RN: more info Pinochet/Chile/Brazil


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list,   NOv. 11

With the immanence of another attack on Iraq and a host of other pressing
and disturbing issues, this message may seem a bit frivolous. While it also
speaks of serious things (Torture Never More, the real fear of people in
Chile, etc.) it also has some light-hearted bits. But perhaps in times like
these, more than most, we need  to have someone bring a smile to our faces.

all the best, jan
From: •••@••.••• (James Crombie)

Subject: 1)Pinochet has Schwarzkopf's plane -- 2)Denying flight permissions
Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 12:49:12 -0400

At 13:14 98-11-06 -0200, Roberto Magellan wrote:

>I've just now received the information that several European countries will 
>deny flight permissions to the Chilean Air Force hospital plane that is 
>staying at Heathrow waiting for Pinochet.  In a normal route back to Chile 
>the plane would have to cross over France, Spain and Portugal, all of which 
>had nationals among the victims of the dictatorship  (or people with double 
>citizenship, that is more common).  These countries will so probably 
>intercept the Chilean plane if it tries to fly over them, if the information 
>is true.
>Another alternative route would be through North America

According to information published a week or two ago in El Pais (Madrid), 
the "hospital plane" which is waiting to take Pinochet home is actually the 
plane formerly used to transport US General Norman Schwarzkopf -- recently 
picked up "second-hand" by the Chilean Armed Forces.  The article in 
question also mentioned that the trip from London to Santiago would take 
13 hours.  I assume it would take longer than 13 hours if the plane stayed 
over international waters all the way -- maybe sneaking across Panama to get 
to the Pacific.   Perhaps some aircraft buff could inform us on the capacities 
of Schwarzkopf's plane.

> and, in this case, 
>the plane would probably NOT be intercepted, but...      ----what about a 
>sudden popular mobilization to force the US and Canadian governments to deny 
>flight permission too?  Would it be possible?   There are at least two US 
>citizens who were murdered by the dictatorship in Chile (the US embassy kept 
>silence over it, BTW) and it must be also remembered the terrorist attack 
>against Orlando Letelier in the US soil, that also killed his secretary, the 
>US citizen Ronni Miffit  (do I write correctly her name?).

Well, thanks to the US media, I suspect that not many Americans have even 
heard of Orlando Letelier, let alone Augusto Pinochet.  But a few thousand 
people can make a good demonstration, which the media will likely report, 
thus jogging somewhat North America's defective collective memory.  Some 
people do not want North America's memory to be jogged.  It would also be 
embarrassing if commentators recognized the plane "on air."  One can 
expect that, behind the scenes, the Chileans will be strongly encouraged 
to find somewhere else for Pinochet's plane to land.  Let's hope there will be 
nowhere else to land.

In the meantime, we should encourage our respective governments to refuse 
authorization to land or to cross our airspace to any plane carrying a
fugitive from 
international justice.

James Crombie
César Roberto comments:

Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 02:18:56 -0200
From: •••@••.••• (R.Magellan)
Subject: Pinochet MUST avoid Brazil

A Canadian friend wrote to me the following: 

----->>   "Well, thanks to the US media, I suspect that not many Americans 
have even heard of Orlando Letelier, let alone Augusto Pinochet...<snip>
One can expect that, behind the scenes, the Chileans will be strongly
to find somewhere else for Pinochet's plane to land.  Let's hope there will be 
nowhere else to land."    What about Moon?    ;>)

In solidarity,


Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 18:02:57 -0200
From: •••@••.••• (R.Magellan)
Subject: Catholics file another petition against Pinochet in Brazil

Today (November, 10) the "Torture Never More"  ("Tortura Nunca Mais") 
is petitioning the federal Attorney General to request to the courts the 
detention of Pinochet as soon as the plane that carries him stops in Brazil  
(the normal route from Europe to Chile).  As I already informed, yesterday a 
federal representative of the Workers Party also petitioned on the same subject.

"Torture Never More" is an human rights NGO sponsored by the Roman Catholic 
Church.  In Latin America, more than in Europe and North America, the church 
and the state have kept a curious hate-love relationship since 1492 and not 
seldom the most educated part of the church stands for progressive causes.  

The best examples are the Communist Guarany Republic, that was exterminated 
up to the last child in 1756, and, since the Vatican II Council (1963), the 
fight against what conventional wisdom calls social injustices.  This has 
often put an important part of the church and the communists in the same 
side:  in Brazil, among other examples, during the military dictatorship the 
"Albanian" PCdoB worked in close contact with the Dominican Order 
(ironically, the former administrators of the Holy Inquisition) and one of 
the main armed revolutionary organizations was the "guevarist" People's 
Action, that evolved from the catholic youth activism. It is also worthwhile 
to mention priest Leonardo Boff, the best known author of  the "liberation 
theology", which tries to link catholicism to marxism. 

