What’s Your POV about ‘The Judge and the General’?

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The Judge and the General explores the criminal investigation of General Augusto Pinochet, who led a military regime in Chile for nearly 20 years. In 1973, Pinochet led a military coup that ousted the democratically elected president Salvador Allende. In the service of his anti-Communist crusade and with U.S. help, Pinochet’s military and intelligence community consolidated power with a campaign of violence that included secret prisons, torture and murder. Hundreds of Chileans “disappeared” — never to be seen again.

In 1998, relatives of victims filed suit against the former dictator and a judicial lottery assigned the case to a conservative judge, Juan Guzmán, who was known to be a longtime Pinochet supporter. The filmmakers, who were granted unique access to Judge Guzmán’s criminal investigation, might have expected to document a cover-up. Instead, they witnessed a profound personal transformation as Guzm&aacuten descends into what he calls the “abyss,” and uncovers a past that includes his own role in the tragedy.

Judge Juan GuzmanFor Judge Juan Guzmán, a man who says that his investigations “opened the eyes of my soul,” there is one clear choice: “A wounded country needs to know the truth.”
For filmmakers Elizabeth Farnsworth and Patricio Lanfranco, The Judge and the General was an opportunity to explore the aftermath of the 1973 coup. Patricio is Chilean and lived through it all. Elizabeth helped make a film in Chile in the early 1970s and has been haunted by what happened there ever since.

Patricio LanfrancoPatricio Lanfranco says: “One of the hopes I had for the film was to encourage the same kind of transformation in Chilean society. The Pinochet regime was a huge mistake that we committed as a society, and it is important for Chileans to see the truth and make sure this situation could never happen again.”

Elizabeth FarnsworthElizabeth Farnsworth says: “I was interested in understanding the phenomenon of ‘the Good German,’ the conscientious person of high ideals who goes along with state terror because it offers safety and order in a time of chaos.”

Juan Guzmán was such a person. As a young man, he closed his eyes to the terrible things that were happening in his country. But as we see in The Judge and the General, Guzmán had the courage to face his mistake and expose the truth.

What do you think of Judge Guzmán, his support of Pinochet as a young man and his change of mind? Why do millions of people stand by and allow injustice to happen? Have you ever been in a situation where you kept quiet instead of standing up for what’s right? What can be done to encourage citizens to fight against injustice?

Ruiyan Xu
Ruiyan Xu
Former POVer Ruiyan Xu worked on developing and producing materials for POV's website. Before coming to POV, she worked in the Interactive and Broadband department at Channel Thirteen/WNET. Ruiyan was born in Shanghai and graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Modern Culture and Media.
  • digiAugust

    FOREIGNID: 16896
    Why is that people are so willing to pursue the evils of authoritarian rulers that support non Marxist style economies but turn a blind eye or even support other authoritarian rulers which push a Marxist style economy. In both cases the atrocities can be equally horrific. One has to look no further than Chile and Cuba. In the famous kitchen debate between Nixon and Kruschev, Nixon is said to have argued that only in democracy could economic success be achieved, while Kruschev argued that economic success could only be achieved under Communism. While the USSR, Cuba, North Korea and others have seemed to proven Kruschev wrong, Chile and others countirs have seemed to proven Nixon wrong. Under authoritarian political rule, Pinochet allowed an open economy and Chile’s economy soared. Since then it would appear that China and North Vietnam have switched from authoritarian rule with a Marxist economic approach to authoritarian rule with a much greater degree of economic freedom: ie. following the Pinochet model. Of course the following success in China’s and Vietnam’s economies has been truly amazing. But the question remains why are authoritarian heads of state of open economies with horrific records of human rights considered to be so much more evil, in some people’s mind, than authoritarian heads of state with command economies and equally horrific records of human rights?

  • Mark

    FOREIGNID: 16897
    While the movie makes a point about the abuses which took place and the associated complacency, we ought to take into account what precipitated this. While Allende was elected with a bit more than 1/3 of the vote, the Chilean congress was hesitant to confirm the result. While Allende said he wanted to reform the country for the poor, he actually allowed the country to move into chaos. People would seize property/businesses and claim them for the “people”. Arms were being smuggled into the country via Cuba. While the US made life difficult in Chile, there was a counter influence from the Soviets and the Cubans. Indeed, Chile was front and center in the Cold War. Radio Moscu was a source of leftist news for years. Fidel spent months in Chile and promoted revolution at Universities. This is fact because my wife actually shook his hand at Universidad de Concepcion. This is what infuriated the Nixon administration and why they promoted destabilization in the country. In fact, there were largely ineffectual. Allende did plenty to screw up the situation on his own. The resulting coup was in fact widely supported in Chile by the people, the Christian Democrats, the Armed Forces and the business community. The coup was actually in response to a pending civil war. The leftists (the MIR etc) were being armed and prepared for a violent revolution.
    This is only a small fraction of what happened in Chile and led to Pinochet taking over. While what I wrote is not meant to be an excuse for the abuses, it was the leftists who precipitated the situation. In any event, because of Pinochet the economy of Chile is now the best in Latin America and the envy of the other nations. It was a heck of a price to pay, but only the Chileans should decide on whether it was worth it or not.
    And BTW, the curfew was in place largely because of terrorism. I was there when the curfew was in force and after. The FMR would put bombs in trash cans, on buses and blow up power pylons routinely in addition to constantly assasinating carbineros (policemen).

  • Goedel

    FOREIGNID: 16898
    Any discussion of what happened in Chile is empty if it does not include the criminal activities of Henry Kissinger and the CIA in instigating the overthrow of a legitimate government and the murder of its just elected president, Salvatore Allende. Especially for US citizens, exposure of the principal miscreant, the US government, is vital to their understanding of the imperialism that has put our own democratic institutions into jeopardy, as we see now in the so-called Patriot Act and the new FISA.
    We are gone from the early days of imperial meddling, under Eisenhower and Nixon, to the maturation of imperial rotteness under George Bush. Our technically bankrupt country has wreaked havoc in Guatemala, Iran, southeaat Asia, etc., and now Iraq and Afghanistan. We are killling hundreds of thousands in other countires and, at the same time, dividing our own country into the super-rich and the poor with a diminishing middle-class. For our own sake, we should understand the early years, Guatemala, Iran, Chile, how we committed crimes in those countries, so that we can understand what we are doing now.

  • Paola

    FOREIGNID: 16899
    I strongly disagree with some of the comments, What happen in Chile was not consequence of the leftist government. It was the conclusion of the efforts of the right to close the political participation of alternative voices, as well as an effort to regain the power of the economic elites. I also do not believe that it was just the US action. Yes, this country funded and offered technical assistance to the military, However, it was the ruling elite, the military Junta and the silence of the society what allowed these horrible things to happen. There is no excuse for these acts. Mainly there is no excuse for the civil society to give away their right to demand the ruling leader or group to be transparent about their actions. At the end, the film shows us the power of the civilian controls, even after years and years of silence. That’s the main point that should be clear: civil control over authority is always the warranty for the citizens.

  • ernestine mcglynn

    FOREIGNID: 16900
    The POV program on Pinochet was excellent.
    It is so important that good but uninformed people see the existence of evil where they least expect it – in their own government.

  • Brian

    FOREIGNID: 16901
    Thousands and thousands of people tortured and killed was a small price to pay because now the economy in Chile is good? Are you are madman?

  • Fernando Campos

    FOREIGNID: 16902
    I saw the documentary and in some way it is not very different from Patricio Guzman’ s THE PINOCHET CASE. Any difference? Not really. The same points and history of Chile. I better will use in my classes Guzman’s documentary. But it is good to show this history in USA TV. I would like also to see more documentaries about Central America during the 70′s and 80′s.
    In Guatemala killed 240.000, in El Salvador almost 80.000, in Nicaragua 40.000.
    Thank you for the documentary today in pbs.

  • Ron

    FOREIGNID: 16903
    Now our government involved in Rendition, and all that follows from such
    a mentality.
    But, I doubt that there will ever be Judicial hearings and judgements for those
    It is the same mentality that saw no shame in owning slaves, that continues to back the most oppresive governments, while giving lip service to Human Rights.

  • Brian

    FOREIGNID: 16904
    To the filmmakers,
    Thanks for the excellent documentary. I was wondering about the man who was a torturer who sat in that room shoveling food into his face. Did he go to prison for his crimes? Or was he in prison already? What a black, horrible heart.
    It is so tragic that Pinochet was in his late 80′s before he was indicted. How can the masses be so brainwashed it takes decades for criminal killers to be brought down?

  • sandra

    FOREIGNID: 16905
    I thoguht the film makers did an excellent job in telling the victims stories and showing how corrupt the Chilean government was. I am majoring in political science and wrote a paper about the events leading up to the 1973 military coup that assassinated Salvador Allende; within that paper I also wrote about the Somoza family in Nicaragua; which our governments hands were all over that as well. Kissinger best describes it as “the U.S does not have friends it has interests”. Excellent film!!!

  • Henry G. Michaux, Ed.D.

    FOREIGNID: 16906
    Pinochet was much like Reagan and the current Bush, arrogant and with specious capabilities int he area of humanitarian exceptionalism. All were frauds and served only misguided notions of self importance and a corrupt sense of justice. All too often, such individuals duplicate similar species of humanity (?) who corrupt culture and respectful behavorialism.

  • sandra

    FOREIGNID: 16907
    p.s if anyone wants information on chile or other Latin American countries just go to http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/ and at the very bottom right should be links to Chile and other countries that have declassified information you kind of have to dig a little.

  • Fernando Campos

    FOREIGNID: 16908
    Sandra said “up to the 1973 military coup that assassinated Salvador Allende”
    Salvador Allende, President of Chile, committed suicide and he was not assassinated. Just for your information. The Rettig Report also said that.
    The Rettig Report, officially The National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation Report, is a report by a commission designated by then President Patricio Aylwin (from the Concertación) encompassing human rights abuses resulting in death or disappearance that occurred in Chile during the years of military rule under Augusto Pinochet, which began on September 11, 1973 and ended on March 11, 1990.

