(En Español)

By Soames Flowerree, B.A. Bowdoin College (History Major) and MBA Harvard University.

It is well documented that José Piñera had a crucial role in Chile’s economic and social modernization. Piñera himself published books on the three key modernizations that he led while serving as Minister of Labor and Social Security (1978-80) and Minister of Mining (1980-81): "La Revolución Laboral en Chile" (1990); "El Cascabel al Gato" (1992) and "Fundamentos de la Ley Constitucional Minera" (1981, 2002). He also wrote other books, "Camino Nuevo" (1993) and "Libertad, libertad mis amigos" (1997), in which these issues are further treated and expanded.

On the other hand, his defense of human rights while he served as Minister is well documented. For example, authors Ascanio Cavallo, Manuel Salazar and Oscar Sepúlveda, critics to the government, in their book "The hidden history of the military government" ("La historia oculta del régimen militar"), revealed that José Piñera, in a cabinet meeting, faced President Pinochet, risking his position as Minister, to defend Manuel Bustos -a leftist union leader- from an imminent exile, which was revoked as a result of his intervention.

José Piñera was a leading force behind the Constitution of 1980, which established the principles and institutions of a liberal democracy and designed a transition path that led in 1990 to the peaceful and legal transfer of power from President Pinochet to President Aylwin. José Piñera was among those who signed the Constitution on August 8, 1980. This document was then approved by a large majority in the referendum of September 11, 1980.

What follows is an Index compiling 70 articles written by José Piñera promoting human rights and democracy during the military government in his magazine "Economía y Sociedad" (EyS) and in the newspaper "La Tercera". Both publications are available at the National Library of Chile (Biblioteca Nacional de Chile).

1. Opposes book censorship (EyS, September 1982).

2. Writes against exile ("God was born in exile", La Tercera, November 15, 1982).

3. Writes against exile and censorship ("Exile and book censorship", La Tercera, June 20, 1983).

4. Writes against restrictions to free speech ("With a cloudy eye", La Tercera, July 4, 1983).

5. Publishes a statement "No more exile" by René Abeliuk (EyS, August 1983).

6. Asks for privatization of TV controlled by the government (EyS, September 1983).

7. Publishes article on human rights in Cuba by Armando Valladares (EyS, November 1983).

8. Publishes a statement by the National Press Association against censorship ("For freedom of speech", EyS, April 1984).

9. Writes against the excesses of imprisonment during trial (EyS, June 1984).

10. Calls for a modernization of the justice system (EyS, July 1984).

11. Asks for immediate democratic elections at the city hall level (EyS, November 1984).

12. Asks for privatization of state television (EyS, November 1984).

13. Calls for improving the functioning of the Judicial Courts (EyS, November 1984).

14. Publishes a statement defending free press and free speech by Carlos Paul (EyS, January 1985).

15. Opposes financial pressure from the government against the press (EyS, February 1985).

16. Publishes a statement by Pope John Paul II against exile (EyS, February 1985).

17. Writes against the renewal of the State of Emergency that suspends political liberties (EyS, April 1985).

18. Proposes free elections for authorities of state-owned universities (EyS, April 1985).

19. Asks for democracy at the city hall level (EyS, April 1985).

20. Calls for approval of a bill to regulate the functioning of free political parties (EyS, April 1985).

21. Defends liberty of conscience and association, free speech and the right to life (EyS, April 1985).

22. Publishes a statement by Cardinal Juan Francisco Fresno political assassinations (EyS, April 1985).

23. Calls for the reestablishment of free speech (“Authorities homework”, La Tercera, May 20, 1985).

24. Opposes press censorship (EyS, May 1985).

25. Opposes the renewal of the State of Emergency (EyS, May 1985).

26. Writes editorial "No more censorship" (EyS, May 1985).

27. Publishes a statement by Emilio Filippi, editor of "Hoy" magazine, against censorship (EyS, May 1985).

28. Defends "freedom of conscience and association, free speech, the right to life and the rights to choose education and due process which have to be respected always and in every circumstance" ("Civic friendship", La Tercera, May 13, 1985).

29. Calls for the approval of an Act to regulate political parties, reinstate academic freedom at the universities and establish free elections for mayors ("Authorities homework", La Tercera, May 20, 1985).

30. Writes an editorial against being unconditionally in favor or against any government and in favor of independent judgements (EyS, June 1985).

