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

Vida en escocia

Manuel Lopez, a specialist in soils and fertilisers, was a Chilean refugee in Scotland since 1974. In the 80s, as an internationalist, went to Nicaragua to help the Sandinista Revolution. He did it by taking his knowledge of agriculture to work in two projects in the north of Nicaragua. On the 22nd of June, 1987 he was killed by a terrorist attack carried out by the C.I.A. backed "Contra Army". Manuel lived in Glasgow, Drumpchapel, and studied at Aberdeen with a scholarship from the World University Service. I remember him as a gentleman with a wife called Rosita and a 'wee' daughter. Click here for a small Manuel Lopez gallery.

Radio recordings - Grabaciones en la radio
In many occasion I have been kindly invited by the BBC Radio Scotland to appear in some of their programme as a guest: either to speak about Chile or to sing and play.

En varias ocasiones la Radio BBC de Escocia me ha invitado a tomar parte en sus programas o para entrevistarme acerca de la situación de Chile o para tocar y cantar.

I consider myself an enthusiastic keeper of my own story and the history of the Chilean refugees in Scotland.
On the 10th of October of 1974 a bunch of Chileans political refugees left London on a coach for Glasgow. I was one of them. Another small group of Chilean continued their journey the same day towards Edinburgh. We were the first bunch of refugees in Scotland as a direct result of the bloody coup of the 11th of September of 1973 and carried out by General Augusto Pinochet against the democratically elected Socialist Government of Salvador Allende. Click here to see what the Scottish press were saying about the coup in 1973 and see my own reactions to these reports. Since my arrival in this country I have been busy collecting all type of information related to the Chilean refugee in Scotland. (area of Glasgow, Edinburgh and beyond) Most of this information comes via my performances either for the Chileans, the Solidarities Committees for Chile or organisations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights etc. I usually asked those who invited me to perform, for letter of invitations, posters, leaflets, door tickets etc.. These letters, posters, leaflets, photographs and news paper articles, with the passing of time, become a valuable source of information because it tells me the amount of activities that took place in Scotland in relation to the solidarity with Chile. It is quality material related to ourselves as a community and our relationship with the different groups concerned: a) with the solidarity work with Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship and b) concerned with our own well being in Scotland. Click here to see the Memory solidarity gallery with the People of Chile: From Madame Allende to Gordon Brown MP, from Norman Lamont via London and much more!

Based on the material that I have collected, I decided to write in English:

A detailed Reflection of my exile and that of many Chileans in Scotland which is my own personal account about the history of the Chilean refugee in Scotland together with my own account about the history of the Chilean solidarity Committee in Scotland: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling and Dundee. I wrote these accounts with a view to preserve in the collective memory of Chile our presence as Chilean political refugees in Scotland.

Una detallada reflexión de mi exilio y la de muchos chilenos exiliados políticos en Escocia es mi propia investigación que habla de la historia de los refugiados chilenos por este país en conjunto, con mi propia exploración por la historia de los comités de solidaridad con Chile en Escocia: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling y Dundee. Escribí estas historias con el fin de preservar en la memoria colectiva de Chile nuestra presencia de refugiados políticos chilenos en Escocia.

Click below for these accounts:

Preface A modo de imformacion    
Day 1 Day 4 Day 7  
Day 2 Day 5 Day 8  
Day 3 Day 6 Day 9  
Day 10 Day 11 Day 12  
Bibliography   Day 13 STIRLING GALLERY

I have written in Spanish Detalladas reflexiones de una aventura en Londres. "Detailed reflections of an adventure in London" which is my own account about a football match in London between Chile and England in February of 1998. In October of the same year, however, General Augusto Pinochet was detained in the same city and my original story took another dimension.

