Chile has made a commitment to the international community to improve human rights in the country and erase the lingering shadow of the dictatorship on civil liberties.
Ongoing efforts to determine the causes of the deaths of high-profile Chileans - singer-songwriter Víctor Jara, former presidents Eduardo Frei Montalva and Salvador Allende, and Nobel Literate Prize-winner Pablo Neruda – indirectly bring visibility to thousands of other victims of Chile’s 1973-1990 dictatorship.
The dictatorship headed by General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990) from start to end systematically dismantled every vestige of “the Chilean path to socialism” that the government of Salvador Allende (1970-1973) had attempted to follow. But it also established political structures that Chilean democracy has not yet managed to eradicate. See the process in the timeline below:
Free, public education is the main demand expressed today by Chilean society, especially the young. The issue is not that Chileans don’t study, or that school enrolment is low. The problem is the growing privatisation of the system, as shown by this graph, and how that has divided students into different categories, in terms of quality of education. It all began with the reforms ushered in by the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).
Sept. 11, 1973 marked the start in Chile of a dictatorship that was synonymous with cruelty. But above and beyond the human rights violations, the reforms ushered in by the regime of General Augusto Pinochet continue to mark today’s Chile – a country of dynamic economic growth but a fragmented society.
The investigation in Chile of the possibility that Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda was murdered by the 1973-1990 dictatorship is seen as a major stride forward in the search for truth and justice for human rights crimes that remain unpunished 40 years after the coup d’etat.