  • Susan

    FOREIGNID: 16909
    I feel very mixed about the film and question some of the choices made by the film-makers. Why does the film omit any mention in the beginning of the fact that Chile had been a democracy for many decades, that Allende was democratically elected, that the US government under the auspices of Sec. of State Henry Kissinger actively supported the destabilization of the Allende government and supported and encouraged the military? Instead the film presents the social crisis after the election of Allende as a series of street fights among political opponents and the visit of Castro to Chile. This unfortunately “depoliticizes” the context of the rest of the film. My human rights students will have no understanding of why the coup and the resulting human rights violations happened and why so many Chileans , like Judge Guzman, were silent. The story of Judge Guzman and the investigation in Chile is quite good, but any teacher will need to supplement the film with some background on Chilean history and US involvement in the coup.

  • Fernando Campos

    FOREIGNID: 16910
    A documentary must not give all the answers to everybody, or to students in a class about Chile. Teachers must find other sources. I prefer better THE PINOCHET CASE by Patricio Guzman.

  • azinvaredonya

    FOREIGNID: 16911
    What a waste of time!!
    tens of thousands of people go missing all across South America in coordination between countries & “the Justice” was unaware??? (I knew about it across the world in Iran in real time at the age of 12) yet 30 years after the fact he scrutinizes the button found on the ocean floor & bingo there is the evidence???! Better yet “the indictment” which is finally after the mockery of giving an interview when he’s supposedly senile & ill fit to stand trial &…..
    If Ms Farnsworth is interested in “the truth” how about a little knock on the door of former “School of the Americas” presently “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation” at Fort Benning, GA where many of these distinguished officers get their training.
    & since I heard her refernce to “the Good German” on the News Hour, let me just say, sometimes “the Good German” is none other than the person in the mirror.
    In the mean time, watch what you check out of your local library.

  • Richard Jewkes

    FOREIGNID: 16912
    It’s a travesty there were no indictments of CIA or US government officials who supported and helped put Pinochet in power. The Pinochet’s of the world do not come to power only by their own efforts.

  • Brian

    FOREIGNID: 16913
    The most interesting person in this film was Guzmán.
    Why didn’t he know this was happening back in the 70′s? Was it because of his youth? Was he living where he couldn’t have seen what was going on? Was it because of his political views that he could only see what he wanted to see? Was it pressure from his family to remain unaware? Or was it his own fear?
    When he started to realize the truth I wish the film had more time to show what he political pressures he had to overcome to move forward with his awakening conscience.

  • Richard Jewkes

    FOREIGNID: 16914
    It’s a travesty there were no indictments of CIA or US government officials who supported and helped put Pinochet in power. The Pinochet’s of the world do not come to power only by their own efforts.

  • vincent hayley

    FOREIGNID: 16915
    amazing how neutral judge guzman was and how serious when the job was assigned him and the evidence began to be gathered. what would we find were we to investigate how much financial and strategic support was provided by the u.s. government during the chilean time of political murders and supression? missing from the examination by the film, perhaps from its time constraint, was a critique of a court system where the judge investigates, judges and indicts. what dangers are there when so much discretion and influence is within the control of someone prejudiced, as during the pinochet years?

  • Brian

    FOREIGNID: 16916
    Maybe she wants to tell the story from the “blindness” that many of the people experienced. Many of them probably only knew the actions of the secret police. Not who was behind the secret police. I think it is one valid way to tell the story. It doesn’t give it as much political context but it still is impactful from this angle too.

  • alejandro

    FOREIGNID: 16917
    the film is only a partial truth. Only show one part of the history, they dont
    show how much the people suffered during Allendes caos. They dont show the abuses by the Allende`s regimen. So is not a good film, people only see oneside of the situation. They call themselves christians,the relatives of the people that can not be found, but they hate more than anybodyelse, they want reveange, they want people to die, so why they say that Pinochet is evil?, it doesnt make any sense if you analyse really carefull what happened.

  • Brian

    FOREIGNID: 16918
    The tragedy is that humans get swept up in horrible political movements in history and their lives are ruined. Then a generation or two passes and the same society has no real collective memory of the crimes and mistakes. They fail to learn the lessons they should have learned and then it happens all over again.

  • azinvaredonya

    FOREIGNID: 16919
    My problem is that I don’t believe the Judge when he says he didn’t know. This was going on all across South & Central America for decades. I don’t even believe all these arrests & indictments. All they do is they arrest bunch of old guys & put them under House arrest or send them to their version of “Club Fed” & that’s the end of it.
    I think a better solution would be to just get to the truth. Who killed whom. How, where they shot or thrown out of a plane. by whose order. where It isn’t like these weren’t documented. you can even ask, it’s not like these people are ashamed of it, they just thought (still probably think) they saved their respective countries. Who in the US embassy knew, to what extent, what was the extent of the cooperation. Who coordinated between Argentina (or the other countires for that matter) & Chile the return of the escapies.
    In my opinion, even Judge Guzman’s trail is the continuation of fooling the public & OK some bad things happen & it’s over , so now let’s move on. If it wasn’t they would declassify all the documents.

  • Mike

    FOREIGNID: 16920
    It’s just theater folks and interesting theater at that. It’s documentary theater, but theater none the less. As a documentary, it seems to follow the investigative judge’s activities and the forces acting on him – there seems to be very little about the General and the forces acting on him? Ms Farnsworth wonders, like the bard, why people do the things they do. In this case I think it’s FEAR, a popular vehicle these days……..

  • Luis A.

    FOREIGNID: 16921
    I am fortunate as a Chilean native to see this film here in the U.S. while millions of Chileans will probably never be this fortunate. I agree with many of the comments that the documentary does not include many of the different angles, but that would be impossible. One must appreciate the human story and the struggle of thousands of people to not give up to see the day for a bit of justice, not revenge, I don’t think. Having lived and been involved in the early ’80s in some of the first demonstrations against Pinochet, I can say that there was a new generation who was growing up hungry for the truth and tire of the repression. This wasn’t about the economy, come on! Who cares! This was about re-encountering freedom and a more just society which to this day Chile still is working hard to achieve.

  • Randolph Phillips

    FOREIGNID: 16922
    You may use HTML tags for style and links.
    The Judge and the General is a wonderful documentary. I have said for more than thirty years that except for not getting us out of Vietnam earlier, the worst single decision of the Nixon administration was to participate in the overthrow and assasination (I think it was a murder) of Salvador Allende in Chile.
    The country had democratically elected him, and he should have been left in office to lead his people.
    This film also inspires me in a personal endeavor. I have been asked to serve as administrator of an estate: this documentary inspires me to fight to see that justice is done for the deceased, and his only heir, and justice also for those who wronged them.
    A wonderful documentary.

  • Caleb Longstreet

    FOREIGNID: 16923
    Without a doubt, this was one of the more interesting PBS programs I have seen in awhile. The comments listed above are extremely intelligent and concise. In my own humble opinion, this is a sad legacy of the human condition and an even sadder reminder of what does happen behind closed doors.
    I do think, however, that you have to keep this type of thing in perspective. Whiile no one can, or should ever justify these horrific acts, one can truly learn from them.
    These atrocities continue. Agendas are always served. Sometimes, believe it or not, to the better of all mankind. Case in point. Had McNamara and McArthur had their way, they would have bombed China in 1947 or so. The thought being that the looming threat was there. If my memory serves me, these two had requested the manufacture, and ultimate delivery of, 47 nukes to be dropped along the Chinese border at a time of our choosing.
    We didn’t do it, China was saved. However, consider the counter-result. LBJ and Nixon were initially very much afraid to bomb North Vietnam (another war and peace novel, I know….no puns intended) for fear that the Chinese and Soviets may invade from the North touching off what was perceived as WWIII.
    Reasonable fears at the time considering the Bay of Pigs incident was a few years earlier? By not bombing the Chinese you inherently had a problem that ultimately help spawn the death of over 58,000 American lives and roughly 2 million Vietnamese lives not to mention Pol Pot’s exercises next door, a few years later.
    So, in retrospect, who was right? Neither to be sure but, it helps to frame the context of why things happen to people that we simply can’t understand.
    This is purely an academic exercise so park your emotions for one moment. I am NOT condoning any such behavior. Quite the contrary. It simply helps to illustrate why these things happen no matter how insane they appear later.
    I am not as versed as most on this recital but, it appears that this is a continuing trend in the evolution of mankind. By illumninating these atrocities does one hope to eventually curb them. Small concession to those that have suffered.
    I would like to see more of these on South America as the gentleman states above. It’s our closest large continent neighbor and probably one of the least studied by the average American. The story on PBS was incredibly fascinating. Pinochet’s legacy is not new. During the 70′s and 80′s Americans spoke about it but, that was about it. I guess, much like quite a few Chileans at the time, we turned a blind eye. Shame on us. Shame on them. At least in their case, they had a bit more to lose, like their lives.
    The courage displayed by the Chilean people and Mr. Guzman and associates was moving to say the least. While we may differ in America about George Bush and Bill Clinton, we enjoy the luxury to do so without the extra hassle and worry that an AK-47 and/or an FAL might bring.
    Excellent commentaries. Thanks for submitting them!

  • g

    FOREIGNID: 16924
    Elizabeth Farnsworth’s comments on the “NewHour” about the ‘German factor” were prescient in the documentary. The “blindness,” as she states, is very telling. I immediately thought of Anthony DeMello’s book, called “Awareness,” as a source worth exploring, given the subject matter.
    Kudos to the filmmakers and to the strength of the Chilean people to address a painful subject. Two thumbs down to the CIA for promoting terror with a facist dictator to fight Communism. A blight on the US role to “promote” human rights for all. The CIA forgot the words of a patriot, Patrick Henry: “Give me liberty, or give me death!” Let us remember that voice as we remember those whose lost their lives in that tragic struggle for freedom and liberty from a tyrant.