31. Publishes a statement by Máximo Pacheco on human rights (EyS, July 1985).

32. Publishes a statement by Ricardo Lagos on the role of the political opposition to the government (EyS, July 1985).

33. Proposes to privatize state television (EyS, August 1985).

34. Opposes press censorship (EyS, August 1985).

35. Publishes a statement by William Thayer on the inconvenience of general Pinochet extending his term as president (EyS, August 1985).

36. Publishes a statement by Edgardo Boeninger in favor of freely electing mayors (EyS, August 1985).

37. Publishes a statement by historian Gonzalo Vial against torture (EyS, August 1985).

38. Publishes article titled "What are human rights?" by Maurice Cranston (EyS, September 1985).

39. Opposes censorship on media (EyS, October 1985).

40. Proposes to abolish article 24 transitory of the Constitution that gives the president the power to exile people and to limit new media outlets (EyS, October 1985).

41. Asks for free elections of mayors (EyS, October 1985).

42. Proposes a referendum to amend the Constitution in order to abolish article 24 transitory that gives the president the power to exile people and to limit new media outlets (EyS, October 1985).

43. Proposes a referendum to amend the Constitution in order to abolish article 24 transitory and hold free elections for mayors ("Constitutional Amendment", La Tercera, November 8, 1985).

44. Publishes a statement by Ángel Flisfish on political authoritarianism (EyS, November 1985).

45. Publishes article by Máximo Pacheco on "Considerations about human rights" (EyS, April 1986).

46. Opposes government censorship of the Argentinian movie "The official history" about the "dirty war" in Argentina ("Political censorship of movies?", La Tercera, April 21, 1986).

47. Asks for privatization of government television (EyS, April 1986).

48. Calls for allowing private television in order to avoid the government dominating media TV ("Free television", La Tercera, May 5, 1986).

49. Writes an editorial titled "A broad political agreement" (EyS, May 1986).

50. Writes against terrorism and and the renewal of the State of Emergency: "The alteration of the daily habits of people movements produced by the continuation of the state of 6 of 9 emergency is not an effective means to combat terrorism and have serious inconveniences" ("Terrorism and States of Emergency", La Tercera, May 19, 1986).

51. Writes an editorial "When will stop?" denouncing human rights abuses by intelligence agents (EyS, July 1986).

52. Answers an editorial from the government newspaper "La Nación" that attacks him because of his defense of human rights (EyS, July 1986).

53. Writes editorial against exile (EyS, July 1986).

54. Calls for a full disclosure of the truth in the "Caso Quemados": "The prestige of the Army and the Courts of Justice, key institutions for the Republic, is in play" ("The truth above all", La Tercera, August 4, 1986).

55. Calls for the abolition of all forms of exile: "The penalty of exile even if pronounced by a judge is not compatible with a free society because of its intrinsic cruelty" ("End to exile", La Tercera, August 18, 1986).

56. Writes editorial demanding the complete truth in the "Caso Quemados" (EyS, August 1986).

57. Writes editorial against impunity in the murder cases of Tucapel Jiménez, José Manuel Parada, Simón Yévenes, Santiago Nattino, Eduardo Jara and Manuel Guerrero (EyS, August 1986).

58. Publishes a statement by Cardinal Juan Francisco Fresno on the "Caso Quemados" calling the Supreme Court to investigate (EyS, August 1986).

59. Writes an editorial about the respect of individual rights following the attempted murder of president Pinochet: "It is now more urgent than ever to combat terrorism within the law. People will be willing to help the intelligence services if these gain the trust of the people that they will act respecting individual rights" (EyS, September 1986).

60. Proposes a Private Television Act (EyS, January/February 1987).

61. Writes against the renewal of the State of Emergency (EyS, April 1987).

62. Writes editorial against exile (EyS, April 1987).

63. Proposes to reestablish the crucial human right of "habeas corpus" (EyS, April 1987).

64. Opposes security services excesses in their combat against terrorism. "When the intelligence services act brutally they become involuntary agents of subversive activity because they destroy the trust of the people in their institutions" (EyS, July 1987).

65. Calls for improving the justice system (EyS, August 1987).

66. Publishes public statement on democracy by Osvaldo Hurtado, former president of Ecuador (EyS, August 1987).

67. Publishes a statement by Eugenio Tironi on modernization and democracy (EyS, November/December 1987).

68. Publishes a statement by Arturo Montes on modernization and democracy (EyS, January/February 1988).

69. Defends "freedom of conscience and association, free speech, the right to life and the rights to choose education and due process which have to be respected always and in every circumstance" (EyS, September/October 1988).

70. Writes editorial against exile (EyS, January/February 1989).


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