Political Disaffection and the Struggle Against Impunity in Chile

Monday, 16 July 2018: 12:00
Oral Presentation
Joannie JEAN, University of Ottawa, Canada
The end of the dictatorship in Chile happened in a climate of almost euphoria for the historical associations of victims and their families. The return of democracy for the Chilean society was met with an incommensurable hope that they would go back to the agenda for social justice laid out by Salvador Allende. 27 years after the transition, the mobilisations of memory still struggle to be heard and have their claims met. Indeed, the groups are still ever present in the fabric of the society, searching for the complete truth and effective justice.

This communication seeks to shed light on the historical struggle for justice, truth and memory of three Santiago-based associations (Association of families of Detained Disappeared- AFDD, Association of families of Executed Politically- AFEP and the Association of Ex Political Prisoners- ANEXPP). Using a discursive methodology, I studied five historical conjunctures and came upon the realization that the efforts of the administrations were perceived as a way to close the box of the past, whereas the organizations still pursued their historical goals (i.e. effective justice and complete truth). The discourses produced and distributed through the written press present the dissatisfaction of the mobilisations of memory in Santiago. The ineffectiveness of the consecutive governments of the post-dictatorship era is perceived as a betrayal of the cause the victims and their families have suffered to defend all these years. Representations of the past, used by the mobilisations, are a way to defend a project for Chile's future. It also illustrate the political disaffection of the human rights movement in the capital.