  • Bill

    FOREIGNID: 16925
    To respond to digiAugust’s post: The reason that we need to pursue the evils of these authoritarian regimes such as Pinochet’s is that we created them, we supported them, we are responsible for them. Or in reality, I should say, our government, the business interests that control both our political parties. These are the ones who have always supported their brothers on the right, whether in Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Argentina, Brazil, Iran, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, etc. etc. They’ve made us into a nation of hypocrites who spout platitudes about freedom and democracy while collaborating in acts of mass murder and terrorism and the whole world knows it. We are supposed to be the “good guys,” the ones who don’t do things like that.
    Two years ago I had the chance to visit Chile and a Chilean friend took me to the Cementario Generale, where I saw the thousands of graves of those killed during the coup. Words cannot express what I felt as an American who believes in the values of our country when I took in that scene, but it will be seared into my memory for as long as I live. Their blood is on our hands every bit as much as on Pinochet and his supporters.
    For the record, there is no such thing as a “Marxist” economic model; Marx never offered any specific prescription to cure the evils of capitalism, he just diagnosed them. The “command economies” you mention are the product of Stalinism, not Marx, a distinction that those on the right always try to obscure when they want to perpetuate the lie that “there is no alternative” to capitalism. Stalinism was and is a product of the same corruption of democratic values for the sake of “security” against enemies that capitalism produces, and it should be condemned every bit as much as right wing dictatorships, but we didn’t create the regime in China, and we don’t have the input into their policy that we do into American policy. And no “economic miracle” without democracy can have any legitimacy whatsoever – in China we now see that their “miracle” is benefitting only a tiny elite as the gap between rich and poor has exploded. This mirrors what I saw in Chile – single mothers with small children living in the street, and mere yards away from the graves of the victims of the coup of 9/11/73 could be found acre upon acre of the obscenely ostentatious mausoleums of the rich. Both economies are examples of the hellish legacy of Milton Friedman and his “Chicago Boys.”
    The real economic alternative is more democracy, an economic model where every employee works in an enterprise that is owned and managed democratically by its employees. This is real democracy and it is also real socialism. Experiments with this model were in progress in Chile when they were snuffed out by the coup. They are being pursued again now in several places in Latin America, including Venezuela where there is a cabinet-level Ministry of Popular Economy working to that end. But these experiments are facing familiar challenges: from the right, who are willing to do anything to hang on to their power and privilege, including trying to overthrow a democratically elected government; and from the left, in the form of a president who feels compelled to centralize power and constrict civil liberties in the name of security from those threats.
    It is people like Judge Guzman, a conservative more concerned with justice than maintaining privilege and willing to risk his life for it, that gives me hope that this depressing cycle can be broken

  • Sia

    FOREIGNID: 16926
    That was an ugly act of ATT and foreign power intervention in Chille business. It doesn’t matter where chile stands in terms of economy growth, Pinochet should have been punished for all his crime against humanity. As Judge Guzman said his supporters were chanting that oppsitions couldn’t indict him but none of his supporters ever said he was an innocent man.

  • Maggie

    FOREIGNID: 16927
    Thank you PBS for showing this incredible documentary. If only people knew that the extend of the crimes was so much more than what we saw tonight! The dictatorship destroyed more than many lives by torture, disappearence and murdering. Many of us suffered the consequences of this until today, in our hearts and in our minds. Living with fear, knowing what was going on but not being allowed to talk, growing up with shame and anger. Traumatized for life. I was 4 years old on September 11, 1973, I still remember the bombs, the sirens, the crying, the screaming. While my parents were busing figuring out how to survive, things were happening. We left the country, although we were physically safe, we were marked for ever. All those years I grew up in fear, and while my parents and my family were committed to restoring democracy, we were left to grow up on our own. The scars are deeper than what is shown in this movie, there was terror in the streets and in our homes. I am sad for what I saw tonight, although I really don’t care for some of the comments. This is all true, horribly true. I no longer hate, I believe that justice comes, one way or another. We will never lose hope, and we will never forget. My mission in life is to help make this world a better place for my children and the generations to come, with truth, dignity and respect.
    Life is beautiful and so worth the fight. Let’s hope this NEVER happens again.

  • Alan Oakley

    FOREIGNID: 16928
    I watched this well put together documentary with sadness. Sadness for peoples loss, and sadness for a legacy that mars an otherwise wonderful expressive culture. It occurs to me how many other stories have been told in my lifetime of cruelty at the hands of dictators and powermongers. How many millions more are we going to allow to die before we decide that enough is enough. As human beings we are able to choose between cruelty and kindness, love and hate. That is what seperates us from the animal kingdom. I am not sure that this is true though, as it seems we are, more cruel with each other, than other species ever could be.
    My heartfelt longing is for the lessons to be learned, and that the truth is realized by all. That humans are free and beautiful, that each one is an individual work of art constantly evolving. Thank you for sharing this story. Please use your obvious skills to now extract the lessons from this and every other story that is similar. Share them with the world.

  • Fernando Luengo

    FOREIGNID: 16929
    Good documentary BUT it doesn’t tell the audience that it was Chile’s newly elected president, Ricardo Lagos who pressured the British government to release Pinochet. Unfortunately it doesn’t dig enough in the complicity of the Chilean Supreme Court, the political parties in power today and the institutions of the Chilean state. All of them decided long time ago to look the other way and prosecute only the most symbolic human rights cases. Out of the thousands of human rights violators in Chile today only a hand full (10%) are in prison today. The few high ranking officers in prison live in luxury detention centers and have access to swimming pools, internet, satellite TV, tennis court, private quarters, visitor every day, kitchen and chefs who cook for them. All of this information was made public by the press few months ago. Chile is a disgrace when it comes to finding justice for the victims of the Pinochet dictatorship. I hope this documentary helps in some way.

  • Fernando Luengo

    FOREIGNID: 16930
    In the Bay Area there are two other documentaries produced by Chilean exiles, themselves victims of the Pinochet regime. Unfortunately they don’t have the necessary connections to be in public TV but you should check their websites.

  • Sam Stanton

    FOREIGNID: 16931
    I watched the story of Judge Guzman last evening with great pain and sadness. It is extremely well done and one of the better summaries of the 17 years of dictatorship in Chile and how the pain caused is still there.
    I have lived 19 of that last 30 years in Chile as a Catholic missionary. My wife and I worked with one of the most outspoken bishops against the regime and strong advocates of human rights, Carlos Camus Larenas. Chile has not healed it’s pain and I believe it will not even to really begin to until every person who lost someone in those terrible years can learn of their where abouts. I was reminded of our good friend Margarita Rojas of Linares. Her father and brother were taken from their simple farm home close to Parral a month after the coup. Her mother died of cancer a few years ago never knowing the destiny of her husband and son, never being able to lay flowers at a grave or even sure if they were alive or dead. Healing cannot really begin under such circumstances.
    On a personal level, I realized last evening how much a part of my life that period is. You think you have moved away from such a period but watching your film brings those days back so vividly and watching the hate and lack of acceptance of human injustice and suffering on the part of Pinochet’s supporters just reminds me how far we are from building a society of justice and respect.

  • John Griffin

    FOREIGNID: 16932
    What a whitewash! But not surprising, given the fact that PBS is Corporate Television first, Public Television second. It was almost criminal to omit the extent of U.S. Government involvement (via the CIA) to subvert an elected president in order to protect U.S. interests in Chile. In this case, the interests of the U.S. had nothing to do with democracy, and everything to do with protecting American corporations in Chile. Slavador Allende was a socialist elected by the Chilean people, but the U.S. funded a destabilization campaign, backed a military coup, and supported the rule of a fascist (General Pinochet) at a tragic cost to human rights.

  • Marty

    FOREIGNID: 16933
    During the 1960′s as a student, I had experienced the turmoil of civil rights, participated in peace and anti-Vietnam war demonstrations, lived through assassinations of political leaders in the US, riots with sacking, looting and burning in Washington DC and campus upheavals. Later, I had worked in poor inner city neighborhoods of the US northeast doing my best to organize more effective political participation and promote more effective public policies. During 1972- 1973, I traveled through South America for five months and spent part of that time in Chile. In March of 1973, I spent time in Chile, a remarkable country and an experience I will never forget. I attended political demonstrations…of both right and left wing groups, almost daily. I spoke with Chileans of all classes. This beautiful country was in chaos. Trade blockades had been imposed after the nationalization of Anaconda and ITT, household goods were smuggled into the economy, the currency was corrupted, shortages were everywhere, long lines formed outside the Santiago’s supermarkets and shelves were empty. Land re-distribution was promoted but agricultural production faltered. Chile was the most politically polarized society I had experienced; public opinion on Allende was split but the dialogue was public.
    Under Allende the media in Chile was wide open; opinion from all points of view was published, good, bad, pro and con. After the Pinochet coup, this ended. Draconian and police state measures were imposed on the society in order to “stabilize” the country. The most vulnerable people were scape goated, then targeted, imprisoned, tortured, killed and disappeared. After the coup, the economy stabilized, things became “normal” again, but critical voices were now silenced. Silencing an open society is a process; it takes time and political craft. But once silenced, the torture and political killing were implemented by the military government. This was the case in Chile. As Chile was one of the most openly democratic societies prior to Pinochet, the experience of regimentation for Chileans was very painful, even though the economy was improving. Chileans in exile in Canada, US, Mexico and Europe spoke of these evils but the international community paid little attention. They had moved on to other issues. Over the last 35 years, similar purges happened in other parts of the world. Could the same things happen in America? Yes, I believe the same things could happen here.

  • Sabra Vacca

    FOREIGNID: 16934
    Like so many others, I was deeply concerned about what happened in Chile. And I was ashamed that the huge role of the United States was soft-pedaled into almost non-existence in the piece.
    Also, was I the only one who had tremendous difficulty reading the super-imposed translations? Could not this technical problem be improved upon?

  • Marilyn Moorcroft

    FOREIGNID: 16935
    Thank you for an excellent program on Chile. I remember the assassination in DC back in ’73 of the Chilean Ambassador and his assistant, and how astounding that was at the time.
    Unfortunately I was frustrated sometimes being unable to read some of your white-on-white subtitled translations (and thus tuned away from time to time). The clearest subtitles, of course, are white outlined in black.
    Nevertheless I got a great deal out of your program and admire the Chilean judge for his persistance in adhering to the legal and judicial process, however slow and tedious, in bringing Pinochet to justice.
    And I don’t admire Jack Straw at all for being the roadblock to Pinochet’s being tried early on by Spain and his blocking P’s extradition from the U.K. to Spain, after the House of Lords okayed it.

