A Chilean associate suffered the full consequences of the military coup d’état of 11 September 1973 in Chile. I cannot let this fact go unnoticed in the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of this event, which saddened many Chileans at the time.

At a preparatory meeting, our associate sister recounted an experience she had as a 13-year-old prisoner (a child at the time).  Her cellmates were adult women who stood around her to protect her from the soldiers’ blows, so that the blows would not reach our associate.  Today, I think about these women and the fate that befell them: were they saved, were they executed, were their bodies handed over to their families, or do we still know what happened to their remains?

In this courageous act of protection, I saw … that these women were “the angels” that God had placed in my friend’s life.
For all those who have been “angels” in other people’s lives, I thank God for their courage and their love for others.
For those who have gone and whose whereabouts are still unknown, I pray that God will comfort their families.

There are no words to describe what so many of my compatriots experienced during the military dictatorship. I know that there were victims on both sides, and that some of them now carry the weight of the orders they received or simply thought it was right.
… As long as there is a memory, a conscience to seek the truth and do good, let what happened never happen again in Chile or anywhere else in the world.

Ivonne Cuellar Gallardo – Associate. Published on 13 September 2023