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The Wars inside Chile's Barracks
Remembering Military Service under Pinochet

Critical Human Rights
Steve J. Stern and Scott Straus, Series Editors

From 1973 to 1990 in Chile, approximately 370,000 young men—mostly from impoverished backgrounds—were conscripted to serve as soldiers in Augusto Pinochet's violent regime. Some were brutal enforcers, but many themselves endured physical and psychological abuse, survival and torture training, arbitrary punishments, political persecution, and forced labor. Leith Passmore examines the emergence, in the early twenty-first century, of a movement of ex-conscripts seeking reparations. The former soldiers challenged the politics of memory that had shaped Chile's truth and reconciliation efforts, demanding recognition of their own broken families, ill health and incapacity to work, and damaged sense of self.

Relying on unpublished material, testimony, interviews, and field notes, Passmore locates these individuals' narratives of victimhood at the intersection of long-term histories of patriotism, masculinity, and cyclical poverty. These accounts reveal in detail how Pinochet's war against his own citizens—as well as the "almost-wars" with neighboring Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina—were also waged inside Chile's army barracks.

 

Leith PassmoreLeith Passmore is a historian at the Universidad Andrés Bello in Santiago, Chile, and the author of Ulrike Meinhof and the Red Army Faction: Performing Terrorism.

 

 

Praise

“With crisp prose and superb scholarship, Leith Passmore provides a groundbreaking exploration of the lives and memories of military conscripts under, and after, the seventeen-year rule of General Pinochet, South America's most famous violator of human rights in living memory.”
—Paul W. Drake, author of Between Tyranny and Anarchy

“Few books are able to capture, as this one does, the full complexity of the Pinochet dictatorship's horror. Passmore leads us, in magisterial fashion, into one of its darkest corners: the tortured memories of thousands of former conscripts transformed simultaneously into perpetrators and victims of the dictatorial nightmare.”
—Verónica Valdivia, author of El golpe después del golpe: Leigh vs Pinochet (1960–1980)

 

 

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The Wars inside Chile's Barracks

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November, 2017
LC: 2017010435 F
288 pp. 6 x 9
3 maps, 2 tables, 1 graph

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Cloth $79.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-31520-7
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