On the 11th February of 1998 Chile beat England at Wembley 2-0. My son and I were at the game in London. It had been an excellent Chilean victory and understandably I was very happy .Soon after the game I began to write a story about it, after all, I always love football. Since I was a small boy I used to play a lot of football in my barrio with my friends I was their goalkeeper. On the 16th of October of 1998, months after the football game, came the new about the detention of General Pinochet in London. Millions in Chile and around the world were immensely happy with the news. The Chilean Government of la Concertacion was furious as well as million of Chilean supporters of the General who cared less for the terrible suffering of so many Chileans families at the hand of the Chilean Armed Forces and the Police. The Pinochet Dictatorship was not a joke in the history of our country. The Chilean Government of the day never had a commitment to punish Pinochet and many others. The dictator was in Chile untouchable but fortunately not for the international community dealing with Human Rights abuses. It was clear to me, that I have to do something more with football story I had already written. It was right and proper for me to do that, after all, the Chileans football stadiums had been used, by this friend of Mrs Thatcher, to detain, torture and killed thousands of Chileans. This story of mine goes back and forwards, up and down and everywhere like a ball in a football pitch. Click here to see some brief details about the game at Wembley, click here for some details about the Chilean National Stadium in Santiago and here to see an interesting gallery about Pinochet's detention in London in 1988.

Detalladas reflexiones de una aventura en Londres
Click here for Dedicaciones
Click here for Prólogos
Click here for Wembley 1
Click here for Wembley 2
Click here for Wembley 3
Click here for Wembley 4
Click here for Epílogo

Video Documentary about Carmen Quintana
In 1989 I learned that Carmen Gloria Quintana was coming to the Edinburgh University to give a talk about her experiences at the hands of the Pinochet's regime. Her visit was organised by Amnesty International and the Chile Committee for Human Rights. I went to the meeting with my video8 camera to film this young Chilean woman who had been detained by an army patrol in a demonstration in Santiago. What followed was to douse her body with petrol and then set Carmen alight. She survived the ordeal with 65% of her body been burned. What I saw and what I heard from Carmen that day had a huge emotional impact on me. I decided on the spot to make a video-documentary: I approached Joel Vennet, from Video in Pilton in Edinburgh, to help me to make and produced the documentary and I spoke to Andy McEntee about using the documentary in Britain to show the state of human rights in Chile under the Pinochet's regime. Andy, a Scotsman, and the Chile Committee for Human Rights' secretary and Carmen's interpreter at the University meeting supported my idea by managing to fund the project to make a good number of copies of "Carmen". The video was eventually distributed in Britain by the CCHR and shown at the Edinburgh Fringe Film Festival at the Edinburgh Filmhouse. In the year 2006 I learned, through a BBC drama programme called "Pinochet in Suburbia", that in 1998 Andy McEntee had played a big role to get Pinochet detained in London. Please click here to view Carmen's Gallery and to watch the documentary we called "Carmen". (20minutes)

The Gallardo Family
Millions of Chileans supported the bloody right-wing Pinochet regime. (1973 -1990). Millions of Chileans were victims of the regime among them Gallardo family. Read DAY 7 (above) a written account in English of their experience.

The Pope John Paul II visit to Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, 1 June 1982.

The Most Reverend Thomas Winning, Archbishop of Glasgow, and nearly 300,000 people from all over Scotland welcomed Pope John Paul II to Bellahouston Park in Glasgow on the 1st of June, 1982. Paul Baker, a former Trappist monk working at the time with The Scottish Education and Action for Development (SEAD), asked me to speak about the dictatorship in Chile and to sing a song. I sung with my wife Doña Javiera Carrera, a traditional Chilean song. SEAD had been requested by the Catholic Church, the organisers of the event, to present a programme of about 25 minutes that could reflect social and political realities. Singer and storyteller Sheila Stewart, belonging to the Travellers people and awarded an MBE for her services to Scottish traditional music, was there beside me, my wife, Paul Baker and other people to say something meaningful and to sing to an unbelievable multitude of people. I did a passionate speech during my intervention and I was pleased with myself. Click here for a recording of my speech and the song. The recording is not that great but it is informative and very atmospheric. Click here for the Pope Gallery.

2003, Glasgow Caledonian University Forum on Chile.

Click here to read what was said and who took part on the forum. I also gave a concert for the archive of the Caledonian University.

1987, A lovely letter of thanks, in Spanish, and for the cultural work I do in Scotland,
from Vladimir A. Vega the cultural officer belonging to the Chilean Exile Organization: Chile Democratico.

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