New Statesman

Long search for the disappeared

Calama is a quiet, provincial town 1,000 miles north of Santiago, the capital of Chile. It was here in the town theatre on 17 October that grieving widows, mothers, sisters and daughters gathered to bear witness to the men they lost 30 years ago.

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The women’s story starts where the men’s story ends, on 19 October 1973. General Arellano Stark, under orders from General Pinochet, arrived in Calama by helicopter to consolidate the military’s grip on northern Chile. Stark’s mission, which became known as the “Caravan of Death”, left 72 dead across four cities. Calama was the final stop on his schedule. Men were executed and their bodies dumped in the unrelenting dust of the Atacama Desert surrounding Calama.

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New Statesman

Bravado in Bolivia

La Paz is under siege. Three weeks into a national strike and Bolivia’s principal city finds itself cut off from the rest of the country by roadblocks and starved of food and fuel.

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Meanwhile, in the streets of El Alto, the huge, poverty-stricken sprawl that looks down on La Paz, the police and the military have fought running battles with protesters, leaving at least 20 people dead and countless more injured.

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