Museum of Remembrance, Santiago, Chile

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2012 20:50:15 -0400

[In Spanish, Museo De La Memoria Y Los Derechos Humanos; I think remembrance
is probably the best translation to English].

We visited this museum today.  There is an entrance inside the Quinta Normal
metro station (in the subterranean hall - it's a large station, so you need to
look around a little), or you can just exit and cross the road.

It is a museum that remembers the human cost of the military coup and the work
done to achieve justice.  It also contains a centre for related documentation
(and a cafe, which was closed Sunday, and a gift shop).

As you might expect, it's quite moving.  As far as I remember, most things
were in Spanish (lots of newspapers and documents), so you need to be able to
understand the language (although the meaning of the bed connected to the
electricity supply would be pretty clear to anyone).

One thing that surprised me was the degree to which "propaganda" - demonizing
of the "enemy" using extreme adjectives - was present even in *internal*
documents.  Reports between intelligence officers, or to an ambassador, for
examples, would characterise dissidents as extremist, unloyal, anti-chilean,
etc etc.

To me that seems, first, unprofessional: if you're fighting a war you should
be calm and controlled and precise.  And second, a sign of either group-think
(you need to repeat certain phrases to show you belong) or stupidity (surely
ambassadors don't believe that; they must be smart enough to be able to see
both sides of the argument?).  Either way, it was curious internal evidence of
illegitimacy.

Andrew