Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Teach the children

After our 50th Exeter reunion, classmate Ben Wagner shared with me an email from his cousin's wife, a native of Santiago, Chile:

Indeed the movie Missing is quite impressive. We had to watch it in high school as part of Chilean History. It is quite shocking to hear the stories of what happened in Chile during those times...all the disappearances, exiles and pure abuse of power... I was young during Pinochet's dictatorship (the coup happened the year I was born) and so was my older brother, so my parents had to stand in lines for hours to be able to buy some sugar or bread, etc. The military had rationed the food trying to scare the people and lead them to believe that the socialist government was responsible for the lack of goods. But it was found later that the houses of the leaders behind the coup were filled with food and essentials... There is a great book that talks about how the armed forces tortured and killed thousands of people and how they buried them in the desert in piles... Its resemblance with what the nazis did during the holocaust is scary. I will try to find the book's name in English for you. It is called Los zarpazos del puma. Another great book made into a movie, is The House of the Spirits (or ghosts?) by Isabel Allende. She is Allende's niece and was forced to flee the country and exiled. She's a wonderful writer. My favorite!

The book she refers to is called The Claws of the Puma in English, by Patricia Verdugo. Much information about this impressive woman in her obituary.

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