9/11: The Day Everything Changed ... in Chile

Roundup: Media's Take
tags: Chile

Ariel Dorfman is the author of the play “Death and the Maiden” and, most recently, a memoir, “Feeding on Dreams: Confessions of an Unrepentant Exile.”

IF I am alive today, if 40 years later I am able to tell the story of the Chilean coup of Sept. 11, 1973, it is thanks to the blind generosity of my friend Claudio Jimeno.

I remember him now as I saw him then, when I said goodbye without knowing it was goodbye, not knowing he would soon be dead and I would survive, neither of us knowing that the military would kill him instead of me.

Claudio and I met in 1960 as freshmen at the Universidad de Chile, where his toothy grin and shock of black hair had earned him the nickname of Conejo (rabbit), which was to follow him till the day he died. He was dating Chabela Chadwick, a chemistry student, and when I started going out with Angélica, who would later become my wife, the four of us would join our enthusiastic classmates for dances and beach picnics and, especially, for protest rallies. For what most united Claudio and me and our girlfriends, beyond sharing heartaches and doubts and hopes, was a fierce thirst for social justice in a continent of frustrating poverty and misdevelopment....

Read entire article at New York Times