"Torture Never More" has been playing a very important role throughout the 
Southern Cone in dealing with the bloody repression of the years 1964/ 1990, 
that started in Brazil,  with the help of both Kennedy and Johnson 
administrations.  This NGO has been recording details and publishing books 
on the subject  (one of them was a best seller in Brazil for almost one 
year), gathering evidences, giving relief and supporting the victims and 
their families irrespectively of either political or religious (and 
atheistic) affiliation  (for instance, a network of psychoanalysts who work 
for free or reduced rates, lawyers to assist in indemnification suits etc.), 
making public speeches and demonstrations, etc.  Some of its recent feats 
are the revoking of the nominations of a Brazilian military attaché in 
Britain and of a military doctor (a general) who had been nominated to 
command the army medical system, both of them having been linked to torture 
during the black years.

"Torture Never More" also keeps the files of Operation Condor, the terrorist 
military ring of South America, which were found in a derelict house at 
Asunción del Paraguay.  It has been rumored  that Jair Kirschke, its Porto 
Alegre office director, would file a judicial suit in Brazil against the 
last Brazilian dictator, general J.B. Figueiredo  (also a former commander 
of the main military intelligence service, under the general Ernesto Geisel 
dictatorship), since his signature is said to have been found in many 
documents as a coordinator of the Condor's actions.  By the way, Figueiredo 
also suffers from a chronically aching back like Pinochet, what caused a 
humorist to propose a "charitable"  public collection of funds to pay his 
travel expenses to the same London Clinic...

"Torture Never More" does not limit itself to deal with the past but also 
with the present.  It is very active, for instance, in fighting police 
brutality which, as in USA, is directed against the poor people and the 
black people, or some clandestine outbursts of anti-semitism.  It is not 
astonishing that its directors are once upon a time menaced with 
non-indentified death threats.   Cecilia Coimbra, the NGO director who is 
subscribing the aforementioned petition, had to recevive a special 
protection between the months of March and June of the current year and the 
offices at Rio de Janeiro were vandalized by night some months ago.

Allow me to repeat myself:  to make Pinochet stands a regular trial anywhere 
is somehow comparable to the kidnapping of  Eichmann   ---the inventor of 
the "final solution" ---  in Argentina in 1960 or the near imprisonment of 
Mengele in Brazil   --- the Auschwitz's  "Angel of Death", as well as 
comparable to the justice made against other less famous nazist war 
criminals who were caught here  (very few of them, unhappily).   Both were 
important symbols of the nazist barbarism, as well as Pinochet is the hero  
_par excellence_   of the Southern Cone deranged fascist right-wing.     

In solidarity,

1848 / 1998:   Proletarier aller Länder, vereinigt euch !    
Paix entre nous, guerre aux tyrans  (....)
Ouvriers, paysans, nous sommes
Le grand PARTI DES TRAVAILLEURS.  (L' Internationale)

Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 11:29:57 -0200
From: •••@••.••• (R.Magellan)
Subject: 3rd. petition against Pinochet in Brazil etc.

Today (November, 11) the human rights comission of the state assembly of Rio 
Grande do Sul is petitioning the federal Attorney General to request to the 
courts the detention of Pinochet.  This is the third petition on the same 
subject.   The others are subscribed by a federal representative of the 
Workers Party and by the  "Torture Never More"  ("Tortura Nunca Mais"), an 
human rights NGO sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church, as I already informed.

This new petition is also being jointly subscribed by 11 state 
representatives and 10 organizations, including a comission of relatives of 
people of several nationalities which are  still "missing" in the Southern 
Cone countries  (i.e., were killed without the return of their corpses). 

Yesterday in the capital city of the state, Porto Alegre, there was a 
popular demonstration to receive Joan, the English widow of the singer 
Victor Jara, who was one of the first persons to be murdered by Pinochet. 
She came from London  to autograph her book  "Unfinished Song"  (a biography 
of Victor) in the 44th annual book fair of that city, an important literary 
event in Brazil.

The most complete  victory of the Workers Party in the October elections was 
winned in the state of Rio Grande do Sul  (the souternmost of Brazil). This 
state has a long-standing revolutionary tradition and a mystique of getting 
ahead of the political evolution of the rest of the country (in a 
progressive sense).  The flag of the state is the same under which Giuseppe 
Garibaldi fought in Brazil.  Yes, Garibaldi, "the hero of the two worlds":  
America (Brazil) and Europe (Italy).  

