50 years since the Coup d'état in Chile
The former senator and current secretary general of the Socialist Party, Camilo Escalona, addresses the 50 years since the Coup d'état in Chile and its commemoration.
Interviewer: It is ten past eight, we want to greet this time of the morning and thank the general secretary of the socialist party Camilo Escalona Camilo as always Thank you very much very good morning
Camilo: Many thanks to you, Good morning.
Interviewer: Yes good to start by asking about the resignation of Patricio Fernández eh There are some media that have interpreted it as part of a dispute between the two souls of the ruling party But well, Lautaro Carmona has said that his party has not discussed or proposed or supported the resignation of Patricio Fernández and that is why I wanted to start by asking him if Do you interpret it that way or would it be another?
Camilo: Look, my opinion is the following. No, today's characters don't matter. I think it's a completely misplaced discussion. We're not talking about who has a greater or lesser role now, 50 years later. The problem is. The background is what the editorial deals with here After listening to the events that led to the collapse of democracy, terrorism and the achievement of the most barbaric and cruel practices of violation of Human Rights, nothing can justify The coup d'état and the subsequent events is no fact, no precedent that can be indicate that there was some type of excuse for the barbarity that was committed in our country. That is the underlying issue. I understand, I do not explain it perfectly well. The media reports on specific current events but in relation to the historical issue that today involves becoming present in the conscience of Chilean society, what is important is that the historical fact itself has not made the events of September 11, the destruction of the Palace of Justice, as painful and cruel as the murder of Luis Videla. The cruel elimination of the group of people who were with President Allende who surrendered without any weapons and who were transferred to the Tacna regiment and after they were machine-gunned in front of common things, what happened in Chile was an attempt at ideological genocide because it was about murdering people for the sole fact of their belonging to a current that has existed in the country for more than a hundred years, so more than 50 years it was enough to be a socialist militant or it was enough to be a communist militant and people were murdered. This was dramatically confirmed by the Caravan of Death. This occurred throughout the entire country, it is dedicated to Valdivia but also in Punta Arenas, so for the reasons torture and torment condemned by the army division led by General Torres de la Cruz, this was a systematic action and then, for example, Carlos Lorca, not a doctor, an eminence, a thinker, was sought and captured after two years of relentless persecution by the mere fact of being a socialist militant, this also happened with prominent academic militants of the communist party, for whom we are going to talk, for example, the murder of Víctor Jara, murdered only by the sole fact of his ideological belonging in our country, what there was was an attempt to ideological genocide, that is to say, quotation marks in accordance with the words of the coup plotters of September 11th, uprooting a current of thought by the mere fact that it was the Marxist cancer that was referred to in general Lino, the Marxist cancer Of course, in general he said it On September 11th, the four members of the military junta later repeated it.
Interviewer: Camilo, did he fail to say it as categorically as you just said it?
Camilo: Look clearly, what I see with some pain is that the facts are fading, so to speak. I learned from a globalero in the middle a phrase that I always repeat, because you knew things, they remain silent and because they remain silent, they forget. How many, for example, what reason was there to give him the treatment that he received? Enrique Kirbert, rector of the State Technical University, was not imprisoned, persecuted, exiled for his It only belongs ideologically in the case of the socialist party, not to the comrade Alfredo Rojas who was a brilliant director of the state's railways. Why was he persecuted, kidnapped, murdered for the fact that he was a socialist? The young Ricardo Largo Salinas, an eminence, a brilliant young man who did not He had nothing to do with being a terrorist or an extremist. On the contrary, in the socialist party he had very, very deep, well-thought-out positions, an eminence at just over 20 years old. He was murdered for being a socialist, my classmate, my benchmate. at the Liceo six Eduardo Muñoz Tapia was murdered for the sole reason that he was a socialist. Then there was an attempted massacre for ideas, an ideological genocide. So when people say, "I justify the military coup, frankly, or they sin from a terrible, tremendous, atrocious ignorance." or the truth is that they consider that any resource and any method is valid to have power. The discussion of society today in our country there is no procedure that justifies any political fact, no inheritance that justifies the barbarity that occurred in the The coup d'état and in the years after the coup d'état Yes, there is a certain thesis that no, there is not a certain thesis, let's talk directly, there is a thesis that has gained strength in recent weeks and months, it grabs different parts of the coup. It would be a consequence like that to the modality of the cause and effect not of the quotes bad government of Allende no in the face of that thesis what would you say I repeat again not the government of Allende regardless of how it would have been no there is no reason to overthrow a government the terms that was overthrown and did the subsequent atrocities but the issue is that the thesis proliferates, do not look at the society Chilean society had institutional mechanisms validated for 50 years because the Constitution had been approved in 1925 in the middle of a crisis. They had to come to an agreement. A constitution was generated that had been validated by everything and that had been used with enough stability to elect a president and