Chile, Pinochet, and the Caravan of Death

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9781574540857: Chile, Pinochet, and the Caravan of Death

This narrative offers evidence of the mass execution of 72 political prisoners that began General Augusto Pinochet's 20 year dictatorship. The killings terrorized Chile. This edition includes a description of Chile's judical hearings to strip the General of his immunity.

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About the Author:

Patricia Verdugo, whose work has been widely published in Europe and Latin America, is the author of 10 books, including Interferencia Secreta (1998) and Bucarest 187 (1999). She received Columbia University's prestigious Maria Cabot Award in 1993, Chile's Journalism Award in 1997, and the Latin American Studies Association Media Award in 2000.

From Publishers Weekly:

Originally published in 1989 under the title Los Zarpazos del Puma (The Claws of the Puma), Verdugo's report covers the executions of 75 political prisoners in Chile following the September 11, 1973, military coup that replaced President Salvador Allende with General Augusto Pinochet. The original title refers to the Puma helicopter that carried General Sergio Arellano Stark's special commission from one provincial Chilean town to another, leaving a trail of dead officers and civilians, political prisoners executed without trials. Verdugo has assembled oral testimonies about this Caravan of Death. Although the first three chapters outline the attack plan of the military coup and clarify Pinochet's late arrival, most of her book is comprised of long, in-depth, often disturbing interviews (" `Were you tortured?' `Yes....' `Electricity?' `No.' `Were you hung?' `Yes.' [Tears began to run down his face...]"). She talks with a helicopter pilot, military officers in charge of sentencing, court-martialed officers accused of treason, and officers and soldiers who escorted others suspected of treason. In Cauquenes, for instance, some of the soldiers ordered to execute four political prisoners knew the victims well. Though Verdugo interviews some spouses and family members of the executed prisoners, she concentrates primarily on the military, making for a somewhat one-dimensional account. Nonetheless, this insightful, informative book is excellently researched and well written. The fact that it was used as evidence for and incorporated into the 1990 Chilean Commission of Truth and Reconciliation demonstrates the importance of investigative journalism and the success of Verdugo's efforts.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Patricia Verdugo
Editorial: Univ of Miami North South Center Pr (2001)
ISBN 10: 1574540858 ISBN 13: 9781574540857
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Verdugo, Patricia
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Verdugo, Patricia/ Sigmund, Paul E. (Introduction by)/ Montecino, Marcelo (Translator)
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