  • Mike Reininger

    FOREIGNID: 16936
    You may use HTML tags for style and links.
    After skimming over the comments on this blog, I think the second one from the top by Mark seems to me to be the most accurate and enlightening.
    I vaguely remember the Nixon quote that “people don’t have the right to be stupid,” and hence the wink, wink, and nod, nod to Pinochet and his junta.
    In the documentary at the end when Judge Guzman remarked that he no longer was religious, that spoke volumes to me. So does that mean he’s no longer anti-communist? Wasn’t Pinochet on good terms with Pope John Paul II?
    I think it horrible that the authoritarian regime resorted to torture. They should have been better than that. The hiding of the dead was also a bad thing, especially since they believed in their own cause. Either you’re righteous or you’re not. The interview of that torturer shows what happens to the soul when one allows oneself to sink below a certain level of decency. Since he is a sadist, he’ll rot in hell.
    Chile seems to have turned out much better than Argentina in the subsequent decades after the mid 70′s. I wonder why? Lately in the past few years, I’ve gotten the impression that Argentina is finally getting on its feet.
    Since communism is totalitarian, it’s worse than authoritarianism. Had Cuba not been so corrupt as a result of the mafia, I doubt Fidel Castro would have had so many sympathizers. Cuba can only get better once that communist regime is removed.
    Pope John Paul II said in regards to North Korea that “they were sinning against themselves, not God.” If ever there is a hell on earth, it’s there in N. Korea.
    Mike Reininger

  • MAS

    FOREIGNID: 16937
    I certainly hope that Bush/Cheney and all the warmongerers, torturers, illegal wiretappers …all watched this program carefully….I hope that all those guilty of Crimes against Humanity and Crimes against the Constitution paid close attention…You will not be safe….even after you leave office….Your records will be searched out, the graves opened, and the renditions and black hole prisons revealed.Your victims will cry out against you….Everyone knows Kissinger was/.is guilty and everyone knows of the guilt of the present team representing The United Corporations of America….The legacy of the past 8/16/20/30 years of American Empire will be as discredited as the Pinochet regime….The 20th Century gives us lots of examples of Corporate Rule…and the documentary suggests: Culprit Beware!!!

  • richard Foxen

    FOREIGNID: 16938
    Excellent program on the ’70′s events in Chile. Gripping story extremely well told. In the interest of giving as objective a presentation as possible, you perhaps should have mentioned in the beginning that Allende won the 1970 presidential election with a plurality of only 35 percent (not that he “narrowly won”), meaning that the whole country was badly fractured to start with. Under the circumstanced, one might have thought that a more conciliatory government would have been appropriate, but his hard left economic and social policies led to the catastrophy that followed. Your program gives a good sense of differences, with the “conservatives” being against Allende, but I don’t think it gives a good sense of how deeply the whole country was divided.
    Sincerely, Richard Foxen

  • Lindsay

    FOREIGNID: 16939
    There is no use arguing over the conditions that precipitated the coup. One man was democratically elected by his country, and proceeded with an economic plan that attempted to honor the majority of his people, not the majority land and resources-holders. This was not done with physical force, but with legal and economic changes, supported by what was a legally constituted majority. So many Chileans supported the coup because the results of these economic changes were food lines and chronic shortages. This is the way it has been explained to me by my mother-in-law, who went out and protested the Allende government. It was from U.S. backed protests by the Chilean elite that this chaos emerged, not as a natural shortcoming of Allende’s policies.
    It is because many Chileans were selfish that they ignored the human rights abuses against the many young adults who attempted to remedy their country’s inequity. Many citizens of many nations have fallen victim to this same sad self-centered political identity. Our own country, the United States, is full of cowards who refuse to stand up for the rights of those in foreign countries at the hands of our military.
    Any argument about the justification of disappearing people is disgusting. I do not mean to be polemic in this statement, but to point out the total disregard for human rights that a justification entails. Pinochetistas should be at the left’s feet that those at his funeral were not rounded up and dropped into the ocean, because a real democracy does not act violently towards its’ own citizens when they express their opinions.

  • Fernando Campos

    FOREIGNID: 16940
    The Allende’ time in Chile had to do with the Cold War and the radicalization of many groups following the Cuban Revolution. The CIA, if we study that time from our perspectiive now and all the information and different views, is that (CIA) followed that context. The Cuban Revolution and the URSS followed the other view, so USA is NOT the main reason Pinochet took power in Chile. Cuba also had his own agenda to eliminate people who did not think as Fidel Castro: “With the Revolution all the rights, again the Revolution any rights” (Castro speech in the Public Library, Havana, June 1961). At that time, if you study very carefully Allende’s speeches, is that only the left is the main option to change a society. The History showed the contrary: the collapse of the URSS and all the socialist countries is a historical prove.
    cordially, F.C (I lived that time in Chile, and now professor of Latin America in a USA University)

  • Mark

    FOREIGNID: 16941
    Madman…give me a break. I deplore the torture, extrajudicial killings etc. One cannot justify the actions of the DINA. Nonetheless, it is up to Chileans to assess the dictatorship and what, if anything, to do about the abuses.
    My point was that to understand the events that led to the coup and the abuses, one needs to review more of the history and not a fragment in time. There were many contributing factors.
    Is it appropriate to ignore the Cuban and Soviet influence in the Chile? In the perspective of the Cold War, the US was counteracting the influence of the Soviets and their patrons.
    The mere mention of the statement that Allende was murdered serves to illustrate how underinformed people are. Allende shot himself with a gun given to him by Fidel. Find the statements made by witnesses, including his personal physician and his girlfriend (who was interviewed in exile in Italy years later).
    “This mirrors what I saw in Chile – single mothers with small children living in the street, and mere yards away from the graves of the victims of the coup of 9/11/73 could be found acre upon acre of the obscenely ostentatious mausoleums of the rich”….OK, shall we imprison all those who have ostentatious mausoleums here in the US? Ever take the New Orleans cementary tour before Katrina? And the legions of poor all over the city…..
    When I first went to Chile in 1980, I saw poverty and vendors selling trinkets on blankets on the sidewalks. People were begging for money. Over the numerous times thereafter, I witnessed the changes: no more vendors, no more beggars, and how the economy lifted so many out of poverty. While there is still plenty to do and plenty of inequities, I sincerely believe most of us would take capitalism (or European Socialsim) over Soviet or Cuban-style control.

  • Mark

    FOREIGNID: 16942
    I agree with some comments that abuses abound, even today. How many of you stand up against Israel for the apartheid system they created with the Palestinians? That term, by the way, was coined by our laudable former president, Jimmy Carter.
    How many of you protested when the Serbians were killing Muslims in the former Yugoslavia? Have you protested the Cuban government? Sure, they provide excellent education and healthcare, but does this justify the lack of freedom of expression, movement, etc? I say let the Cuban people decide. By not protesting, are you being complacent?
    Remember, Pinochet submitted to an election and he LOST. What dictator can you cite who called an election, lost and left peacefully?
    Pinochet did not compare with the likes of Somoza, who was simply a thief who cared nothing about the people of Nicargua. He eventually got his just reward.
    As for US foreign policy, let’s hope Barack takes back our country from the idiots who have run it for the last 8 years and bring back some respect for the US.

  • Aneurin

    FOREIGNID: 16943
    Overall, a strong documentary on an issue so little discussed in the United States. I get the sense that by not mentioning the role of our government in the Chilean coup, the documentary left all that to our own imagination, which in my case, made for a stronger story in some ways. We all know who trained DINA in their methods, now don’t we?
    Hopefully, this documentary makes Americans question just a little bit their own imperial history, that “fighting communism” had lasting results on other countries to the present day.
    What was most striking to me is the re-telling of the story of the parents being hauled away as the grandparents look on. Then later, the arrest of the former DINA head as one of his family members cried in the street. Sweet justice I suppose, even if only symbolic.

  • azinvaredonya

    FOREIGNID: 16944
    Following the coup, Milton Friedman (U of Chicago economist, Free Marketeer in Chief) was dispatched to Chile to “Fix” the economy & supposedly he did. Chile is always pointed to as one of his success stories. For his association with Pinochet he was heckled during the Noble prize award ceremony which was given to him in 1976.
    But see the problem with Capitalism is that not everyone can be a winner, so although Chile was a success, but it couldn’t be replicated in other local dictatorships.
    And me dear Prof Campos, before you declare victory for the Capitalism, you might want to look at South America again. On Friday, Fernando Lugo became another left-leaning president in South America. So that makes, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Chile & now Paraguay that have gone left/socialist in elections. (Granted the military is always lurking in the background, just so the leaders won’t get too out of line). And don’t forget Mexico (N.America) was almost gone too, but of course that was a little to close for comfort.

  • Doug

    FOREIGNID: 16945
    Thanks so much for making and airing this show. Several years ago I dated a woman from Argentina. Her sister was disappeared in that dirty war. That led me to read about what she couldn’t talk about. In doing so I found out about Operation Condor and via the National Security Archives, the US involvement in and/or passivity in the face of these atrocities. Their site, http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv is a great resource for those seeking more of the same fine but difficult truth-telling.
    http://www.nuncamas.org is another fine resource to get more detail on atrocities that happened in Argentina.
    Cheers to Judge Guzman for doing the right thing in the face of peril and difficult emotional toil.

  • madmax

    FOREIGNID: 16946
    This was a provacative and well made doc. I couldn’t watch it when it aired the night before, so I was glad when I learned I could watch the full version online. Bravo to the filmmakers. I was on the edge of my seat. And gracias to PBS for broadcasting the history lessons that won’t be taught in schools.

  • Paola

    FOREIGNID: 16947
    I strongly disagree with some of the comments, What happen in Chile was not consequence of the leftist government. It was the conclusion of the efforts of the right to close the political participation of alternative voices, as well as an effort to regain the power of the economic elites. I also do not believe that it was just the US action. Yes, this country funded and offered technical assistance to the military, However, it was the ruling elite, the military Junta and the silence of the society what allowed these horrible things to happen. There is no excuse for these acts. Mainly there is no excuse for the civil society to give away their right to demand the ruling leader or group to be transparent about their actions. At the end, the film shows us the power of the civilian controls, even after years and years of silence. That’s the main point that should be clear: civil control over authority and political representation is what helps democracy to survive, and leaders to respect their citizen’s human rights.

