Examining Chile’s past

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 04, 2010 7:30 AM

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The world has had its eyes on Chile since an 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit on Feb. 27.

Professor Steve Stern, the vice provost for faculty and staff, as well as an Alberto Flores Galindo, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will give a lecture on the country at 3:30 p.m. today in 1117 University Capitol Centre.

Instead of discussing current problems in Chile, he will examine the country’s past. The lecture is titled “The Paradoxes of Truth: Reckoning with Pinochet and the Memory Question in Chile and World Culture, 1989-2006.”

It is an inaugural lecture that will be given in memory of Charles A. Hale, who was a UI professor emeritus of Latin American history. He died in 2008.

Stern said the lecture will cover the rule of Augusto Pinochet, who was dictator of Chile from 1973 to 1990. During his reign, Stern said, many people vanished and “mass atrocities” occurred.

“The paradox of truth is that when there’s that much pent-up demand for truth rather than misinformation, and when people get some version of the truth, it always seems a little bit like that mirage in the desert,” Stern said.

— by Marisa Way

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