Letter from Pablo Ruíz to Nashua Chantal Print

Pablo Ruíz, SOA Watch Latin America Coordinator, and also a political prisoner under Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet's regime, pens a message to Nashua Chantal, SOA Watch Prisoner of Conscience.

Dear Nashua:

Please receive my affectionate greetings from Chile.

As you may know, on September 11th of 1973 in my country there was a military coup against the legitimate government of President Salvador Allende.

Soon we will mark the 40th anniversary of this tragic date, which resulted in thousands of people tortured, imprisoned and exiled, as well as the murder of more than three thousands human beings, many of whom continue to be identified as “detained disappeared,” because the “brave” military won´t tell us where they are.

With the passing of the years, I have come to understand that events don’t happen by accident, or because people are infected with malice.
The military coup in Chile was caused by the big companies, multinational corporations and the United States government that decidedly sent million of dollars so that there would be terrorist attacks, work stoppages and sabotage against the government of President Salvador Allende.

During the years of the military dictatorship, thousands of Chilean soldiers were trained in the U.S. military’s School of the Americas, where they learned to torture and to look at their own people as the “enema within.”

The main agents of Pinochet’s secret police were trained in this incorrectly named “School of the Americas.”

Many of those who were tortured and assassinated had dreams of social justice, and they fought so that in this country people could live with human rights and happiness.

I am convinced that these dreams are still alive, especially in the Chilean students who today are fighting and marching in the streets for the right to a free and quality public education. They have understood that rights cannot be bought or sold, as if they were a commodity.

In ending, I want to send you a big hug and solidarity. I know that prison is a difficult experience, but I know that your dreams and convictions for a world with more social justice will give you strength to continue on this journey every day.

In his final worlds, President Allende said, “I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other men will go beyond this gray and bitter moment when treason tries to impose itself upon us. Continue to know that, much sooner than later, we will reopen the great promenades down which free men pass, to construct a better society.”


In solidarity,
Pablo Ruiz
Latin American Team of SOA Watch