Pinochet Noir

Marc Cooper remembers Chile’s nightmare of civilian death, imprisonment, and exile.
photo: Bonnie Spolin
Marc Cooper remembers Chile’s nightmare of civilian death, imprisonment, and exile.

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Pinochet and Me
By Marc Cooper
Verso, 143 pp., $22
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In 1998, The New York Times credited Pinochet's coup with transforming Chile into the "economic star of Latin America." It's Cooper's claim that what we now see in Chile "is the consolidation of a new global model . . . that, in some form or another, is being proposed for us all." If this is indeed the case, then one might be encouraged by recent developments in Chile itself, where, subsequent to Pinochet's arrest, Cooper witnessed a political reawakening. A series of international indictments of Pinochet, along with damning revelations of CIA involvement with the dictator, are leading to an acknowledgment of Chile's horrifying past. Cooper writes that he never imagined that Pinochet's arrest "would eventually become the catalyst to what now seems a recovery of Chile's collective consciousness and dignity." One need not remain a momio forever.

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