From a recent interview with the former Argentine military ruler Jorge Videla found on World War 4 Report , during the military regime were 30,000 political activists, especially the left-Peronist guerrillas and the communist PRT-ERP but also many trade unionists and members of other organizations of the Left, were murdered, often by “disappearances”:
“Our objective” in the March 24, 1976 coup that started the seven years of bloody military rule “in what discipline to anarchized society,” Videla explained to Reato. The generals wanted “to get away from a populist, demagogic vision, in relation to the economy, to go to a liberal market economy. We wanted to discipline unionism and crony capitalism. “Argentine business owners were directly involved in the killings, Videla added, although” they washed their hands “of the actual violence. “They said, ‘Do what you have to do,’ and later they would add some on. How many times they told me, ‘You’ve come up short, you should have killed a thousand more, 10,000 more’! “
Arrival of a group of refugee from Chile to be resettled in Switzerland
UNHCR/ D.A. Giulianotti/ 1976
“UNHCR began work in Chile in 1973, a week after the overthrow of the government of Salvador Allende. Immediately after the coup, the then High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadruddin Aga Khan, sent a cable to the military junta reminding them of Chile’s obligations to protect refugees. As soon as it had opened its office, UNHCR began helping thousands of refugees from other countries who had earlier fled to Chile, and who now were being detained or felt threatened under the new government. UNHCR staff established inviolable “safe havens” inside Chile where these refugees could be lodged, protected and assisted while new countries of asylum were arranged. Several appeals were issued asking third countries to open their doors to these refugees. In 1973-74, UNHCR Santiago managed to find resettlement for about 2,600 foreign refugees, helped those opting for repatriation to return to their countries of origin, and assisted the ones who chose to remain in Chile.
At the same time, UNHCR staff in neighbouring countries had to cope with an influx of tens of thousands of Chileans escaping military repression. In all, UNHCR provided protection and assistance to more than 200,000 Chileans in surrounding countries. In the years that followed, UNHCR focused on reunifying the families of fleeing Chilean refugees.”
Source: Refugees Magazine Issue 104 (1996)
- Chile: Mapuche Still Face Exclusion And Inequality (eurasiareview.com)