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CHILE: Disguised tensions
The latest issue (VI, 4) of the excellent IPI Global Journalist has an article entitled "The chill of Chilean justice" by Alejandra Matus, author of The Black Book of Chilean Justice, which is banned in Chile. It is a factual account showing that the Chilean judicial system is not independent. She was threatened under a law punishing anyone who libels Chilean authorities. She left Chile in a hurry and is now exiled in the US. The Chilean judiciary has been much in the news because of the Pinochet case since he returned to Chile. The government, the Army, the Supreme Court and the lawyers involved have been dancing judicially around the case in a prolonged ballet which really represents the struggle for power.
President Ricardo Lagos is in the center of the ballet. The left, represented by Communist Gladys Marín, rebukes him for not moving to the left. The formal apologies of the Church for collaborating with the Piinochet regime are proof that it is regarded with popular suspicion. The Church has moved to the left and now does all it can to appear as the defender of the poor. Leftist elements in the government, notably in the field of education, may fear that this will strengthen the influence of the Church over youths, or it may be just a diversionary tactic. Sex education, or rather a sex revolution is being promoted to teach youths the joys of sex. The lurid accounts of these joys scarcely mention that they do not solve the age-old gender-relations problems. The Church has said virtually nothing about this education, which it must regard as a scandal. Perhaps it realizes that the sex habits of priests would offer a tempting target for anti-clericals. The anti-clerical but secretive Masons are probably still powerful in Chile. Better sit on this Pandora´s box of clerical behavior, Pândora in Greek mythology being the bringer of trouble similar to Eve in the Old Testament.
In politics we must always read between the lies. When Pinochet moved the legislature to Valparaiso, the reason given was that it would revitalize the port city. Not mentioned was the obvious fact that it would get the politicians out of the dictator´s hair. Now the leftists legislators are demanding that the legislature be moved back to Santiago, where they would have more direct control over the masses. The ballet continues.
Ronald Hilton - 1/04/01