  • Freddy

    FOREIGNID: 16948
    Primero que todo, lamento no manejar el idioma inglés como yo quisiera, por eso escribo en español. Confío en que alguien pueda traducirlo si es de vuestro interés.
    Soy Chileno, vivo en Chile y tengo 20 años. Como podrán deducir, no viví esa época de la historia de mi país. Sin embargo sí la vivieron mis padres. De ellos obtuve mucho conocimiento sobre lo que ocurrió en Chile en aquellos años, obtuve a través del relato y las conversaciones, todas esas experiencias cotidianas que no muestran los documentales, ni los noticieros.
    Sé que muchas veces la discusión toma un tono político. Lo comprendo. Pero creo, honestamente, que el lado político de éste asunto es el que menos le importa a la gente de mi país.
    No se trata del comunismo o del capitalismo. Se trata de lo crueles que fueron las fuerzas militares en aquellos años con la gente.
    Mi padre, por ejemplo, vió cómo los militares enterraban cuerpos (cuerpos cuyas heridas dejaban ver lo aberrantes que eran los militares), y también fue amenazado para que se quedara callado.
    O como la policia instalaba bombas en torres eléctricas durante la noche, para luego decir en la prensa que lo habían hecho los comunistas.
    O como los militares asaltaban a pequeños negocios, y si no les obedecían simplemente mataban a quien fuera, con el pretexto de que eran comunistas.
    O como los militares botaban la carne de los mataderos de los lugares más pobres, sólo para que la gente pasara hambre.
    Todas esas cosas, ustedes no las saben, la prensa no lo sabe, pero la gente común lo sabe.
    En Chile, la mayoría de la gente no se aproblema demasiado con sus discusiones políticas, muchos están de acuerdo con que los militares pusieran orden, porque el clima era muy inestable. Pero eso no justifica todo el abuso que se cometió.

  • alebel

    FOREIGNID: 16949
    Politically exiled, originally from Ethiopia, now living in US and a survivor of “The Red Terror” a genocide that was carried out by the military junta led by Col. Mengistu Hailemariam, more than 200 thousand predominantly Ethiopian intelligentsia were perished. Their only crime was exercising their god given rights be protected by constitutional law and a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
    After viewing the documentary film (POV) entitled, “The Judge and the General” on PBS (by the way many thanks for PBS’s human programming against all odds), it is even more tragic and frightening to realize what happened in Chile under Pinochet or Mengistu of Ethiopia is more proliferated today in many countries around the world, such as, Ethiopia under the Ethno-centric and genocidal dictator, Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia. It is also evident, the same king makers who propped up Pinochet are still at work behind the disastrous tyranny of Meles Zenawi in Ethiopia. It is sad indeed.
    It would have been great if these powers review their past misgivings that caused the death and disappearances of millions. The first step for them to do was, stop the same Machiavellian excuses for backing self hating killers holding state power by sheer force. All I can say is, may god help them to redemption and to become human, in the true sense of the word and join the human family

  • Mario Rios Pinot

    FOREIGNID: 16950
    I thought this film was revealing esp. of the CIA training of Chilean right-wing terrorists. As a communist myself I have an agenda and a point of view. I try to be flexible and criticise left and right, get it? The judge could be cleaning up his post murder image, how do we redeem ourselves for mistakes? Thank you.

  • Marilyn M

    FOREIGNID: 16951
    Thank you for an excellent program on Chile. I remember the assassination in DC back in ’73 of the Chilean Ambassador and of his assistant, and how astounding that was at the time.
    Unfortunately I was frustrated at being unable to read some of your white-on-white subtitled translations (and tuned away from time to time). The clearest subtitles, of course, are white outlined in black.
    Nevertheless I got a great deal out of your program and admire the Chilean judge for his persistance in adhering to the legal and judicial process, however slow and tedious, in bringing Pinochet to justice.
    And I don’t admire Jack Straw at all for being the roadblock to Pinochet’s being tried early on by Spain and his blocking P’s extradition to Spain to be tried, after the House of Lords okayed it.
    A moving program!

  • Patricia

    FOREIGNID: 16952
    The documentary on Chile was riveting and well done and eye opening..
    We lived in Chile from July 1973 until July 1978. And we also drank champagne after the coup. oh dear.
    Thankyou for presenting this excellent film.
    I returned to Chile in April of this year, after a 30 year absence… Lots of changes….
    I will try to figure out how to do the comments directly to the filmakers. .

  • Lalo

    FOREIGNID: 16953
    Why doen’t anybody ever speak of the communist that ruled the country before Pinochet took over. You guys only show the left side of the story. Remember there is always two side to each story. PBS is only showing what happen after the take over. This was a freaking war against communism. I lived thru all the turmoil and I have to say that I am a Pinochista and proud of it. Maybe you should do a show on the other side of the coin. Now that I am a US citizen and proud of it, I still consider myself a chileno. And thanks to Pinochet, Chile is a well establised country.

  • Walid Sheba

    FOREIGNID: 16954
    Thank you. Like the “Judge” said towards the end, and although I am not a religious person, you will be in bliss, for a long time, for this deed.
    What about other evil (not in the religious sense; but in the Human sense) characters that the US government also raised, pampered, and even ordered to kill tens of thousands in other places also: Indonesia, Turkey, Iraq, Philippines, Argentine, etc etc etc
    Is it all because millions of people thought (rightly or wrongly) that socialism is a better option than a machine-like-consumer society????
    AGAIN — Thank You!!

  • Lucille Saunders

    FOREIGNID: 16955
    I have watched this masterful documentary twice. Thank you for exploring and exposing so many truths I recall from that era… that extends to today. My only disappointment was the lack of concrete connection to Nixon and the US CIA in the assassination of Allende.
    That Justice will be served encourages all of us.

  • Mike Reininger

    FOREIGNID: 16956
    You may use HTML tags for style and links.
    Wasn’t it during the 1950′s that the U.S. outlawed the communist part here since the communist part wanted to do away with our constitution? That’s what I heard somewhere, anyways. If so, had Chile done the same in their country, Allende never would have had a chance to begin with.
    Mike Reininger

  • kevin

    FOREIGNID: 16957
    .When will the good people of this earth stop the bad people of this earth from takiing over their countries and causing mayhem murder and all the other atrosaties which they do when bad people take over ones countriey,?
    Please stand up and fight. Stop them before they get into power!

  • Tito

    FOREIGNID: 16958
    I did not see the movie. And I do not want to see it. This movie has the point of view of thre people that are left wings. So obviosly has one side of the coin. I wonder why Judge Guzman was fired of office in Chile?…..
    Why do you people want to show the comunist point of view of some people in Chile?
    And, Allende commited suicide with the rifle that Castro gave to him (what a hero..!)….

  • Tito

    FOREIGNID: 16959
    Thanks to Augusto Pinochet Chile is now the lider economic country in latinamerica. Pinochet made Chile the strong country that is now.
    Why OPB shows only the left side of the story. Pinochet was a lider, a faithfull husband, a loving father, not like Allende who was a coward killing himself, had a mistress (Yayita is her name).
    Thanks to Pinochet Chile was not a second Cuba.

  • F.E. Halaburt

    FOREIGNID: 16960
    Fascinating documentary. And what an interesting coincidence the 9/11 date is. Given the reports of forced detention, torture and probable murders that have occurred in places under U.S. jurisdiction, like Guantanamo and other American bases, one can only wonder if those who permitted (and continue to permit) such acts will ever be brought to justice.

  • Fernando Luengo

    FOREIGNID: 16961
    Tito and Lalo the two Pinochetista kids should go back to school while you are here in the US. A class in Latin American history and human rights issues will help you understand better that time. I am Chilean and US citizen. If there is something that I hate is to listen punks like you lecture us about what happened in Chile. Pinochet was a criminal and a thief and the whole world knows that.

  • Janet

    FOREIGNID: 16962
    I just read the last two comments where they thank Pinochet and call him a great leader. How anybody could be thought of as a great leader who would torture people and kill them is beyond me. How ironic to show former President Nixon commenting on the situation when given the chance, he probably would’ve gone the same way as Pinochet. Leaders who do despicable things to their fellow citizens in the name of the greater good put a stain on their country and have the world believe all their citizens feel the same way. It just isn’t so. I’d say the average citizen feels powerless most of the time to do anything but worry about paying their bills and having a roof over their heads.

  • Robert F.

    FOREIGNID: 16963
    Thanks for this sensitive documentary.
    A couple of points.
    1. Pinochet, first and foremost should have been tried for treason. He overtrew his legaly elected President.
    2. Guzman, inspite of evidence facing him in the face, could not bring him self to indite Pinochet at one point since he reminded him of his own Mother. Shall we say that this is a mehaphor for not being able to indite his own economic class? He was unable to be impartial and his emotions took over.
    3. While in investigating Pinochet, all the stops of the legal system were utilized in ‘protecting’ his ‘rights’. The mob screaming at his funeral saying that he was never indicted–legalistically– never ever worried even about basic habeas corpus for their thousands of victims. So, wthout even a whiff of irony the Pinochet supporters were in fact saying in so many words; that the leagal protections in a Capitalist society appliy to the prividged class only.
    And finally.
    While this program was about Chile, it was really about a lot , lot more than that.
    Looking at the contorted, hate filled faces of the mob of Pinochet supporters at his funeral or at his return from London, we realize that these people were never sorry for their crimes. They would repeat them over again if needed.
    Why is that, we could ask, when evidence of mass murder is facing them in the face?
    The answer is probably, rather simple.
    The Capitalist ruling class hides behind the legitimacy of ‘Democracy’, only until it provides a cover for their rule over society. When the moment of truth comes and a democratically elected Marxist leader is elected–inspite of owning all the media and other state controls to discredit these ideas,– the veneer of respectability suddenly drops. Then, the real beast emerges.
    Whether we start in 1936 in Spain, or with other endless examples afterwards, Western Democracy paired with a Capitalist economy stays democratic only as long as it is not put to the acid test.
    Only, as long as long as any society does not take it up on its word—and votes for a Marxist government.
    Then, …watch out!

  • Pete

    FOREIGNID: 16964
    Thank goodness that after 25+ years a small bit of truth of these evil people and events have come to light in a most public documentation of what people have known for years to be reality. What does it say about the world condition on human rights, that it took so long and then achieved only by some very highly driven people, not the long out cry of the people for justice, not the justice aided by Jack Straw.
    When is such an indepth investigation going to be done into the responsibility that the American government, Corporations, and American individuals who have responsibility with exporting torture, death, illegal government, dictatorship and more to countries where we had no business in except for diplomatic relations. Would we have the bloody stains of Iraq on our hands today if the media would be more responsible and timely?
    When is Henry Kissinger going to be put on trial for the long list of his crimes against human rights and humanity and life across the world? When is the CIA and it’s leaders going to be specifically taken to task for all of it’s crimes in these areas? We need such reporting and judicial actions in America as well that reach far beyond the crimes America committed and aided with in Chile.
    Seeing that one of the primary men of torture and death was still being kept alive in Chile, living like the pig he is, in a studio apartment made me sick. The fact that this man is still breathing points to the long term damage done to divide Chile by the Nixon Administration as does the Nixon open trade with the Communist China divides America today, separating the weath in America for the rich and leaving little for anyone else.
    This excellent report was only a scratch on the surface of the root of the evil that still remains at the core of American policy and politics and in the CIA and it’s new contractors such as Blackwater. Please don’t stop reporting now.