The capital city of Porto Alegre has been administrated by the Workers Party 
for ten consecutive years with a great and permanent popular involvement.  
These administrations  were considered by the latest World Habitat 
Conference as model ones among the biggest cities of the world.

In solidarity,

1848 / 1998:   Proletarier aller Länder, vereinigt euch !    
Paix entre nous, guerre aux tyrans  (....)
Ouvriers, paysans, nous sommes
Le grand PARTI DES TRAVAILLEURS.  (L' Internationale)

Date: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 21:17:22 -0400
From: Thomas Kruse <•••@••.•••>

Dear friends:

A good run down of things from a friend in Chile.  Please share!


>Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 18:20:35 -0300
>To: Thomas Kruse <•••@••.•••>
>From: CSA Chile <•••@••.•••>
>Estimado: Thanks a lot for all your e- mails concerning Pinoshit. We need
>all the support and solidarity we can get in this difficult moment we are
>going through. And it is a VERY difficult time, believe me. The Armed Forces
>are in ""estado de alerta" , which means that their personnel have to be
>available at all times, 24 hours a day.The next step is "acuartelamiento"
>which means all personnel confined to barracks, wearing combat gear and
>ready for action. We in Chile know all too well what this means also. The
>army, of course, denies  any rumours of a coup d'etat, stating that all
>those movement of troops that can be seen throughout the country, are
>nothing but normal military manouvres for  this time of the year. Again, we
>know quite well what "normal" means for the military: their normality is
>war, death and violence. For us normality is peace, justice and freedom. The
>two just don't go together, they never have in Latinamerica and they never
>will, for the current Armed Forces are the same ones that tortured and
>killed our peoples for decades. It is the same mentality, the same hatred
>and despise for human life and human rights.
>But it  is not only the military which are threathening our fragile and very
>peculiar "democradura". No, it is also the Right and local businessmen, the
>true owners of this lovely  piece of land with a view to the ocean. Also the
>government which, in an incredible submissive sold out to the military, have
>done more to defend Pinochet' rights than for his thousands of victims.

>Well, there are a  few positive things about the dictator's detention in
>London, for, whatever happens in the next few days, nothing will ever be the
>same in Chile again.
>1)  For the first time all those who tried to bury the past and move forward
>without justice being done for the victims of the repression, have realised
>that it is not as simply as they thought it would be  to kill thousands of
>humans beings and get away with it.
>2) Many Chileans, for the first time, have realised something we have been
>saying for over ten years now: Pinochet and the army are still in power in
>this country.
>3) The government has also shown its true essence. To the country's
>embarrassment and to the Right's delight, it has passionately defended the
>dictator arguing reasons of sovereignty and patriotism.
>4) Once again, when it comes to issues of strategic importance, the
>Christian Democrats have allied themselves with the Right and the Army. In
>this sense, there has been a re-edition of the balance of power and
>political alliances of 25 years ago when the Christian Democrats united with
>the Right in order to overthrow the government of Salvador Allende.
>5) Pro-Pinochet demonstrations have not been repressed by the police. At the
>most, they have used a little water to disperse demonstrators.It is only a
>game. On the other hand, demonstrations against Pinochet have been repressed
>by the police, using watercannons, teargas and extreme violence. Ordinary
>people have been able to witness the police's behaviour and are becoming
>increasingly aware of the police's and governmen't partiality over the whole
>6) Pro Pinochet supporters have beaten up several  Spanisn citizens, the
>municipality of Las Condes has refused to collect garbage from the Spanish
>and Bristish embassies, Rightwing senators refuse to attend congress
>sessions until Pinochet is released. Recently, teachers ended a six week
>long strike. Their employers are refusing to pay them the hours they were on
>strike. I just wonder whether Congres will refuse to pay the senators'
>salaries or not since they haven't been working?
>7) There is also an increasing awareness that social mobilization is the
>only way to stop another coup. The government fear the people. There was a
>demonstration planned for today, but the Government and the Christian
>democrats refused to take part in it if the Communists took part in the
>march. Who the hell do they think they are? How can they talk about
>democracy if they are defending Pinochet and preventing our people from
>expressing their hapinnes with the dictator's detention? Then of course, it
>shouldn't surprise us at all, after all, it was the Christian Democrats who
>organised the coup in the first place.
>8) Finally, it must be said, that the majority of our people wants to see
>Pinochet brought to justice either here or in Spain.
>We´ll see what happens, in the meantime we will continue working so that
>justice may at last be done, not only in Chile, but also in Argentina,
>Paraguay and Bolivia.
>Un abrazo fuerte a todos por allá. Tito.