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Mon Dec 19, 2016, 06:18 PM

General Pinochets long shadow still hangs over Chiles National Stadium

General Pinochet’s long shadow still hangs over Chile’s National Stadium
December 19, 2016 2.52pm EST

A decade after General Augusto Pinochet died, Chileans still feel the legacy of his regime and its horrific actions on a daily basis – and perhaps nowhere more tangibly than in football. Despite the celebrations that marked Chile’s victory in the Copa América Centenario in June 2016, football is still a highly sensitive area of Chilean culture. At the heart of it all is the country’s national stadium, the Estadio Nacional, in Santiago.

The morning after the bloody 1973 coup that brought Pinochet to power and left democratically elected president Salvador Allende dead, tens of thousands of Allende’s supporters were detained by the military, first in another sports stadium, the Estadio Chile, and other centres in the capital. (Among those held was singer-songwriter Víctor Jara, after whom the venue was eventually renamed.)

Within days, thousands of these detainees were transferred to the Estadio Nacional. It is estimated that a week later there were 7,000 prisoners being held there, including around 250 non-Chilean nationals. Over the course of the next three months, some 40,000 men and women were imprisoned. Some of them were tortured and executed.

. . .

Today, when players line up in the stadium at the start of a game, a section of the stands remains empty, bearing the words “Un pueblo sin memoria es un pueblo sin futuro” – a people with no memory is a people with no future. And alongside these public memorials, a lot of work has gone into commemorating and dealing with the stadium’s horrific associations.

More:
http://theconversation.com/general-pinochets-long-shadow-still-hangs-over-chiles-national-stadium-70305

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