Chile: State of Siege

Pinochet cracks down hard

The troops struck promptly at dawn. Supported by spotter helicopters and armored cars, up to 1,500 soldiers dressed in combat gear cordoned off La Victoria, a slum on the southern outskirts of Santiago that houses some 50,000 poor and unemployed. They searched and in some cases ransacked the ramshackle dwellings in a hunt for weapons and "subversive" literature. "Remain calm," the troops blared through loudspeakers. "Anyone who leaves his home will be taken as an agitator."

Within seven hours, they had rounded up 7,000 men and led them,...

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