Fatherland and Liberty (Patria y Libertad)


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Political party in Chile
Fatherland and Liberty
Patria y Libertad
LeaderPablo Rodríguez Grez
Ideology[citation needed]
Political positionFar-right
ColorsBlack and white

The Fatherland and Liberty Nationalist Front (Spanish: Frente Nacionalista Patria y Libertad or simply Patria y Libertad, PyL) was a fascist[3][dubious ] political and paramilitary group[4] that fought against the democratically elected socialist government of Salvador Allende, in Chile.

The group was formed by Pablo Rodríguez Grez [es] in 1970 with Walter Roberto Thieme as secretary general, and turned more and more clandestine throughout the presidency of Salvador Allende.

In June 1973, the group attempted to carry out a coup against the Allende government but failed, in an event known as the Tanquetazo. In July 1973, it received orders from the Chilean Navy, which opposed the Schneider Doctrine of military adherence to the constitution, to sabotage Chile's infrastructure. The collaboration between Fatherland and Liberty and the Chilean Armed Forces increased after the failed October 1972 strike which had sought to overthrow Allende socialist administration. In agreement with the sectors opposing Allende in the military, the group assassinated on 26 July 1973 Allende's naval aide, Arturo Araya Peeters.[5] The first sabotage was committed this same day. Others include creating a power outage while Allende was being broadcast.[6]

It was officially disbanded on September 12, 1973, following Pinochet's coup. Many members of PyL were then recruited by Chilean security services and participated in the persecution of those opposed to Pinochet's junta. Still others like Robert Thieme became convinced opponents of the regime (Thieme in particular opposed the neo-liberal economic policies under Pinochet). Since the transition to democracy, some small groups have since claimed to be its successor, but are not officially linked to the original PyL.

Creation of the group

Building that served as Patria y Libertad headquarters in Santiago.

Headed by Pablo Rodríguez Grez, the group was spawned in the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. It formally organized itself in 1970, a short time after the election of Salvador Allende. Patria y Libertad gathered mainly upper and middle-class students who, united by common anti-Communist beliefs, engaged in street brawls against leftist militants and sympathizers, armed with nunchakus and molotov cocktails.[7] Patria y Libertad hoped to overthrow socialism from Chile.[8] Along with the youth movement of the Christian Democracy, the youth of the National Party and the "Comando Rolando Matus" (CRM), the paramilitary group formed and integrated by the youth of this last political party, they participated in demonstrations against the President Salvador Allende's socialist/Marxist government.[9]

Financial support

The group was funded by the CIA during the first year of Allende's presidency, including via the Agency's Track II program.[10] According to Prof. Michael Stohl, and Prof. George A. Lopez, "After the failure to prevent Allende from taking office, efforts shifted to obtaining his removal. At least $7 million was authorized by the United States for CIA use in the destabilizing of Chilean society. This included financing and assisting opposition groups and right-wing paramilitary groups such as Patria y Libertad ('Fatherland and Liberty')".[11] Although PyL was already dissolved, some of their former integrants continued collaborating with Pinochet's regime. Former head of DINA Manuel Contreras declared to Chilean justice in 2005 that the CNI, successor of DINA, handed out monthly payments between 1978 and 1990 to the persons who had worked with DINA agent Michael Townley in Chile, former members of PyL: Mariana Callejas (Townley's wife), Francisco Oyarzún, Gustavo Etchepare and Eugenio Berríos.[12] Assassinated in 1995, Berrios, who worked as a chemist for the DINA in Colonia Dignidad, also worked with drug traffickers and DEA agents.[13] Michael Townley has been convicted for the 1976 assassination of former Chilean minister Orlando Letelier, and was involved in the 1974 assassination of General Carlos Prats in Buenos Aires.

Clandestine activities

June 1973 sabotage plan

The Chilean Navy's June 1973 plan included sabotaging bridges, oil pipelines, energy towers and the fuel supply. The plan was revealed after the transition to democracy by Roberto Theime, leader of military operations for Fatherland and Liberty. Thieme exiled himself to Argentina after the failed Tanquetazo, but returned to Chile in mid-July 1973, two months before the military coup.[6] Thieme also revealed that in 1973, he was pressured by the military to assassinate Senator Carlos Altamirano, who had been the general secretary of the Chilean Socialist Party since 1971.[6]

Olof Palme assassination

The Swedish journalist Anders Leopold, in his 2008 book Det svenska trädet skall fällas, makes the case that PyL leader Roberto Thieme was the assassin in the still-unsolved 1986 murder of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme. According to Leopold, the Swedish prime minister was killed because he had freely given asylum to so many leftist Chileans following the 1973 coup against Salvador Allende.[14]

2004 declarations

Roberto Thieme, leader of the military operations of PyL, signed on 2 December 2004, along with other leaders José Agustín Vásquez and Arturo Hoffmann, a declaration which referred to the Valech Report and begged pardon for their responsibilities in the repression against civilians operated by Pinochet's junta. They indicated that many members of the group had been recruited by the Chilean security services and had thus collaborated to the repression, including acts of torture and of forced disappearances. Thieme also opposed the neoliberal economic policies of Pinochet's regime, and criticized Pinochet's lack of repentance following his 1998 arrest in London and subsequent judicial procedures in Chile.[15]

Judicial procedures

Juan Patricio Abarzúa Cáceres, a former member of PyL, was arrested in 2005, charged in the "disappearance" of Juan Heredia, a Popular Unity government sympathiser "disappeared" on September 16, 1973.[16]

