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Chile, popular resistance against Pinochet

Héctor Guerra Hernández

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place South America » Chile

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics democracy, rebellion, reform movements, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00339.x


Following a Popular Front period that saw unity among communists, socialists, and radicals, Chile fell under the rule of a military dictatorship on September 11, 1973. The dictatorship began with the firm intention of breaking down the popular advance. The military junta imposed a repressive system to assure the process of “national restoration.” This repressive system worked in the first years of the dictatorship as Congress was dissolved, political parties and trade union organizations were prohibited, and revolutionaries were jailed, tortured, summarily executed, and disappeared. Concentration camps were established to lodge hundreds of leaders and militants and exile began to be the only alternative to death for revolutionaries. Perhaps the main cause of the coup was related to the negotiating character of Salvador Allende's government. On the one hand, it negotiated with a disguised oligarchy and a more and more reactionary political center. At the same time, the government also negotiated with peasants occupying big estates to expropriate them in their favor, and workers occupying factories, fulfilling the revolutionary itinerary conceived by the same government. Trying to mediate between all factions, it negotiated a revolution with different social actors to avoid, in vain, the constituent violence of the process. This conciliatory stance alarmed the peasants and workers, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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