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February 9, 2009
It took me a while to notice the engraving on the outer ring of the Chilean 100 peso coin. The lettering is extremely fine; I would call it exquisite except for its message: "Por la razon o la fuerza" - "by reason or by force.” Thirty thousand of the country’s citizens disappeared by force. A gaping wound in the society that is not really healing in spite of recognition of the crimes committed. It would be hard to argue that there is true remorse. Two years ago only a slim majority - fifty-seven percent - reported preferring the current democracy to Pinochet’s dictatorship.