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December 9, 2009
The legacy of the ‘Chicago Boys’ lives on in Chile

Chile is one of South America’s most prosperous nations — a result, some say, of the interventions of American economists during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

Worldfocus special correspondent Edie Magnus and producer Ara Ayer traveled to Chile earlier this year to explore the legacy of the so-called “The Chicago Boys,” economists whose policies still impact modern-day Chile.

For more Worldfocus coverage of the Chilean Economy, click here.

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Comments

10 comments

#10

Thank you for posting.
it is really useful for us.

Bathmate

#9

MikeW67,

You think they are going to have a reform? Are there any indictments of any member of the Wall St cabal that instigated this global hoax? All we hear is that Geithner Sachs wants to prolong the money giveaway for the banks.

#8

OTHER MEMORIES OF CHILE AND WHY DOES THE TERM “THE DISAPPEARED” KEEP COMING TO MIND

http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/pinochet.html

On 11 September the military strike, taking Santiago in a violent offensive that sees Pinochet order air strikes on the presidential palace, and then securing the provinces.

Allende dies defending the presidential palace, probably by his own hand. Many of his aides are arrested then transported to a military base, where they are executed and buried. In the provinces the notorious ‘Caravan of Death’ targets political opponents, summarily executing at least 72.

The military form a four-man junta headed by Pinochet and composed of the commanders-in-chief of the army, navy, air force and police and embark on a campaign to remove the influence of the UP from all social institutions.

A state of siege is declared, martial law is introduced and parliament is closed. The media is censored, universities are purged, books are burned, Marxist political parties are outlawed and union activities are banned. Thousands are murdered or “disappeared”. Thousands more are jailed or forced to leave the country. Torture is commonplace. Up to one million will flee into self-imposed exile.

It is reported that up to 250,000 people are detained in the first months following the coup. Stadiums, military bases and naval vessels have to be used as short-term prisons. At least five new prison camps are established for political prisoners.

The newly formed secret police (National Intelligence Directorate – DINA) create a reign of terror at home and organise the assassinations of opponents in exile abroad. Civilian courts are supplanted with military tribunals.

According to General Manuel Contreras SepĂșlveda, the head of DINA, Pinochet receives daily briefing about the activities of the secret police. The US Defence Intelligence Agency also reports in 1975 that Pinochet “issues instructions on DINA, is aware of its activities and in fact heads it.” The US embassy corroborates the report, stating that “DINA reports directly to Pinochet and is ultimately controlled by him alone.”

Nevertheless, the US quickly recognises the junta and reinstates financial aid.

1974 – General Carlos Prats, a former Chilean military commander-in-chief who refused to join the coup then sought asylum in Argentina, is assassinated on 30 September when a bomb blows up his car in the garage of his Buenos Aires apartment building. Prats fled Chile after the coup because of his ties with Allende. The bomb is thought to have been planted by DINA on the order of Pinochet. Prats’ wife, Sofia Cuthbert, is also killed in the explosion.

Pinochet takes complete control of Chile on 11 December when he is named president. Over the next 15 years he will rule the country as an iron-fisted autocrat in the mode of his admired role-model, the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.

1975 – On 25 November the intelligence services of Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay launch ‘Operation Condor’, an information gathering and sharing alliance designed to eliminate Marxist terrorist activities in South America.

According to a US Federal Bureau of Investigation officer working in Argentina at the time, “Chile is the centre for ‘Operation Condor’.” The officer also reports that, “A … most secret phase of ‘Operation Condor’ involves the formation of special teams from member countries who are to travel anywhere in the world to non-member countries to carry out sanctions up to assassination against terrorists or supporters of terrorist organisations from ‘Operation Condor’ member countries.”

“The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the
oppressed.” –Steve Biko

#7

I was surprised at your glowing report of the great success of the “Chicago Boys” in Chile. I had to go online today and see if I was mistaken in my memory of hundreds of thousands being arrested, and thousands being tortured and executed during the same period your program painted as such a wonderful success:

http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/pinochet.html

On 11 September the military strike, taking Santiago in a violent offensive that sees Pinochet order air strikes on the presidential palace, and then securing the provinces.

Allende dies defending the presidential palace, probably by his own hand. Many of his aides are arrested then transported to a military base, where they are executed and buried. In the provinces the notorious ‘Caravan of Death’ targets political opponents, summarily executing at least 72.

The military form a four-man junta headed by Pinochet and composed of the commanders-in-chief of the army, navy, air force and police and embark on a campaign to remove the influence of the UP from all social institutions.

A state of siege is declared, martial law is introduced and parliament is closed. The media is censored, universities are purged, books are burned, Marxist political parties are outlawed and union activities are banned. Thousands are murdered or “disappeared”. Thousands more are jailed or forced to leave the country. Torture is commonplace. Up to one million will flee into self-imposed exile.

It is reported that up to 250,000 people are detained in the first months following the coup. Stadiums, military bases and naval vessels have to be used as short-term prisons. At least five new prison camps are established for political prisoners.

The newly formed secret police (National Intelligence Directorate – DINA) create a reign of terror at home and organise the assassinations of opponents in exile abroad. Civilian courts are supplanted with military tribunals.

#6

Financial reforms are long overdue. And the mega-banks have to be stabilized, they are too interconnected in the global financial system we are all dependent on. After they are well, they should be broken up into smaller pieces so this cannot happen again — saw a cool site; Balkingpoints ; incredible satellite view of earth

#5

Chicago Boys were right wing capitalists. They made some positive changes in increasing business and export, however, their economic theories are lacking in compassion for the idea of localizing the economy for the benefit of the general population. Uncontroled capitalism always leads to the exploitation of the population. The standard of living has improved – that is good – it should improve more as postulated by Prout.

#4

I thought this was an excellent piece, thanks.

#3

What a piece of propaganda. I guess they can’t find any of their partners like Al-Jazeera, Deutche Welle, ITN, the perpetual propagandist NYT, or even South American based TV Globo to make such a biased piece.

This is typical of Worldfocus reporting. Wherever they report from, whether it is Sub Sahara Africa, they will focus their story on the upwardly mobile class and imply how well the country is doing because of their free trade market economy.

The reality is that the gang in Chicago had such a radical ideal that the leader of the US would not dare implemented in their own country for the fear of being thrown out of office. They had to have their government overthrow some other country’s government, and in the ensuing chaos, implement their grand experiment, which is to give away all the country’s wealth away.

This experiment has been subsequently tried under other chaotic situations that the US created like the destruction of Iraq, the collapse of SE Asia, and of course, never to miss an opportunity, the collapse of the US economy.

#2

Thank you Tim WIlson for you comment. I too am really disappointed in this
biased report.

#1

The characterization that the free market economic policies of the “Chicago Boys” did not work in Chile. In truth, Pinochet’s policies impoverished the middle class and only served to widen the inequities of wealth distribution. In short, the policies enable the ultra-wealthy to rob even more from the poor. This report is seriously biased and is nothing more than propaganda for the neo-liberal economists. WorldFocus has badly sullied its journalistic reputation with this misinformation.

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