18 January 2010

Chile's transition and historical memory

I've been rather fascinated by some of the speculation of whether or not Chile has finally moved on from the Pinochet era. I only have a cursory understanding of that time and place, based mostly on my grad school studies of reconciliation processes.

On the one hand, some are arguing that Chileans must never forget the atrocities of the Pinochet regime, as brought most boldly to light by last week's opening of the Museum of Memory and Human Rights. On the other hand, others say that the election of the first right-wing government since Pinochet's ouster marks a closing of the books on that era, and gives both the left and the right wings new opportunities. The truth may be somewhere in the middle, and perhaps they're both correct. The recent election could symbolize a normalization of back and forth political discourse, now that the principle actors in both the atrocities and the recovery are largely out of the day to day political scene.

Anyway, fascinating to watch. I'm wondering what a vaunted scholar like Martha Minow thinks about all this.

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