  • Pete

    FOREIGNID: 16965
    The postings by the people who “were there” and think that the worst of the terrorism was committed by the resistance is sadly lacking in the understand of the tactics of illegal governments, power grabs and REAL terrorism. The French first began such actions of counter organized terrorism on a large scale before WWI before the tactics moved to Czarist Russia. It’s not the resistance who commit the terrorism, but the agents or even the secret police of the people most determined to come to power or hold onto power by ANY MEANS NECESSARY. They commit havoc and terror and use the State media to blame the resistance for the general instability giving themselves cause for any inhumane actions and absolute government control…giving the false claim that they have restored order…while actually removing civil liberties from the entire population in the process to assure their complete control over the government, civil rights, and wealth. The American Emperial Presidency is attempting, fairly successfully, to do this in America on a new and even larger scale now. It’s called the BIG LIE, the bigger the lie, the less the masses will willing to belive it.

  • Fernando Campos

    FOREIGNID: 16966
    azinvaredonya you said : ” And me dear Prof Campos, before you declare victory for the Capitalism, you might want to look at South America again. On Friday, Fernando Lugo became another left-leaning president in South America. So that makes, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Ecuador, Chile & now Paraguay that have gone left/socialist in elections.”
    and FYI also:
    I hope you find more information, the left NOW in Latin American is very diverse and is NOT the same before the Cold Ward. I would like you to read the last articles by Sergio ramirez, former vice president of the Sandinistas (1984-19900 Do you think that the Dictator Daniel Ortega is the same like Bachelet in Chile? Dora Maria Tellez said that about Daniel Ortega last May 2008.

  • Fernando Campos

    FOREIGNID: 16967
    Dear azinvaredonya , do you read Spanish? I mean, everyday newspapers around all Latin America but readinf them in Spanish? because if you only have information in English about the situation in Latin American you will repeat the same mistake you did about that Latin America now is in the LEFT side… no really!

  • Pamela Nelson

    FOREIGNID: 16968
    This is a subject that has interested me since I saw a display of arpilleras at the Michigan State University art museum. They were stories of resistance and pain created in fabric. I read a book titled Tapestries of Hope, Threads of Love by Marjorie Agosin and have purchased an arpillera from the Vicariate of Solidarity which seems to have functioned as a protected workshop for the arpilleristas. I also read with great admiration the works of Isabel Allende. This documentary is a wonderful addition to the bits of information I have gathered. Thank you for this.

  • Claudia Ines Alarcon

    FOREIGNID: 16969
    I saw this documentary and I started to understand my fathers struggle.It made me feel very sad to see all the famillies that were affected by Pinochets disreagard for human life.My mother was picked up in Argentina in 1977 and was held for days.She was pickup at the market by the Police and was interrogated.They told her she was going to be held untill she gave birth and that I would be going to another family.This is one of many horror stories I have heard my family disscussing.My mother was not a political person but was swept up in the chaos in Argintina at that time.My heart goes out to all the families of the disappeared,murderd,and tortured but I am gratefull to my father for getting us out when he did.My sincere gratitude to Patricio Lanfranco for making these documentries people need to know the truth about Chile and never forget.My parents are true survivors and we as their children have the task of making sure the government stays true to Human Rights.Not kust in chile but around the world.

  • Gene Halaburt

    FOREIGNID: 16970
    Fascinating documentary. And what an interesting coincidence the 9/11 date is. Given the reports of forced detention, torture and probable murders that have occurred in places under U.S. jurisdiction, like Guantanamo and other American bases, one can only wonder if those who permitted (and continue to permit) such acts will ever be brought to justice.

  • Anne Pearson

    FOREIGNID: 16971
    This documentary was chilling. It is hard to understand how humans can be so cruel. It is also a warning that military rule can destroy democracy. Judge Gusman was heroic in his determination to serve justice. One person can make the difference between good and evil.

  • Bill Stott

    FOREIGNID: 16972
    The following review appears in the August 22, 2008 SANTIAGO TIMES.
    Friday, 22 August 2008
    (Ed. Note: Monday’s ST reported that the film “The Judge and the General” about Chilean Judge Juan Guzmán’s prosecution of General Augusto Pinochet is being shown this week on U.S. public television. As we didn’t report, the film can also be seen online till September 2 free of charge at http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2008/judgeandthegeneral/fullfilm.html.
    (The following review of the film is by our Feature Editor Bill Stott. His opinions are his own, but he is the author of a classic book on documentary, Documentary Expression and Thirties America .)
    The Judge and the General is moving, impressive, and half-true. It “documents”—that is, shows with vivid, gruesome evidence—why Judge Juan Guzmán came to believe that General Pinochet as well as his followers were guilty of crimes against humanity including torture and murder.
    It is only half-true because it doesn’t “document,” indeed doesn’t mention, why Judge Guzmán—and before-Allende Chilean President Eduardo Frei (1964-70) and after-Pinochet Chilean President Patricio Aylwin (1990-94) and some 80 percent of the Chilean people supported Pinochet’s 1973 coup against President Salvador Allende.
    Here’s the part of the truth the film doesn’t give vivid evidence of: Allende and his followers were guilty of crimes against humanity including torture and murder. He reduced a moderately prosperous, democratic country to poverty, chaos, and violence and counter-violence bordering on civil war. He did this through ineptitude and because he wanted to make permanent an apparently totalitarian Marxist regime.
    Like Pinochet, Allende was an autocrat; he violated Chile’s constitution and laws when he wanted to. The difference between the two men is one of degree, not kind. Directly and indirectly, Pinochet tortured and killed many more people. But whereas Allende left Chile in shambles, Pinochet—unlike any other dictator who comes readily to mind—left his country much better off for his tenure.
    If the public-spirited Americans who watch PBS had been Chileans in the Allende years, 80 percent of them would also have supported his overthrow; more than 80 percent of them, like today’s Chileans, would support the economic and social changes Pinochet brought about; and I suspect that even knowing the crimes committed by Pinochet and his followers, more or less 50 percent of them, like today’s Chileans, would generally approve of his rule.

  • lawrence & marian feigenbaum

    FOREIGNID: 16973
    The Judge & the General was a wonderful documentary. Outstanding!!! Thanks

  • Mia

    FOREIGNID: 16974
    I watched The Judge and The General two days ago and the comment made by Elizabeth Farnsworth sunk in deep in my heart. Yes, it’s a universal story – a story of all victims of government atrocities in the name of being a “threat to a country”. This documentary speaks for all innocent victims being persecuted in this day and age in different countries.
    It made me reflect on my own country of origin and what is being done there to innocent people as we speak (as I type). People are being winnowed right and left and don’t even know what to do or where to go anymore. I live in the states and I’m afraid of using my own name for fear of being discovered on cyber space and what might happen to my family there.
    I wonder if you could expose the government atrocities there.
    Nice work.

  • Fernando Campos

    FOREIGNID: 16975
    Bill wrote: “and I suspect that even knowing the crimes committed by Pinochet and his followers, more or less 50 percent of them, like today’s Chileans, would generally approve of his rule.”
    It is complicated to say yes or not. It is like in Spain under Franco. Spain today is a country of the First World and after de Spanish Civil War the situation of the country was like Africa today but during the 60′s Franco made some change in the Spanish economy and later, after Franco, 19975 or so, Spain followed the changes that Franco made but they gave more freedom to the people and and gave them an open society. Today all Spanish people enjoy the great Spanish society. Do the people who were in the Spanish Civil war again Franco or in favor? No, they just enjoy an open society with freedom. The same is the situation, I think, with Chile. I lived under a terrible economic condition under Frei and Allende but I loved Allende. And now I compare Chile and Central America and I see a big difference. Central America looks like Africa in relation with Chile today. Cuba is in the Middle Age at this time in relation with Chile, Conclusion: the History is very complicated and is not good idea see it in Black and White.

  • azinvaredonya

    FOREIGNID: 16976
    My Dear Prof Campos
    Unfortunately my Español today isn’t decent enough to read Pagina12 or La Tercera online a few years ago it was a little better, my loss.
    True that Chavez & Bachelet aren’t the same, but it’s the documents circulating around the US defense department warning of increasingly hostile governments taking office in South America.
    2ndly, A dictatorship isn’t necessarily the reason for a good economy. If that was the case then why isn’t the rest of the Americas enjoying the prosperity of Chile, after all their dictators weren’t any less brutal than Pinochet!!. There are other factors involved as well in the economic picture. Granted intially the economy does improve when the traditional political right (such as Aznar of spain, or like in Bolivia or Argentina) who are pro business & are for deregulation & lifting of barriers & let businesses do as they please & create jobs, the problem is always the ensuing bloodbath & the clean up. Look no further than here in the US, nothing in my opinion is funnier than in the aftermath of the Housing bubble, the same people who prescribed deregulation & ending government intervention for every country via the IMF or the World Bank are now tripping over each other trying to save “the mother of all Economies” by none other than “GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION via the Federal Reserve”: please save the Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae, oh here is money please somebody buy Bear Stearns, here take it; billions in low interest money to banks to loan each other so to get out of credit freeze & then later how about extending it till Jan 09. The chickens have finally come home & it isn’t pretty.

  • ahmet nail elgun

    FOREIGNID: 16977
    It is worth praising of P:OV contribution to history. Althogh the dictator’s conviction has not been established due to the conservatism of Chilean judiciary,Baltazar Garzon’s and Juan Guzman Tapia’s indictments have given courage to future human rights defenders.
    Augusto Pinochet had been a decent man before the coup conspirators converted him. During the coup he saw the opportunity of gripping the power even bewildering his colleagues. AfterJose Toha’s murder his wife asked Carlos Prats how this decent man became brutal commander in chief. Carlos Prats’es reply has laid his character in front of eyes”His main character shows that great mental smallness and great dose of spritual perversity.”

  • Fernando Campos

    FOREIGNID: 16978
    Dear azinvaredonya, tyou wrote:
    “True that Chavez & Bachelet aren’t the same, but it’s the documents circulating around the US defense department warning of increasingly hostile governments taking office in South America. ”
    Chavez is creating that hostilty and not US. Just read the “clown” declaration of Chavez about sent misiles to USA if they pass a limit of International water or to help Bolivia to create “one, two or three Vietnams” as Chavez said last year in an International Conference. Chavez want to follow the Cuban model and that is not a secret. In other word I recommend you to read Sergio Ramirez articles about this NEW left in Latin America. Another thing, USA has NOT any interest in Nicaragua today like in the Regan’s time. We are not in the time of URSS helped Cuba, Nicaragua, and theses countries helped the guerrillas in El Salvador and Guatemala.

