Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Dictatorship and Civilian Complicity: Chile, 1973-2016

October 17th, 2016
5:00 PM

Location
Greenleaf Conference Room
100A Jones Hall

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese presents a talk by Prof. Michael Lazzara, an Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of California, Davis titled “Dictatorship and Civilian Complicity: Chile, 1973-2016.” The talk will be held on Monday, Monday, October 17 at 5pm in 100A Jones Hall.

Talk Description:
Civilian complicity continues to be one of the least analyzed aspects of the Pinochet regime in Chile. Nevertheless, the topic emerged in the context of the 40th anniversary of the Chilean coup via the case of a man named Jorgelino Vergara, referred to in Chile as “El Mocito,” a civilian collaborator who voluntarily worked for Pinochet’s secret police and whose unexpected confession resulted in prosecutions of human rights violators, a book, a film, and various television interviews. How, and to what ends, did the media, filmmakers, and journalists represent the figure of the civilian accomplice? This lecture will focus specifically on the case of “El Mocito” with the goal of deconstructing the performativity of the accomplice’s own discourse and of understanding the political and ethical ramifications of how others have represented the accomplice-figure in cultural production. The lecture will show that if indeed civilian complicity became a momentary topic of interest in the period leading up to the 40th anniversary commemoration, grappling with the issue openly and honestly still remains a pending debt for Chilean society more than four decades after September 11, 1973.

Michael J. Lazzara is associate professor of Latin American literature and cultural studies at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of Luz Arce and Pinochet’s Chile: Testimony in the Aftermath of State Violence (2011), Chile in Transition: The Poetics and Politics of Memory (2006), Los años de silencio: conversaciones con narradores chilenos que escribieron bajo dictadura (2002), and numerous articles on Latin American literature and culture. He is also co-editor of Telling Ruins in Latin America (2009), with Vicky Unruh, and of Latin American Documentary Film in the New Millennium (2016), with María Guadalupe Arenillas. His current book project, Civil Obedience: Complicity and Complacency in Post-Pinochet Chile is forthcoming from the University of Wisconsin Press.

A Reception will follow the talk.

Chile + People
Sonya Wohletz
Ph.D. Candidate