Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

AQ Podcast | Chile: What the 50th Coup Anniversary Tells Us About Politics Today

A political scientist on how commemorations have exposed divisions in Chilean society
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This month will mark the 50th anniversary of Augusto Pinochet’s coup in Chile. President Gabriel Boric has made the commemoration of that tragic chapter in Latin American history a major moment in his government, taking several initiatives to atone for the past, but the right is pushing back, at a moment when public opinion about the coup is changing. In 2005, an average of 24% thought that the military was right in carrying out the coup. In 2023, that number has risen to 36%. In the background is Chile’s turbulent recent history: the massive protests that took place in 2019, the pandemic, an economic downturn, a security crisis, the rejection of last year’s proposed constitution and the ongoing attempt at drafting a new one. In such a context, how are we to interpret such poll numbers? What do discussion about the coup say about the state of politics in Chile today? And what does this moment mean for the country’s future? Robert Funk, assistant professor of political science at the University of Chile’s, joins the podcast to discuss. 

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Brian Winter is AQ’s editor-in-chief.

Supplemental reading: 

50 Years Later: He Haunts Us Still by Robert L. Funk

A Last Hope for Chile’s New Constitution? by Emilie Sweigart

AQ Podcast: Explaining Chile’s U-Turn

Fifty Years On, the “Chicago Boys” Remain Difficult to Discuss by Brian Winter

A Spotlight on Chile’s “Feminist Foreign Policy”: an interview with Gloria de la Fuente, an undersecretary at Chile’s foreign ministry

Tags: AQ Podcast, Chile, Chile constitution, Gabriel Boric, History, military coup
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