Chile, Death Squads, and US

Tim Bray at Ongoing writes of the indictment in Chile of Col. Mario Manriquez for the execution of the singer Victor Jara. and adds this historical tidbit about US involvement in Chile:

The U.S. spent millions, first to try to defeat Allende at the polls, then to fund a gang of military murderers who staged a bloody coup on September 11th 1973, in the process of cementing which they killed a number of Chilean citizens just slightly higher than the total September 11, 2001 body count.

So the citizens of Chile likely have a very different view of 9/11 than we in the States. Of course, our 9/11 was a vile terrorist act while the killing of 3,197 Chilean citizens was state-sponsored with US backing so doesn’t qualify as terrorism even though I would suppose if you lived in Chile during Pinochet’s rule (1973-1990), you may have suffered a bit of terror wondering if you or a member of your family might be detained, tortured, and killed.

But this is old history and Chile should be happy that the US did not stage a preemptive strike in the 70s as we worried about Allende’s socialism creeping northward to our borders. (Can political movements qualify as WMDs? See Vietnam War.)


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