Approximately 370,000 young men served as conscripted soldiers during the Pinochet dictatorship. Recruits were at times complicit in, witnesses to, or victims of human rights abuses committed under military rule. Memory of conscription for a long time was hidden behind silence maintained by fear, confusion, shame, anger, alcohol, and drugs. In the mid 2000s, however, ex-conscripts began to gather into groups that functioned first as support networks, and later as advocacy organizations pushing for recognition as victims and for reparations. By 2013, nearly 100,000 former recruits had mobilized. This article historicizes the conscript memory narrative of victimhood that emerged with the ex-conscript movement of the early twenty-first century. It examines the relationship between ex-conscripts’ memory of military rule, transitional justice, and the state-led truth and reconciliation process. Chile’s “politics of memory” provided catalysts and cues for ex-conscript memory, but neither of the competing shared memory frameworks have been unable to accommodate the former recruits’ sense of victimhood. Ex-conscript memory is not bound by a common political identity or interpretation of the 1973 coup or the 17 years of military rule. The “apolitics of memory” have instead ensured that ex-conscripts remember military service under Pinochet not within but rather alongside the country’s politicized memoryscape.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Psicología social
- Estudios culturales
- Psicología experimental y cognitiva