I didn’t see any mines in Chile

I was working in Chile in 1980.  A few recollections.

There is an old fort on a hilltop in downtown Santiago.  There was a cannon on the parapets that was fired every day at noon.  The field representative’s office was right across the street.  I don’t know how that cannon didn’t blow the windows out of the office but there was no excuse for not knowing it was lunchtime.

This was right after the communist Salvador Allende was overthrown and Gen. Pinochet took over.  His Presidential inauguration took place while I was there.  Lot’s of preparation going on, but I didn’t see any of the parade.

One of the people I was working with took me to the Presidential Palace and described how the Air Force Mirages fired missiles through the front doors to allow the army to enter.  It was a real serious Latin American shoot’n coup.

They also described life under Allende.  Street thugs being sent out to harass anybody with anything to steal. (Street thugs?  Who would do a thing like that?)  It was pretty unpleasant for the people I worked with.  Pinochet and the military saved Chile from being another Cuba.


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