How contemporary Chile relates to its recent history of political violence?
Since the end of Pinochet’s regime, peoples freedom to participate politically has been returned. However, Chile’s economic situation appears to be a continuation of circumstances that see the social situation there look dire. Economically, in macro terms, it has grown exponentially in comparison to when it was under socialist rule. However, the income inequality there has also exploded and continues today.
Economic prosperity without equality
Whilst political participation has been restored, economic participation has worsened for the common person.
The Pinochet regime forced the privatization of every service imaginable upon the country of Chile. It actually remains as among the most extensively private owned and operated nations globally. Even the most basic and essential of services such as state accommodation and transport are run by private entities.
In terms of GDP and company revenues Chile has gone gang busters. However, this growth has only been experienced at the large company level. It has far from ‘trickled’ to the people or small business for that matter. According to the World Bank Chile ranks higher than obscenely poor countries such as Cambodia and Angola in terms of inequality economically.
Meaningful recourse has not been delivered to those impacted by the violence Pinochet inflicted upon them. He was not made to take the stand in Chile because his political position meant that he had immunity. It wasn’t until he went on a trip to England that he was arrested at the request of a Spanish judge. This did not lead to legal proceedings though.
That Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzon brought the case forward on the basis that Pinochet bought terror upon Spanish citizens. However, Pinochet said that he was becoming increasingly demented. Not long after he was returned to Chile then eighty three, he eventually died in ’06. This was shortly before being summonsed to court.
Recognized as being worthy of criminal trial
Even though Pinochet died before being bought to justice, that he was summoned to court was still a clear statement of his deligitimization. Through this process he had been called out as a tyrant and a murderer of innocent people. Although he did not spend time behind bars, his being bought to trial was a statement of recognition of his crimes by the people of Chile.
Wikipedia article: ‘History of Chile’