Unhappy Forthieth: Australia & the political economy of terror in Chile

History Seminar 6 SeptemberVladimir Pacheco, Dr Graham Holton and Dr Robert Austin

Friday September 6, 1-2 pm, Room E302, Forgan Smith Building
University of Qld., St Lucia

Forty years on from the U.S.-backed military coup which violently overthrew the reforming-socialist Popular Unity government on 11 September 1973, the authors present a timely reconsideration of Australia’s political-economic role in Chile during the Allende period, and since the imposition of authoritarian and then civilian-military neoliberalism, in 1975 and 1990 respectively.

Exile-driven memorial events around the globe and major mobilisations inside Chile to recall this anniversary, moreover in a year of presidential elections for a successor to Pinochet-defender Sebastián Piñera, make this both a historic and contemporary study. In particular this forum will address the articulation of three historical phenomena: the role of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) in the coup; Australian corporations’ contribution to the Pinochet dictatorship’s survival; and their role in the maintenance of the neoliberal economic model in the two decades since the advent of formal democracy.

Social expressions of these phenomena in Australia with limited exposure are also examined through the prism of global class alliances, such as Chilean migration to Australia since the coup and the vexed question of exile and refugees, in comparative perspective. The authors dedicate their work to the memory of the Chilean Resistance (1973-1990), and to the student movement reborn with the so-called Penguin Revolution of secondary school students in 2006.

——————————————————————————- Vladimir Pacheco holds a PhD in Political Economy (Griffith) & has taught at UQ, Monash & USP (Fiji). He has been a researcher with the Foundation for Development Cooperation, the UQ Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining & Worley Parsons. His current research focuses on mine closure & governance of community funds in South America. As a result of involvement with the resistance against El Salvador’s dictatorship, his family arrived as refugees in 1984.

Graham Holton holds a Ph.D in History & Latin American Studies (La Trobe) & teaches in Political Science & International Relations at UQ. His articles include ‘Oil, Race & Calypso in Trinidad & Tobago’, in Beezley & Curcio-Nagy (eds.), Latin American Popular Culture since Independence: An Introduction, (2nd ed., 2012); & co-author (with Robert Austin), ‘Was There a Chilean Holocaust? Concentration Camps, Political Genocide & the Pinochet Dictatorship’, Tensoes Mundias, V. 3, Nº 4 (2007). The Pinochet dictatorship expelled him from the country in 1974.

Robert Austin holds a Ph.D in History & Latin American Studies (La Trobe) & is an honorary fellow in History at UQ. His books include The State, Literacy & Popular Education in Chile, 1964-1990 (2003), (ed.), Intelectuales y Educación Superior en Chile (2004, 2005), (ed.) Imperialismo Cultural en América Latina: Historiografía y Praxis (2007) & (with Lautaro Videla) La Escuela Nacional Unificada: Mito e Historia 1927-1973 (2 Vols, 2014). His current research focuses on armed exile in Latin America & Western solidarity movements with Latin America post 1970.

History Seminar 6 September.pdf

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