parliament that had stability in that Constitution. The mechanisms are established. Parliament in the month of March of the year seventy-three the popular unit got 44.2 percent of the votes. In this case I am citing the number given by the recently published book that was widely propagated, which has to do with what you point out to me about the academic. He points out that the popular unity the year in March seventy-three was validated with 44.2% of the votes and that the United opposition parties, both the right and the center, had not added the number of votes for the constitutional accusation that would allow the president to be removed Allende, that is to say, the institutional mechanisms that the country had established established, as even the constitution of the 1980s established, how the Constitution that is being discussed today should establish it, not when governments are habitually exhausted, the institutional order has a mechanism that confronts that situation in the case of Salvador Allende he was supported by a much higher vote than the one that elected him as president he was elected as president with 36% and in the parliament of '73 he had 44% the number of votes increased. deputies and the number of senators increased and the united opposition, right and center, did not have the vote to remove him. Consequently, there was no valid democratic recourse, what was simply attacked was against the democratic will of the people of Chile, that is what collapsed On September 11, by force through brutal violence, the bombing of the Palacio de la Moneda and the subsequent consequences, we are talking at this time of the morning with the general secretary of the socialist party Camilo Escalona Camilo, the deputy Jorge Alessandra has said that I justify the coup d'état. I was referring to those explanations. Representative Gloria Ana Gavilán recently said that September 11 is the day to celebrate the end of the Allende government. Do not these statements correct my fragile memory of that level of eloquence. We did not listen to them for the forties and I would dare say not even for the 30s, not the defensive anymore, not ninety-three, not even not in '93, the consolidation of the democratic government generated a deep crisis on the right that its presidential candidate, it is worth saying, Arturo Alessandre Vesa, a relative of Alexandre who justifies the military coup, got twenty-nine percent of the votes and what happens in between, what has happened is that what Chilean society has coined today in a term called denialism has intensified. In other words, how time generates a distance and in some way a fog, how time generates what a Chilean writer said, the ashes of oblivion in contingent politics, attempts have been made to make use of the ashes of oblivion to defend and justify what Until a few years ago it was completely unjustifiable, that is to say, the barbarity of the coup and its subsequent consequences. We are talking with Camilo Escalona Camilo regarding Fernández's resignation and I am warning him in advance. Here we have maintained from the beginning that the issue is not Patricio Fernández, but there are underlying issues, so I say it only as a precaution for the question I am going to ask regarding the resignation of Patricio Fernández the day before yesterday we first interviewed Lautaro Carmona of the communist party and then we had José Toro on the panel of the ppd, both with positions equivalent to his general secretary where they said that the parties had indeed been consulted but that to this day the government had still not presented a plan of what it intended to do for the 50 years and the human rights organizations They have said that they have not been called. In fact, I think I understand that in the decision of President Borich yesterday to meet with the organizations there, there was the recognition at least that there was something that had not been done. How would you rate this, being on July 7, 2023, as a delay, as an error, as something normal. What is your opinion regarding that? Look, I would change the word, not because of an earthquake price, but to be precise, not the parties. No program has been given to us. I put the word program instead of the word plan because I understand that there is a historical event that occurs. and independent of the will of the different institutions or people, the fiftieth anniversary is a fact that occurs on September 11 and its consequences are already being experienced. It is a fact, a fact in reality, a program should be known. Unfortunately, the government has not been able to emanate That program does not actually have it in the sense that unfortunately the official apparatus has not been able to generate that problem consequently. What has been happening, what has happened is that the parties have not brought me together with the Human Rights organizations. We are developing our activities as happened for Salvador Allende's birth in the Plaza de la Constitución. We are going to do an activity next Tuesday in the Plaza de Rancagua on the occasion of the nationalization of Copper, that is, we have had to take the initiative against a very very serious weakness one that you ask me for the exact word the exact word of ineptitude although it is hard to say it but that is the word there has not been the capacity to generate a program that allows Chile to be given the commemoration that has a date like This is Camilo, yes, yes, I have to do a natural procedure with where the responsibility was placed. No, we were summoned a long time ago. I believe that it has been at least a year since we were summoned to the Ministry of Culture by the previous minister. and by the current minister we have been consulted we have given ideas we have done everything that the parties are responsible for doing but unfortunately the Ministry of Culture in this has been exactly a zero to the left Camilo yes I have to do yes I have been doing it for a long time I know that I have to do a banking procedure that expires today, no, and I don't go, and I don't do it, and I'm telling you, you could say that I'm inept. No, but you could also say that I didn't want to do it, that I had a lack of will, no, there is no lack of political