This Sunday Santiago’s Teatro Caupolicán is scheduled to screen an admiring documentary about General Augusto Pinochet and organizers expect at least 5,000 to attend—not counting what will surely be a much greater turnout of protesters.
A reporter from Chile’s La Nación newspaper http://www.lanacion.cl/homenaje-a-pinochet-4-mil-pesos-cuesta-la-entrada-mas-barata/noticias/2012-06-06/224334.html visited the retired military officers’ club, which is selling the tickets and received the following greeting:
“All you journalists are communists.”
The most expensive seats, priced at 15,000 pesos, or about $30, have already been sold out but there are still tickets available for 4,000 to 10,000 pesos.
Families of the Pinochet regime’s victims and at least two dozen center-left members of the Chilean Congress have petitioned President Sebastián Piñera to stop the film screening, but a government spokesman said this would be a violation of freedom of speech. The director of the Americas department of Human Rights Watch (http://www.hrw.org/) Jose Miguel Vivanco told Radio Cooperativa http://www.cooperativa.cl/hrw-y-homenaje-a-pinochet-lamentablemente-tienen-el-derecho-de-hacerlo/prontus_nots/2012-06-05/185250.html that he concurred.
“That a part of the public wants to express its support for a dictator who led a brutal, violent dictatorship for 17 years in Chile that is responsible for massive, grave human rights violations never seen before in the history of Chile, unfortunately have the right to do so,” he said.