  • Jose Fregoso

    FOREIGNID: 16979
    Fantastic documentary

  • Ralph Scarpato

    FOREIGNID: 16980
    Interesting how one criminal U.S. administration (Nixon’s) supported Pinochet’s coup and and another (Bush’s) emulates his methods.

  • Jonathan Marden

    FOREIGNID: 16981
    I urge all to read THE WAR OF THE WORLD, by Niall Ferguson, A PEACE TO END ALL PEACE, by David Fromkin, A DANGEROUS NATION, by Robert Kagan, and BLOWBACK, by Chalmers Johnson.

  • J. van Metre

    FOREIGNID: 16982
    Frankly, I was disappointed. I watch many docs and this one lacked the perspective I had hoped for. I’m not sure I learned anything of importance accept something about Guzman. Fransworth’s comments that she is fascinated by by the “Good German” concept would be applicable if we could find one. Guzman certainly doesn’t qualify, for his motivation is clearly that of a man who knows he supported a reprehensible regime and now does penance by trying to find put who caused it. My advice…Look in the mirror. His disclaimer that he knew little of what was going on is specious, at best, a lie more probably. That he now stands up to ridicule by some for investigating past crimes is merely a belated conscience at work.
    In order for the Good German concept to come into play one must know he/she is doing wrong at the time he is doing it. Mr. Guzman is amoral. He states that he supported the dictatorship because he felt it would be better for his family… obviously with no consideration for other people and their families.
    Although news may have been hard to come by in Chile in the ’70′s, people knew what was happening. I used to have a close friend who lived there when the murders were being committed. He wrote to me, occasionally. Although he came from a fairly prominent family, he no special conduit into the information apparatus. But he said everyone knew what was going on and he was terrified, for he had been affiliated with left wing causes.
    So where was Guzman? Did he proceed to and from his clerking job with a bag on his head? He was an apparatchik for Pinochet and one who has now had an epiphany, a little too late for anything but seeking forgiveness.
    Also his manner of investigation seems far more theatrical than anything else, as he goes to sites where bodies were recovered. There might be some reason to see the exact spot and hear a declarative about what happened. What is the point of asking some elderly man to show how he crouched? Is there ANY point to that other than to make sure the cameras are running to demonstrate his interest. Or when he asks for pieces of skull, as though it were Yorick. What’s to learn? Pure theater and not very good at that.
    If one is going to investigate the “Good German” principle… one has to find one. I don’t think there are any in that country. The rabid right still defends Pinochet and if he could be raised from the grave to lead again, they would still vote for him/kill for him. The “good” seem to have been killed or forced into the vocal minority with no power, either at the ballot box or the financial power structure of the country.
    That this was an allegory trying to show Americans what they are allowing our reprehensible current regime to foist upon us as justice would give the show validity, but that was assuming that someone who had been unconscious for the past 5+ years was watching… which I doubt. Those who have chosen to not notice are of the same ilk as Guzman, the walking dead-brained. They only want to make life better for themselves and their families… the hell with anyone else. I can’t feel that these Americans are “good” either. More apt would be selfish, oblivious, myopic, nationalistic. BTW Please don’t make a documentary with Clarence Thomas in thirty years when he finally discovers that the reign of George II was one which violated most of the assumed human rights of the U.S. Constitution. I mention CT for he seems of about the same judicial caliber as Mr. Guzman and equally perceptive.

  • Jose Fregoso

    FOREIGNID: 16983
    I read with great interest the commentary left by Mr. Bill Stott (Friday August 22, 2008) editor of the Chilean English language publication, Santiago Times, dubbing the POV documentary as “flawed” and “half true”.
    Among Mr. Stott’s allegations are that both Allende, the deposed elected president, and Pinochet the former dictator were human right abusers, that the Chilean dictatorship enjoyed the support of 80% of the people and that even today, as many of Pinochet crimes have come to light, more or less 50% of Chileans approve of his rule.
    Aside for the fact that all of these allegations contradict the documented evidence, none have anything to do with the subject of the documentary and none even try to disprove what the documentary shows.
    The Nazi regime enjoyed the approval of a large percentage of Germans and the predecessors of the Stalinist regime in Russia were totalitarian and cruel, yet none of these facts justify or lessen the crimes and the horror which these two regimes imposed on their land.
    Just like the filmmaker, I also hope that the truth will open the eyes of many of my countrymen just like it opened the eyes of Judge Guzmán, however, reading even today editorial pages of right wing publications like the Santiago Times or El Mercurio I’m afraid I don’t share his optimism.

  • Mikhail

    FOREIGNID: 16984
    What I find incredible after watching this very sad documentary is the knee jerk reaction from the obvious defenders of capital, honestly guys, while I have tons of issues with your desperate attempt to paint everything with the same brush, you should have the decency to focus on the issue at hand. But since you broke such a standard rule of engagement, lets be clear the right will only believe and care about democracy until and if it serves the purposes of maintaining the status quo. Allende was proof that if people made the “mistake” of not buying into the market as sole saviour, there will be hell to pay.

  • Frank

    FOREIGNID: 16985
    MArK: Re” In any event, because of Pinochet the economy of Chile is now the best in Latin America and the envy of the other nations. It was a heck of a price to pay……” The same arguments Thatcher used when she tried to justify this shameful thug’s legacy.

  • Paul Maresh

    FOREIGNID: 16986
    Thank you for showing “The Judge and the General.” It was a good start. The glaring question is: Why was Henry Kissenger and the CIA’s involvement in the destabilization of an elected democratic government the subsequent coup and the murder of Chile’s president ignored in the film? At the time, or shortly thereafter there were articles in the American press about the CIA’s role in funding and organizing the sham independent truckers union. The destabilization of the economy by the truckers refusing to move goods and food played a significant role for those blaming Allende for the economic chaos. Millions of people around the world still consider Kissinger’s involvement to be the equivalent of war crimes and are awaiting his indictment for his role in putting Pinochet in power. Our government’s role in avenging the nationalization of Anaconda and ITT properties should not be ignored
    There is no mention of the role the School of the Americas, in fort Benning, played in training the torturers. What this means, when the US role, in these atrocities is ignored is: the cycle of violence continues to be funded by our tax dollars. i.e. People like Ben Linder, a young American engineer building a hydro-electric plant in Nicaragua, are murdered. American church women working in Nicaragua are raped tortured and murdered etc. etc.
    No country has been able to maintain its international empire without becoming a totalitarian state at home. Britain realized this when they gave up India.
    By whitewashing the U.S, role in the Chilean tragedy the filmmakers contribute to the peril of our own democracy.
    Paul Maresh

  • Tito

    FOREIGNID: 16987
    Fernando Luengo,
    I do not need to take a Class in Latin America History or Human Rights to understand Chilean history. I was and lived there!
    Chile was in exteme poverty and misery thanks to Allende and his fellow communist party.
    Pinochet was never brougth to justice, cause real justice would it be to take all the communist that made Chile a hungry country with no jobs, where people had to be in line since 4 am. to receive half pound of bread and a little of rice for a family of seven that should last for a week or belong to the communist party and receive a big box at home for free! And this is what I hate, that people do not know what really happend in Chile and they give their opinion out of nothing.
    In europe there are a big chilean community, a lot of them are communist and their names are in list of victims of the Pinochet regime!! In Chile people pray for theri souls, saying they do not know where are their bones. And Guess what …they receive welfare benefits! They live with other people’s money, like all the communists. While in Chile of the rest of the world think they were kill and not found…
    Pinochet was not a thief, there was no court to declare it, they did not have real evidence. And judge Guzman only want this movie to show himself. Do you know why judge Guman is not working now, why He was fired? So now you need to lear nore about want really happend in Chile Mr. Fernando Luengos.

  • Nancy

    FOREIGNID: 16988
    Quite by accident I saw all but the first 20-30 min of The Judge and The General. I probably would not have continued watching the program after coming across it channel surfing if I had not recently finished Naomi Klein’s best selling book, Shock Doctrine, in which she detailed how the rapid imposition of draconian economic measures works only when resistance from the less affluent is brutally and thoroughly repressed. Milton Friedman’s Chicago Boys have employed plausible deniability to distance themselves from the use of torture in Chile and the excesses of eonomic shock therapy applied in countries on every continent. Thank you for making this powerful film, especially showing so much footage with interviews of family survivors.
    Even so, this film only showed a bare fraction of the human cost of using the shock doctrine to impose disaster capitalism.

  • Tanja

    FOREIGNID: 16989
    A truly remarkable film. Long overdue. What is so horrifying is the persistent support of Pinochet, crimes and all, by a segment of the population.
    The rabid right wing is the same everywhere.

  • David Whittingham

    FOREIGNID: 16990
    This is a very powerful film.
    Pinoche isn’t unique. There are people who kill and torture other people. Learning of so many things human beings are capable of doing, I’ve wondered what is wrong with us. But maybe nothing’s wrong; maybe this is just the way we are.
    Other animals kill, some even kill their own kind. Humans are the only ones I know of that torture.
    Other animals have been studied, and their innate nature can be more or less identified. I don’t think I’ll ever know the innate nature of the human being.
    That’s my point of view.


    FOREIGNID: 16991
    You may use HTML tags for style and links.Hello i think this documentary speaks by itself,about the policies that no goverment in aytime and under any circumstance should use against its own people or even foreigners..
    let’s pray for better conditions of living and developing all around the world.

  • Steve Austin

    FOREIGNID: 16992
    I lived in Chile for a while, and while it isn’t “hip” to be pro-Pinochet right now, a LOT of Chileans will privately say that they supported Pinochet and his reforms.
    In the US, as with this documentary, the attitude is very anti-Pinochet. I don’t think it is accurate and fair to the millions of pro-Pinochet Chileans.
    While I don’t condone what Pinochet did, he did help institute policies that would allow the election of a woman president who was the daughter of a person tortured by Pinochet. Pinochet did implement policy, that has kept Chile from floundering like many S. American economies.
    I believe that Pinochet did what HE THOUGHT was best for his country. He considered himself a patriot. Though he did go about it in a nasty way.
    It is easy for us 30+ years later to condemn a man. However, I would hope that any student of Chile would not rely on this documentary alone to make a decision about Chile and Pinochet. While I enjoyed the documentary and believe it to be relatively accurate, it definitely presents only one point of view, out of many. Keep it in perspective.

