I don’t know if you already knew this about me but I am from Chile. During the time of the Oscars, a movie from Chile was nominated for best international movie. It did not win, but the fact that a movie from my native country was nominated is just awesome. You can watch the movie trailer HERE.
When I was born in Chile, there was an air of uncertainty and despair.
On September 11, 1975, there was a military coup, in which they took power, and 15 years of dictatorship followed. We had to stand in lines to get flour and eggs and rice. There wasn’t enough food but there was enough people disappearing… and found dead.
My dad used to be the secretary for a small group of workers who were under the direction, of the now dead, socialist president. Because of this job, he was taken away by the militia. They made him drive a truck, all around town, picking up other men, some of his same group, to be taken to a near by stadium and be assassinated. My dad disappear for three full days. My mom was desperate not knowing what had happened to him. to the family’s relief, he showed up after the third day. He said that he had been released by pure luck. but that some of his friends did not make it out alive. We moved that very day, leaving everything behind, to another city.
Then, in the late 80’s, the dictator, Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, decided to have a plebiscite to see if the “pueblo” loved him enough for him to stick around. The plebiscite was simple, “si” for him to stay for another eight years, or “no” for him to go away and have the people decide whom to elect in his instead. You must understand that up to that point people where still disappearing and found dead all over Chile. Fear was strong.
A month before the plebiscite took place, ad campaigns about the “SI” and “No” were played on TV. Each section would get 15 minutes of air time. The “NO” was pushed to be played after midnight every night. After you watch the movie you will see what this “NO” campaign did and how the country decided for the “NO”.
I remember well the day this anticipated news came to life. It was amazing chaos combined with the most beautiful happiness we had known until then. We all went out to the streets and celebrated. The militia came off later on to send everyone home, but after that day, a new air of freedom and change was being breathed.
As for Mr. Pinochet. well, he decided to become a high ranked senator vitae in congress. No one could kick him out of power. A few years later, bodies were being found that had been buried up in mass graves. people that had been tortured under the regime, came forward, and so on so forth. For some reason, that I am willing to research in the future, Pinochet could not be touched. Allegations were filed but he could not be blamed. It took England to extradite him for some crimes committed against humanity. no prison for him.
Pinochet went back to Chile and was placed under house arrest. He died, in 2006, with over 300 criminal charges against him. he never paid time in jail.