Malcolm Coad

Malcolm Coad was until recently the Guardian correspondent for the southern part of Latin America. He is working on a novel about the Pinochet years in Chile.


Green Go Home

27 August 2009

As Ernesto Priego insists, in Mexico no one would use the word ‘gringo’ to mean anyone other than a US citizen, and a white US citizen at that (Letters, 19 November 2009). This is true for most of the rest of the region, but there are some exceptions. Brazil, Peru and Chile are the ones I know personally, but I’ve heard tell that Honduras (interestingly, given the scabrous history of US activity...

Not a leaf moves here

Malcolm Coad, 22 September 1994

Unlike events in Eastern Europe, the decline of dictatorship in Latin America has not brought an end to an entire social and economic system nor radically shifted the balance of international power. But the symbolic resonance of Captain General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte’s defeat in Chile’s 1989 elections was enormous. In Latin America, Cold War pressures had combined with local authoritarianism to produce four decades of right-wing dictatorships. Pinochet’s was the most notorious and the last to give way. With his departure, the entire region, with the exception of Cuba and Haiti, came under elected rule for the first time in history. Subsequent events, such as President Alberto Fujimori’s autogolpe in Peru in 1992, have called the quality of this democracy into question, but not democratisation itself – a process in which the end of the Pinochet regime remains a landmark.’

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