Carlos Arredondo, Carlos, Arredondo, Chile, Scotland, music, poetry, culture, Latin America  

Memories / Memorias

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For many years now I have encouraged myself to write, to write and to write about my story in Chile (see Life in Chile) and then in Scotland (see Life in Scotland)

I began by remembering my barrio where I grew up, the guitar factory where I worked for six long years before leaving Chile for Perú. Very importantly, I remember with a lot of affections the people I grew up with. These things shaped my character and my political conviction to give heartily my support to the socialist government of Dr. Salvador Allende in 1970.

However, a bloody coup d' etat on the 11th of September of 1973 led by Army General Augusto Pinochet cut short our dreams for all of us workers. Our dreams was about to built a more just society. As I found myself under a hard and bloody dictatorship I decided to leave for Perú, from there to England and from there to Scotland where it began for me another life full of experiences of all kind. (life in Scotland)

Below: How to forget what medicine our mothers used to gave us when we were kids and had a headache.

Below: how to forget the people I grew up with, our sorrow and solidarity when a dear friend passed away


The coup was staged by the army General Augusto Pinochet, with the support of the Government of the United States, against the democratic elected Socialist Government of Salvador Allende.


1998, Pinochet in detention in London and we were very happy

In Scotland I had the opportunity to study, works and evolve in different ways. I become a song-writer-musician and performer to be useful to the solidarity movement with Chile in the UK.

I am a passionate author of my own story with a keen interest in the history of the Chilean Refugees or Chilean Exile in Scotland. I have delved deeply into our history with a view to preserve in our collective memories our experiences. (Life in Scotland)

There so much to remember, so many experiences to tell and a willingness to write our story with respect, that is, in an honest and truthful way.

Below. 1976 Glasgow. Rally for Chile. Visit by Madame Allende. In red, the formidable Labour MP Judith Hart

This is my story supported by proper documentation and the valuable help and advise given to me by many Chileans who had provided with memorabilia and encouraged me to preserve in writing our experiences in Scotland.

We came to Scotland during the 1970s in very difficult and dramatic circumstances. We were part of a drama never seen in the history of our country. It is in this political context that we found ourselves living in Scotland as refugees or political exiles (the right terminology here is irrelevant to me)

During the dictatorship years, with fascist overtones, there was a state policy to make Chileans to ignore and forget the incredible atrocities which were taken place in their country. We are taking about seventeen long and painful years.

On April 24, 1978, Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez signed the decree that said, 1978 would be the year of Human Rights in Chile.

The year of human rights was summoned by Cardinal Silva to the whole country and its organizations to reflect on the situation of human rights in the country, an initiative that ended in November with the international human rights symposium held in different ecclesial places and culminated in the Cathedral of Santiago.

1978. Cardenal Silva Henriquez's words followed by a Cantata for Human Rights


This policy of oblivion continued to be valid after the departure of the dictatorship in 1990 with new political bosses La Concertación who formed governments of transition from dictatorship to democracy. This policy of oblivion continued until the detention of Pinochet in London in 1998. Chileans for the first time become aware about the atrocities committed during his regime.

Below. October, 5, 1988. I organised this symbolic referendum in Edinburgh to say NO! to Pinochet continuation in power. The picture was on the front page of The Scotsman the day after. Many Chileans and British friends came to accompany us.

And what about the refugees people as a result of the dictatorship? what was about their lives, their experiences? Were they engaged in the liberation struggle in Chile?,What about the Chilean solidarity movement with the People of Chile? For what I know, the Chilean refugees was never considered a theme to talk round a dinner table despite about a million Chileans left the country in a period of seventeen years. About three thousands were accepted in Britain from the 70s to the 80s. About five hundred of us ended up in Scotland during this period.

At St John's Chuch. Lothan Road and Prince Street. Alfonso, Raul, Judith.

I dedicate my work to my beautiful friends below who were from my barrio and killed in terrible circumstances for standing up against the Pinochet dictatorship: Don Alberto Recaredo, Monica Pacheco, Roberto Gallardo, Catalina Gallardo and Rolando Rodriguez.



Below: memories of my barrio, some my friends and circumstances

How to forget the typical pavement we used to walk on the streets of Santiago, Chile

Old Yungay Station, Santiago to Valparaiso. I grew up not far from here

I am in here as a 'wee' boy and with
my people at a funeral. A regular ocurrence in my days in Chile

Three of my pals - we grew up together

Some of my friend of my barrio and our Peruvian friend Victor Hugo whose mother, after the coup, invited me to go to Peru.


Below Chilean Buses of the 60s

  Carlos Arredondo, Carlos, Arredondo, Chile, Scotland, music, poetry, culture, Latin America