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Chile 1997-1998: The Revenge of Incomplete Democratization

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The author seeks to analyse the repercussions and consequences of the Pinochet affair for Chilean domestic politics. He explains how the legacy of seventeen years of authoritarian rule has shaped the deep divisions within Chilean society regarding the prosecution of the Chilean former dictator in the London courts. Chile is an incomplete democracy and Pinochetism is very much alive in Chile today.

The author is very critical of the role played by the current Chilean government and political class, for their behaviour during the affair. In granting a special mission to the General which gave him immunity and later supported his legal case after initial hesitation, the government has shown confusion that has not advanced the case for full democratization and justice in Chile. The ambiguous behaviour of the political class during the episode has discredited its prestige in the eyes of public opinion. Chilean society, according to the author, has missed an opportunity to advance justice and the dignity of the country.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Sociology, University of Chile

Publication date: April 1, 1999

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