See also


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  1. ^ Reportajes 24: Patria y Libertad, los pasos de la "Araña" (min 7:08) – via Youtube. Accessed 16 March 2020.
  2. ^ Academic literature describing FNPL as a neofascist movement:
    • "Optamos por definir al FNPyL como una agrupación política no partidaria de tinte neo-fascista que derivó en un grupo armado y ejerció la violencia política como método de lucha contra los militantes de izquierda". In Gomes, G. (2016). "Héroes y demonios. Los jóvenes del Frente Nacionalista Patria y Libertad en el Chile de la Unidad Popular (1970–1973)". Revista de la Red Intercátedras de Historia de América Latina Contemporánea: Segunda Época, 4, p. 59.
    • "One of the other parties, Partido del Sur, put forward Pablo Rodríguez, the former leader of the neofascist and extremely violent Patria y Libertad". In: Power, M. (2016). Pensar las derechas en América Latina en el siglo XX. Nuevo Mundo Mundos Nuevos, 2, p. 13.
    • "Sandoval himself has expressed great admiration for Spain's fascist Falange and Chile's neofascist organization, Patria y Libertad." In: Simons, M. (1981). Guatemala: The Coming Danger. Foreign Policy, 43, p. 100.
    • "Fatherland and Liberty (Patria y Libertad, PL). The PL was founded in September 1970 by a lawyer, Pablo Rodriguez Grez, who had been a member of Alessandri's campaign committee. A neo-fascist organization, the PL was at the forefront of conservative opposition to Allende." en: Hayes, B. C. (1979). The Invisible Blockade and the Covert War: US Relations with Chile, 1970-1973. Tesis de maestría, Naval Postgraduate School, p. 15.
  3. ^ Academic literature describing FNPL as a fascist movement:
    • "Pablo Rodriguez, a lawyer and gremialista, formed the Movimiento Nacionalista 'Patria y Libertad' (Fatherland and Freedom), a paramilitary fascist organization, after Allende came to power." In: De los Angeles Crummett, M. (1977). "El Poder Feminino: The Mobilization of Women against Socialism in Chile". Latin American Perspectives, 4(4), p. 106.
    • "... the UN report said that it had recruited tens of thousands of collaborators, many from the fascist Patria y Libertad group." In: Webber, F. (1999). "The Pinochet case: the struggle for the realization of human rights". Journal of Law and Society, 26(4), p. 527.
    • "the fascist street-fighters of Patria y Libertad who filled the streets with garbage and gunned down antifascist truck drivers racing down the streets bringin" In: Petras, J., & Petras, B. (1973). "The Chilean coup". Instant Research on Peace and Violence, 3(4), p. 163.
    • "... hundreds of rightst anti-government terrorist incidents, particularly by the fascist Patria y Libertad ..." (ibid., p. 166)
    • "With all of these thoughts filling his head, Frei joined efforts with Jarpa of the National Party and Thieme of the Patria y Libertad fascists in their efforts to sabotage the economy and undermine the Allende Government in the firm belief that a military take-over would be temporary – a transitory phenomena - leading to the reestablishment of a Christian Democratic Government." (ibid., p. 173)
    • "The only available groups willing and acceptable to the junta were the ultra-right National Party, the fascist Patria y Libertad and the business and professional associations." (ibid. p. 176)
  4. ^ Blum, William. Killing Hope: U. S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II - Part I, London: Zed Books, 2003, p. 213. .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg")right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}ISBN 1-84277-369-0
  5. ^ "¿Quién mató al comandante Araya?", La Nación, 20 March 2005 (in Spanish)
  6. ^ a b c "Confesiones de un ex Patria y Libertad" Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, TVN, 12 February 2006 (in Spanish)
  7. ^ "USA en Chile: La CIA y La ONI, financista del grupo terrorista Patria y Libertad. - 2/07/03 (Chile)", Pagina Digital, 2 July 2003 (in Spanish)
  8. ^ Kramer, Andrés M., Chile. Historia de una experiencia socialista. Península. Barcelona, 1974. pp. 177–184
  9. ^ "Les manifestations de rue à Santiago du Chili (1970–1973)" [Street demonstrations in Santiago de Chile, 1970–1973], University of Paris I: Panthéon-Sorbonne, 7 April 2002 (in French)
  10. ^ Church Committee (18 December 1975). Covert Action in Chile 1963–1973 (PDF) (Report). U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 31.
  11. ^ Michael Stohl and George A. Lopez (1984). "The State as Terrorist: The Dynamics of Governmental Violence and Repression". Greenwood Press. p. 51
  12. ^ "Contreras dice que Pinochet dio orden 'personal, exclusiva y directa' de asesinar a Prats y Letelier". Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, La Tercera, May 13, 2005, mirrored on CC.TT. website (in Spanish)
  13. ^ "El coronel que le pena al ejército" Archived 2007-03-12 at the Wayback Machine, La Nación, September 24, 2005 (in Spanish)
  14. ^ New book: Chilean fascist leader killed Olaf Palme Politiken February 29, 2008 (in Danish)
  15. ^ Ex Patria y Libertad llamó a pedir perdón por horrores de la dictadura, Radio Cooperativa, December 3, 2004 (in Spanish)
  16. ^ Policía detuvo a ex Patria y Libertad por caso de detenido desaparecido, Radio Cooperativa, 8 October 2005 (in Spanish)


source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patria_y_Libertad