will on this issue on the part of the government. I'm not asking because it occurs to me. I'm not asking because it occurs to me. I'm asking because there are Human Rights organizations that think about it. Look, I believe. that in that case it would be a bad political forecast due to the magnitude of the fact, no. In other words, if someone thought that this fact was not going to have the importance that it has, they were wrong. No, because if someone said, look, in reality we don't owe it much importance because it is a fact. conflictive is going to bring contradictions and therefore let's lower the profile. If someone thought in that way that a very tribiliary way of thinking about an event this nature of very active with respect to what is going to happen naturally than a very serious mistake because the 50th anniversary It commemorates the death of President Allende but also remembers the coup d'état and the tragic consequences that this work for Chile was going to be placed at the center of the country's agenda. So if anyone thought that it was not going to have the importance that or necessarily I was going to have Camilo was completely wrong, well, all this and we are talking, it happens at a time that is not very politically favorable for the government, for the ruling party, what should be supported in these circumstances like these, not because let's see At least we as a media outlet consider editorially that the valuation of democracy and Human Rights are not debatable issues, but nevertheless they have become debatable in Chilean society. How should this amalgam proceed? It does not include the government and also its members. political parties The coup The coup d'état the subsequent events had an impact not only in Chile but in the world there were seventeen resolutions of the United Nations system condemning the violation of the Chilean Human Rights system, that is, the universal value of Human Rights It carries a drop of the blood of the victims of the Chilean dictatorship. That is how the international impact of the crimes that occurred in Chile reverberated throughout the world and contributed to valuing others internationally in Latin America and throughout the planet. Consequently If we recognize that there is a universal impact, what we should consequently rescue from my point of view is common, I believe to all Chilean citizens, men and women, what is that fact, the unrestricted value of the dignity of the human person Camilo In my opinion, For example, when Pinoche recorded the recording that was known years later, they say they should put Allende on a plane but the plane falls, we are talking about exactly this, the value of the dignity of the human person, regardless of whether he is a sports rival or a political adversary. There is nothing that justifies and validates that from power the value of the dignity of the human person can be violated and trampled, regardless of the person's rank, whether it is the young man from the Gap who was murdered. brutally when leaving the Palacio de la Moneda, that is, the president who they wanted to take down the plane in the event that he had agreed to go into exile. Yes, two questions in one, Camilo, there are two great demands among the many possible ones that I would highlight from the world of Human Rights one is the old persistent question of where they are, not in the face of that first question it is credible, as commanders in chief and their Successors have pointed out time and again to this day, that the armed forces do not have information to contribute on the matter And go immediately to the second question, another of the demands is to lift the secrecy of the ballet commission. Should the government do something in this regard, two questions in one. Look, I am going to start with the second one. I believe that many people declared to the commission vouchers because they did not dare to say because torment is a very terrible thing, both in the case of tormented women and in the case of tormented men, it has always been thought that for a woman, something that I understand to be extremely difficult was a court and say that she was raped is very difficult but it is also for a man. So I understand that there were people who testified on the basis that they would know the facts later because they did not want their children, their grandchildren to know the torments that I had experienced but Sufficient time has passed, that is, since the commission was made, to date, not 50 years have passed, but a quarter of a century has already passed, and 50 years have passed since the events themselves, that is, September 11, that is, I believe that there is a deadline. The secret could already be lifted even though I greatly respect the people who went to account for the atrocities they suffered firsthand on the basis of good that secret was going to be known to us in the short term but I consider, as I just said, that There is already a period that has passed some time and that Chilean society could today have access to the knowledge of the torments that those tens of thousands of people experienced and in the previous case I respond that I am sure that there is information that Of course, it would be very difficult for everything to be known, but there is an important volume of information that could alleviate the pain that Chilean society has, I am convinced that this volume of information does exist. And if it exists, they do not want to hand it over. Camilo told him, and if it exists, they do not want to hand it over. There are actors who undoubtedly do not want to hand it over, but I do not believe that the only Manuel Contreras has had a secret, there is in his secret and that they could perfectly hand over those who have avoided doing so to date
Camilo Escalona Thank you very much as always, have a good weekend
Thank you very much
Good morning, there is the general secretary of the socialist party Camilo Escalona talking about everything that has to do with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Coup of September 11, 1973 and what happened subsequently eight and thirty-two brief high, let's go with the radio conversation panel University of Chile invites you to listen on Wednesdays at 11 a.m.