Australia and the Political Economy of Terror in Chile (1973-2018)

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Australia and the Political Economy of Terror in Chile (1973-2018)

11 September 2018 marks 45 years since the US-backed military coup which overthrew the Popular Unity government and decimated its “peaceful road to socialism”. Here we review Australia’s

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11 September 2018 marks 45 years since the US-backed military coup which overthrew the Popular Unity government and decimated its “peaceful road to socialism”. Here we review Australia’s political-economic role during the Allende period, then since the imposition of authoritarian and civilian-military neoliberalism, in 1975 and 1990 respectively. Exile-driven memorial events around the globe and mobilisations inside Chile to recall this anniversary make this both a historic and contemporary study. In particular we will consider three historical phenomena: the role of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service 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 quarter century since the return of formal democracy in 1990. Chilean migration to Australia since the coup and the vexed questions of exile and refugees will also be discussed.