Arturo Barrios He is running a race where the faces of detained, disappeared and executed politicians are emblazoned on shirts. “I’m completing 700 kilometers for truth and justice. I’m trying to uncover memory. It’s a fight against forgetting,” says the 56-year-old deputy leader of Chile’s Socialist Party. Half a century after Chile’s coup against Allende, Barrios believes the common minimum has been lost. “We don’t have an agreement that La Moneda Palace should never be bombed again, that people who think differently should never be killed again.”
Has the left lost a certain symbol in Chile?
– At a time when the concept of homeland was always left-wing, right-wingers have taken up the homeland issue. “We are the heirs of O. Higgins and Carrera, the fathers of our nation,” Allende said in a speech to Congress. During the Pinochet dictatorship, he succeeded O’ Higgins with his eccentric interpretation of history. Imagine putting San Martín on the right or on the left. With the development of democracy, the right has become more possessive of the concept of the homeland, and the left has left it. We must take back the Chilean flag, our heroes.
– What is it due to?
– Because we clumsily abandoned it. People died for our flag, for our country.
– Why do important segments of Chilean society have less negative views of Pinochet?
– What is known is silenced, and because of silence it is forgotten. It’s a battle against oblivion. I’m a history teacher. When a 15-year-old boy asked me what a missing detainee was, I realized then that the mistake was on our side. Time passes, people leave, and that’s why I race for memories. I will run 700km for truth and justice. People try to soften their memories. It’s a battle against oblivion.
– As unbelievable as it seems, it is still debated in Chile whether Pinochet was a dictator or a president.
– Yes, do you know why? Because this is what was settled on the 40th anniversary, no one should burn with a torch, no one should rape a woman with a dog, no one should bury her alive. I believed that this was the basic consensus of society. You can’t kill a child. However, there is no such consensus. Republican Representative Gloria Nabayan said prisoner rape is an urban legend. We do not agree that La Moneda Palace should never be bombed again, that people who think differently should never be killed again. There is political opportunism on the right side, as the Republicans won a majority in the last constitutional election on May 7th.
– The constitution-making process is currently being led by the far right. But why didn’t society support a progressive constitution at the polls?
– Because it has more to do with emotion than reason. The new process will be extremely complicated because Republicans now have an absolute majority.
– José Antonio Casto heads the far-right faction, which is also a denialist…
– Yes, they recently submitted it to the House of Representatives and approved the reading of the law that the House of Representatives in 1973 ruled the Allende government unconstitutional. I was fine. You can see that the right is taking the wrong position there. How could Allende be outside the law? Allende was a Democrat. Furthermore, sections of the left accused him of being a “yellow man” for not radicalizing the revolutionary process. In June 1973, during the first military uprising, a tank attack, a parade of one million people chanted “Shut it, shut it” and Allende said he had no intention of proroguing Congress. . He is not a dictator. Pinochet did that, controlled state power, and it was clear that he was a dictator. The fact that this is not a consensus is an implication. He has dementia and is delusional. Even in Piñera, he used to talk about a civilian-military dictatorship, but now he wants to form an alliance with Los Repupanos. Misunderstood people will ride any bus. It also has something to do with the cycle. A new push for the homeland, neo-fascism.
– What will Chile be like in 50 years?
– Chile seems to be in the process of being reeled in, a concept used by Pedro Sanchez in the last campaign. According to Hannah Arendt, there is a civilizing process, a common minimum that is not common today. Social processes are not always on the upswing, and we are now at a critical moment. What defines me is the correlation of power in society. In other words, what kind of phenomena cause the correlation between various forces to be established? Allende and Popular Unity can be seen alongside the social movements of the 20th century. Must see the entire movie. What worries me is this kind of fascist destruction of society. It would be nice for people on the right to say, “You can’t bomb La Moneda, you can’t justify state terrorism.”