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Teargas in Santiago
When someone dies, there is usually some sadness, recognition of the loss of some human qualities, even in one’s enemies. Not so in the case of Augusto Pinochet, a totally inhuman, ruthless and cynical dictator, where it is hard to find any positive human qualities.
That is why I, along with tens of thousands of Chileans, went to the centre of
I was standing within 100 yards of the square, among people standing, singing and chanting in celebration. It is possible that a very few people next to the square tried to enter it, and struggled with the police guarding the place (although I had been there fifteen minutes before and saw no-one with their head covered, the usual sign that violence is planned). It is equally likely that the police started to push back the crowd and use water cannon as a provocation, as I have seen several times in the past few years in
The New York Times published this picture above the misleading caption: 'Demonstrators began pouring onto the main avenue in the center of Santiago after the news of Augusto Pinochet's death circulated. Confrontations broke out and the police used tear gas and water cannons'
Suddenly a ‘skunk’, an armoured vehicle that shoots teargas, passed rapidly up the
This was, purely and simply, a chemical attack on a totally peaceful crowd. It was, I may say, typical of the Chilean police who seem to hate the sight of crowds in favour of justice, human rights, labour rights or other demands contrary to Pinochet’s legacy.
This legacy still runs deep in the forces of ‘law and order’, 16 years after the end of his dictatorship, but only 8 after he retired as Commander in Chief of the Army.