Chile From Within

Las Últimas Noticias

Posted in Uncategorized by tomasdinges on October 3, 2006

The news recently has been laden with tragedy and pathos, and the morning clouds which normally greet residents on the Pacific coast felt especially claustrophobic and heavy. The air was clean and fresh.

One instance came to my attention today. The full-page cover photo of the popular newspaper Las Últimas Noticias showed a seated nun at a glass table looking into the vacio, with her hands clasped. Suni Seaton, a 26 year-old nun who had tryed to turn in her habit multiple times, killed herself by hanging this past friday in Chillan.

She grew up in Chillan viejo, so-called because of the 1962 earthquake which demolished half of the town. Its a southern city about five hours driving from Santiago, and is known for its bustling market, sausages and proud rural and livestock culture. Along with Rancagua, a bit more to the north, its known for its huasos, or cowboys. The region is dusty and can be oppressively hot.

When she was young she and her brothers would all sleep together in the same bed, as is common in poor homes, and she would recite prayers.

She was scheduled to take a walk with an intimate friend the day after her death, in a place outside of the city, because “homes get filled with bad vibes.” It turns out that she was a few months pregnant.

Recently the socialist president Michelle Bachelet pushed through a decree making it legal to sell the so-called day after pill, here in Chile Postinor 2, to 14 year olds and above, without parental consent. It met ferocious dissent from the right-wing politicians and the Catholic Church. Recently the court turned back a court case aiming to prevent its distribution. Some mayors in different municipalities in Santiago have been refusing to distribute it.

I have gone out with one girl here in Chile who left home at fourteen because her father pursued her sexually, her sister stepped in the way and took him in her place. Stockholm syndrome thus developed. The mother stood by, feigning ignorance. I know of a case of an older woman who was raped by her stepfather a week after his arrival to the home, and then was raped later in life by military officers who were torturing dissenters to the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. 

Its good to have a female president.

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