Chile, Memory, Political Disaffection, Social movements organizations


The end of the dictatorship in Chile happened in a climate of almost euphoria for the associations of victims and their families. The return of democracy to Chilean society was met with a hope that they would go back to the agenda for social justice laid out by Salvador Allende. 27 years after, the mobilisations of memory still struggle to be heard and have their claims met. Indeed, the groups are still ever present in the fabric of the society, searching for complete truth and effective justice. This paper seeks to shed light on the historical struggle for justice, truth and memory of three Santiago-based associations (Association of families of Detained Disappeared, Association of families of Executed Politically and Londres 38, Space for Memory). Using a discursive methodology, I studied five historical conjunctures and came upon the realization that the efforts of the administrations were perceived as a way to close the box of the past, whereas the organizations still pursued their historical goals (i.e., effective justice and complete truth). The ineffectiveness of the consecutive post-dictatorship governments is perceived as a betrayal of the cause the victims and their families have suffered to defend all these years