more inspiring than Pinochet’s grand charades, doesn’t seem to address the problems that everyone wants resolved. We demand information about the missing and the deceased. We demand the release of any remaining political prisoners, and a full investigation into the heinous crimes committed by the regime.
It seems that Aylwin isn’t pushing for these things; he’s content to take the country somewhere else, anywhere other than where it is, by any means necessary, including deferral of due process. He regards the amnesty act foisted upon us as legal and valid, and is not seeking indictments of national security or armed forces officials…madness! He saw what we all saw: a brutal reign of inquisition, detainment, and torture which was by nature an affront to all governance; a crime against humanity, containing within it systematic, state sponsored human rights violations. These words are all I have to express this campaign of terror, because I have no figures. No one knows the numbers. What we do know, is that it was deliberate and all-consuming. That alone should be grounds for investigation.
And to add injury to insult to injury, Pinochet has successfully transfigured himself into a senator-for-life. Not content to retire comfortably to the quiet countryside, or to seek asylum and medical treatment elsewhere like so many dictators before him, he intends to impose his will, preventing the nation from finally breathing free. Does his gall know no limits? This man, his associates, and their actions have caused irreparable harm to this country and yet he brandishes his immunity like a sword, almost daring us to confront him. Would that I could take a swing at the man, I know I would die to see justice done.