Orlando Letelier

It appears there may be some traffic when I finally arrive at my destination, since I will coincide with the funeral of Augusto Pinochet.

He will not have a state funeral, but only a military one. Gott sei Dank, as my aunt would have said, and Alhamdulillahi, as we would have said in my Arabic class.

That makes this evening an excellent time to remember Orlando Letelier and many more. Presentes. Ahora. Y siempre.

The Unapologetic Mexican has an excellent post on Pinochet and his nefarious contexts.

Axé.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Orlando Letelier

  1. “He will not have a state funeral, but only a military one. ”

    Oh, well, in that case….

    It’s not troubling to have the civilian government trying to prosecute him, and then have the military turn around and celebrate him with honors. No…nothing unfortunate could come of that.

    Although I´d say AT LEAST he didn’t also get a state funeral. I’m not sure but it may have been felt that to do no official funeral of any kind could cause Other Problems. –Z

  2. Indeed.

    a poem by Martin Espada:

    General Pinochet at the Bookstore
    Santiago, Chile, July 2004

    The general’s limo parked at the corner of San Diego street
    and his bodyguards escorted him to the bookstore
    called La Oportunidad, so he could browse
    for rare works of history.

    There were no bloody fingerprints left on the pages.
    No books turned to ash at his touch.
    He did not track the soil of mass graves on his shoes,
    nor did his eyes glow red with a demon’s heat.

    Worse: His hands were scrubbed, and his eyes were blue,
    and the dementia that raged in his head like a demon,
    making the general’s trial impossible, had disappeared.

    Desaparecido: like thousands dead but not dead,
    as the crowd reminded the general,
    gathered outside the bookstore to jeer
    when he scurried away with his bodyguards,
    so much smaller in person.

  3. absorbant

    Just ONE Pinochet has leeched into too much of Chile for too long; I only pray that his lecherous leering spawn with the ‘birth-right’ genes won’t bring the land of my own Grandmother to its knees again.

    Let them wash out into the Sea.

  4. Professor Zero

    Graffito seen in Santiago de Chile today said: INFIERNO PARA PINOCHET. The monument to Allende is covered with carnations and printouts of poems by Mario Benedetti, as well as letters to loved ones killed in 1976.

  5. P.S. Great poem, Rebel Girl. In my nostalgia a month later, I am searching for music videos from Chile and look what I found: the last words of Allende, accompanied by archival footage of the storming of the Moneda, 11 September 1973. Stunning and chilling. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZvFYYuve6s

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