  • Andrea

    FOREIGNID: 16994
    I cannot believe that people still to this day see Pinochet as a good person who saved Chile. People are ignorant and are afraid to accept the truth. The bottom line is that he killed innocent people, including my father who was not political in any way. Hopefully this film has at least opened the eyes of some.

  • SMBaku

    FOREIGNID: 16995
    Dear Ms. Farnesworth and Sr. Lanfranco,
    Thank you for this excellent documentary.
    In 1976, I was a studentprotesting the Pinochet government and the role of the CIA in Allende’s overthrow. We knew what was happening in Chile and we knew our own country played a role. It has taken all this time for the people of Chile to taste the truth. What of people in the U.S.? Don’t we deserve to know the role of our CIA in Guatemala, El Salvador, Iran etc,? Why are these stories told many years later–after all the dead are still?
    In this time of fear and lies, we must not turn away.
    Thank you again

  • http://www.imagenanonima.cl Rodrigo Llano

    FOREIGNID: 16996
    Incredible piece of the history of my Country..
    With the permission of the filmmakers I want to introduce a my small part of this history, my documentary project IMAGEN ANONIMA, about the world press photo 1973 picture of the year, and the story of the photographer who take it, and who was anonymous for 33 years..
    Please visit my web site. http://www.imagenanonima.cl

  • Fernando Luengo

    FOREIGNID: 16997
    If Pinochet did what HE THOUGHT was best for his country are you saying that Hitler, Stalin, Pol-Pot also did what was better for their countries. A single life is more precious and important than a few dollars Mr. Steve Austin.

  • Fernando Luengo

    FOREIGNID: 16998
    Don Tito. I will write to you in Spanish because your are obviously having trouble expressing your ideas in English.
    1. Allende nunca fue comunista, Allende era socialista.
    2. Las colas fueron producto del boicot financiado por la CIA y el gobierno Norteamericano. Para más información puedes leer los documentos desclasificados de la CIA en loa biblioteca del Congreso Norteamericano.
    3. Miles de chilenos, y yo me incluyo, nunca han querido recibir la mal llamada compensación que Chile le entrega a las victimas de la dictadura. Si vives en USA o estas enterado de las compensaciones que los paises democraticos y civilizados le entregan a sus ciudadanos te deberia dar verguenza hablar del tema. Lo que Chile le entrega a los familiares de los desaparecidos y torturados es una bofetada en la cara. Mejor pension reciben los militares criminales.
    4. Ahora no solo te recomiendo que tomes una clase de estudios Latinoamericanos y de derechos humanos, también te recomiendo una de Ingles si es que quieres continuar argumentando en este foro en favor del criminal de PINOCHET

  • Tito

    FOREIGNID: 16999
    Mr. Fernando Luengos,
    Tratare de escriibir lo possible en su lenguaje, que no es mi lengua de origen.
    En el punto 1. Allende era un socialista que tenia como objetivo convertir a Chile en un pais comunista con la ayuda de su amigo Fidel Castro. SI Fidel Castro que le enviava las armas por carrizal vajo escondidas en cargamentos de azucar… para que los comunistas en chile mataran sin importar si era su hermano o su mama! Y esto lo escuche de una mujer comunista que dijo que su partido era mas importante que su familia y si tenia que matar por la Causa comunista lo hacia!
    Punto 2. Las colas o lineas de personas queriendo comprar alimentos basicos para su familia, fueron debido al sistema social comunista que ha sido el mismo que han establecido en todos los paises comunistas, rusia, cuba etc. Y no necexito ver los documento desclasificados de la Cia en el congreso norteamericano para dar esta version, eso se save en chile, la gente no es tonta Mr. luengos.
    3. No se cual es la cantidad exacta que reciben las personas en chile o en en los paises civilizados (especialmente en europa), si es una miseria o no, pero SI RECIBEN DINERO y a ellos les deberia dar verguenza, haciendose pasar por muertos en chile y recibiendo dinero en europa, lindo cosa no! Mas todos los benefios de alimento que les llega a sus casa cuando hay mucha nieve y no pueden ir a buscar.
    Los militares, patriotas valientes soldados que son el orgullo de la republica de chile, reciben una miseria comparado con el hecho de haber dado su vida para evitar tener una segunda cuba en chile!! Pinochet fue un hero y la historia lo recocera, asi como ahora es para su pais O´higgins.
    4. Le doy gracias por ser respetuoso en la forma que escribe para mi. Puede ser que si tome una clase de ingles, si tenga tiempo en el futuro. Y de las otras clases no necesito(y lo mas posible que las clases de derechos humanos y estudios latinoamericanos las den profesores left wings, eso si que es seguro), ya le dije vivi y estuve en ese periodo en Chile y tengo MI Punto de Vista, puede ser que lo que yo se usted Mr. Luengos no lo sepa y lo que usted sabe yo no sabere, y esa es la diferencia,
    Espero que usted tenere uno buono dia, con respeto le satudo.

  • David Knaus

    FOREIGNID: 17000
    This is a fantastic film, and I am surprised that POV are only showing it once.
    I was an Australian journalist tortured there in 1987. It was a horrible experience. Judge Guzzman certainly opened up his eyes as he investigatged the attrocities. The film makers have done a remarkable job of letting the entire story to be told.
    Please POV show this important film more than just once and give the filmakers the opportunity they deserve for the document they have crafted.

  • Precipicio

    FOREIGNID: 17001
    Ms. Farnesworth said “I was interested in understanding the phenomenon of ‘the Good German,’ the conscientious person of high ideals who goes along with state terror because it offers safety and order in a time of chaos.”
    Unfortunately a lot can be explained by the fact that inflation had risen to triple digits (maybe changing too fast to estimate, but one estimate was 600 %) when the military staged the coup. For those of us who complacently believe we would not support a military coup or military government under any conditions, think how you would respond if the USA had 600 % inflation. I’ll leave it to the experts to explain who was responsible for bringing Chile to the state of hyperinflation. The fear of chaos caused by inflation was followed up by the fear caused by living under a a dictatorship with secret police, etc. In a word, as Mike wrote in an earlier comment, fear provides most of the answers to Ms. Farnesworth’s concerns, with ignorance providing the rest.

  • Paz

    FOREIGNID: 17002
    Mark, Lalo and specially Tito:
    I am Chilean, I’ve lived here ( in Chile) my whole life and I want to clarify a few points:
    First, It is well known (facts are available) that the CIA not only trained our military, they also took part in who would be pursued for their political beliefs and last but not least they were behind the terror propaganda that El Mercurio (important right-wing newspaper) would publish every day increasing anxiety because of the scarcity of food and other goods, but… wait, they also caused the scarcity, what a nice way to create economic instability.
    Second, you want to talk about economics?, ok, lets talk about it, that’s my mayor, It’s true the Allende couldn’t control the economy but it’s quite difficult to achieve stability if the CIA is working against you. And since you support Pinochet for his economic achievement, let’s examine it, do you remember the ’82 Debt Crisis? (Oh sorry, some of you weren’t born yet) In those days the inflation rounded three digit numbers, so they decided that maybe if they left the economy wide open it would converge to the international figure, well it didn’t work, in the meantime our budget minister was encouraging dollarized debt, so you can imagine what happened when our country neighbors started not servicing their debt and we were still wide open, yes, we crashed too.
    Chilean economy didn’t stabilize until 1988 (two years before the dictatorship ended) and our PGB growth rounded the 3% (lower than its previous number) so, what exactly do you call a strong economy.
    It’s very sad that I have to talk to you about economics so that you understand that this was a bad regime, you remind me of the current right-wing Chilean party (UDI), they all supported Pinochet as a nation hero because they didn’t care about the deaths, tortures and disappearances because “it’s the price to pay for economic stability”, do you know what they said when it was known that Pinochet and his whole family had stolen state funds and the had it in a Riggs account (I’m talking millions)? they turned back on him, and that says a lot about their human quality, they can stand murder, but don’t touch their money.
    Thousands of lives can’t be compared to money, too many people suffered. But I know you can’t understand this point so I hope you understood that you’re also wrong in the economic point.
    PS: Tito, so you lived in Chile but you don’t speak Spanish? maybe that’s why you didn’t get anything.

  • Boris Contreras

    FOREIGNID: 17003
    I am glad to see programs like POV exist, thank you for airing the documentary, if anything you have ignited your premise which is Points of View as depicted here in this blog.
    What is clearly evident by the opinions already posted on this board is that denial and arrogance is still a cancer that Chile fights with every day. Say whatever you want about the Allende government, but Chile was one of the few South American countries that had the honor of resolving their political disputes through the electoral ballot. The military had the prestige to defend that political process and stand behind its government.
    1973 did more than just overthrow a president and his so called ‘communist’ agenda but more than that it pitted families against each other, neighbors fearing neighbors, and if the objective was to restore decency and order to Chile from the Marxists…
    Then how decent is Chile in 2008? when rhetoric is still spewed and insults are volleyed across the political spectrum regarding what did or didn’t happen in Chile during the dictatorship.
    Even I were to accept the criticisms of Allende’s government with no resistance and take it at face value. For myself there is a drastic difference between having to stand in line for hours for food, which obviously is a tremendous inconvenience but in no way can justify that in retaliation those who supported the government deserved to have their fathers and mothers, sons and daughters killed, tortured, or raped.
    It is also amusing how Allende is heavily criticized for assuming control with only or just shy of 33 percent of the vote.
    While in the U.S. a president is elected with less than 40% of the population even voting. And in Canada 33% is enough to win consecutive majority governments for decades.
    The underlying commentary from this documentary prevails, why all the hatred still? why the denial? why the arrogance? almost as if there exists in humanity a certain level of acceptance that people deserve to be tortured, because the asked for it? they supported the wrong side.
    What a disastrous cancer if this is true, and clearly Chile is still infected.

  • Cristina Widdows

    FOREIGNID: 17004
    The Documentary “The Judge and the General” was very well done. It gave me a better understandiong of a Latin American Studies class I took in college. Being a Latin American (from Ecuador) I appreciate finding good material on its history. My heart goes to all the people that experienced great losses during those periods of time.