[QODLink]
Americas

Push for Pinochet 'dictatorship' in textbooks

Chilean education advisory pushes to indicate Pinochet's rule as a 'dictatorship' in school textbooks.

Last Modified: 05 Oct 2013 08:33
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

A Chilean education advisory group has recommended that schools use the term "dictatorship" rather than "military regime" in textbooks to describe General Augusto Pinochet's 17-year rule marred by rights abuses.

Friday's decision by the National Education Council represents a shift over how Chile brands the 1973-1990 era that saw Pinochet brutally crack down on anything representing of leftist dissent, leaving more than 3,200 people dead and arresting some 38,000.

"In this case, since time has passed, let's get straight to the point and use the word 'dictatorship,'" council president Ignacio Irarrazaval told Radio Bio Bio.

"I understand that using the word military 'dictatorship' may get some opposition but after quite an overhaul in political science, that's the word in use, that's all."

The measure, which the council proposed to the Education Ministry, would be applied to school textbooks for children 12-16 years old.

In 2012, the council had approved using both the words "regime" and "dictatorship" interchangeably to describe the Pinochet government in textbooks for children aged six to 12.

'Dictatorship' vs. 'Military regime'

That decision followed a controversial government proposal by right-wing President Sebastian Pinera to use the word "regime," saying it was "more general."

Education Minister Carolina Schmidt asked for clarification from the council, and suggested that the government would abide by last year's recommendation for now.

"What we want to know is if they want us to use the two phrases in each paragraph or if they only want use to use military dictatorship, in which case we should be told why, because the academics and the same council said the two words were indistinguishable," Schmidt told Radio Cooperativa.

Pinochet seized power in a military coup in September 1973, ousting socialist president Salvador Allende.

In Chile, his supporters and detractors refer to the Pinochet era differently.

Opponents speak of the Pinochet "dictatorship," while supporters talk about the "military regime" and "military coup."

325

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.