Years after Pinochet, an entire family is still missing

As the shadow of fascism begins to darken Latin America once again, the BBC brings us a cautionary tale from the years after the September 11, 1973, Chilean coup.

Luis Emilio Recabarren Mena, who lost his entire family, is speaking out in honor of his grandmother Ana Gonzalez, the recently deceased prominent Chilean human-rights activist.

The last day of Luis’s childhood innocence was April 29, 1976, when he and his family were snatched from their lives in Santiago and imprisoned.

Inexplicably, Luis, then just a toddler, was released, but his pregnant mother, father and uncle disappeared, like thousands of others, into General Augusto Pinochet’s jails.

When his grandfather went to look for them the day after they were disappeared, he too disappeared forever.

Today, Luis is in his late 40s and, from his asylum country of Switzerland, is still actively looking. He assumes his family is gone but hopes they might still be alive.

He reminds us of his family’s crime — they were prominent communists, nonviolent but nevertheless considered enemies of the U.S.-backed Pinochet regime, and among the 2,279 such left-wing Chileans who vanished.

Source: BBC News

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