Date of Award

Spring 1999

Document Type





Just as every Chilean will tell a different version of the story, every historian will interpret this period with a different perspective and methodology. With this in mind, I do not promise complete objectivity as I place the Pinochet years in a historical context. My personal involvement in the aftermath of the dictatorship will undoubtedly affect my interpretation of this complex period in Latin American history. As much as possible, however, I have attempted to represent the diverse perspectives of the Chilean people involved by relying heavily on taped interviews and personal observations recorded in my travel journals. In order to analyze this period with a Chilean perspective, I am treating the dictatorship as a Chilean issue. For this reason, I have generally shied away from any mention of United States foreign policy or intervention in Chilean affairs. Furthermore, I have focused the topic on opposition from political parties and Catholic Church hierarchy rather than labor unions, student movements, or other grassroots organizations. Because Santiago serves as the nucleus of Chilean political and church-related activity, this thesis covers the dictatorship in urban and not rural areas. Again, every piece of Chile will have a different story to tell. My intent is to tell the story of Chilean church and political leaders and to uncover one hidden portion of Chilean history.