Monday October 18, 2010

'What a Difference Democracy Makes'

Human rights expert Mark Ensalaco talked to The New York Times and BBC Radio about how the rescue of the Chilean miners is tied to Chile's dark past.

As rescuers pulled the 33 Chilean miners to safety, two of the world’s pre-eminent media outlets turned to human rights and Chile expert Mark Ensalaco for comment about a twist of irony involving a city near the mine.

Ensalaco talked to The New York Times and BBC Radio about how the rescue of the Chilean miners occurred nearly 37 years to the day Augusto Pinochet's Caravan of Death committed the murders of 16 miners in Copiapo.

"It is an incredible coincidence that this government is trying to save these people, where a previous government went down there and deliberately, in that town, murdered 16 people 37 years ago," Ensalaco said. "It is a very famous case for which Pinochet was indicted. They're still looking for bodies there. What was once a place of tragedy is now a place of hope. What a difference democracy makes."

Ensalaco is the author of Chile Under Pinochet: Recovering the Truth. He is working on another book about Pinochet - The Mark of Cain: The Prosecution of Pinochet.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.