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Dictators, Pinochet

     The marked improvement of Latin American studies at the University of Texas is due to the arrival there of David Crow. I post just an extract from a long piece he has sent, and from which we can tell which side of the street he would have stood in London. He writes:

     Fanning the flames of the Pinochet debate
     It is absolutely incomprehensible to me how anyone can defend Pinochet. Does stating that U.S.-style morals aren't reproducible in other countries mean that other peoples aren't entitled to human rights we hold as universal, including the right to life?
     How is it possible to state that dictators guilty of crimes against humanity should be punished and in the next breath aver that loss of life (more than 3,000 documented cases in Chile) is an acceptable or necessary price to pay for economic stability? I would never dream of making such an argument to my Chilean friends whose family members were interned, tortured, raped or killed by thugs that now invoke the doctrine of sovereign immunity (impunity?) to avoid responsibility for their profoundly immoral actions.

Ronald Hilton - 10/15/99