2023 marks the fiftieth anniversary of General Pinochet's coup on September 11, 1973. During the wave of mass arrests, torture, and executions that followed, people began fleeing Chile. Over the next fifteen years some two hundred thousand Chileans sought exile in countries around the world. Out of their anguish and anger come these moving and powerful testimonies of their fractured lives--the first oral history of the Chilean diaspora, now revised and updated.
Many who fled had been tortured, and they clung to the principle that the dictatorship was an evil that had to be destroyed. But their zeal and solidarity with other refugees often failed to sustain families. Many marriages collapsed, and children lost interest in their native land and culture. After civilian rule returned in 1990, many returning exiles felt estranged from a homeland forever changed. This timely update of the 1998 collection continues to remind us of the fracturing legacy and enduring oppression of usurpation and authoritarian rule long after its time has passed.
Thomas Wright is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of modern Latin American history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Rody Oñate is a Chilean journalist who spent more than fifteen years in exile in Canada.
"A compelling and moving account."--Marjorie Agosín, author of Tapestries of Hope, Threads of Love: The Arpillera Movement in Chile, 1974-1994
Chapter One. The Diaspora in Context: Chilean Politics, 1970-1994 Chapter Two. Prelude to Exile: The Military Coup Chapter Three. Paths to Exile Chapter Four. Resistance and Exile Chapter Five. The Diaspora: Exile on Four Continents Chapter Six. The Diaspora: Exile in Western Europe Chapter Seven. Political Life in Exile: Fighting the Dictatorship from Afar Chapter Eight. Exilesʼ Return, 1978-1988: Struggle on Many Fronts Chapter Nine. Return to a New Exile, 1988-1994