September 15th, 1973

Much has happened in the years since my last thorough entry.
Salvador Allende and the Unidad Popular held power for three years. In my mind, they seemed to be trying to do more to help workers such as myself and my family.
Yet, many others became increasingly unhappy with their policies, especially those on the Right. Their protests and discontent have increased over the past months, escalating to violence in some cases…my brother, Hector, was injured in a squabble between U.P. supporters and Right-wing protestors. Hector is a student, and a socialist. I admire his conviction, but mother and I worry about him now more than ever. We are fortunate in that we live in Concepción and not the capital I suppose, for the sake of Hector’s safety.

Now, General Pinochet and a military junta have risen to power, and President Allende is dead. Word of the coup reached us on the evening of the 11th, and since then no one is quite sure what to make of it. Some, those on the Right, were happy to hear of the coup, but more and more people are uncertain about the future. It seemed to many of us that something had to happen – something to break the stalemate between the U.P. and the Right. But we did not think it would be this. We never thought that the military of Chile would bomb our own Moneda. We never thought that President Allende would perish. We never thought that the new military government would begin to investigate people in order to eliminate subversion.
When we woke up on the morning of the 11th and headed to the mines, we had no idea that we would be coming home to an entirely different world. One in which our brothers, sisters, parents, wives, and children would be in danger from our military.

I cannot say what the future holds. General Pinochet and the junta promise a changed future for Chile, but what kind of change the future holds is entirely uncertain.
Hector is angry. My mother is afraid. I have not said it until now, but I, too, am afraid.

1 thought on “September 15th, 1973

  1. ssvolk says:

    Hi, Cristóbal. Things are very uncertain in Santiago, as well. We have hardly been let out of our houses, so I can’t tell you much of what is going on, but my compañeros and I are very worried. Was there any resistance in the mines? I’ve heard just a little about some action in the cordones industriales but, if there was, it’s pretty much over. Now everyone is just trying to figure out what comes next. Tell me what’s happening in Conce!

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