(Español) Seattle Journal for Social Justice

(Español) 50 Years After the 1973 Coup in Chile: Analysis of the Processes of Transition to Democracy and Transitional Justice


Hugo Rojas


(Español) After 17 years of military dictatorship (1973–1990), Chile recovered its democracy peacefully and electorally and continues to  transition to democracy today. In its first part, this article offers an overview of the main features of the political transition to democracy in Chile. The second part presents the achievements and pending challenges in the field of transitional justice—that is, in the search for truth, memory, reparation, justice, and guarantees of non-repetition. This analytical matrix can be useful for the construction of evaluations and the elaboration of strategic political planning in other countries seeking to move toward full democracy. To ensure that the human rights of the population are Never Again violated, it is necessary to both identify and understand the main lessons of the mistakes of the past as well as to continue promoting legal, political, and institutional changes in the transitional process in which Chile is currently engaged. Along with recognizing victims, the main challenge that remains is to foster a democratic culture committed to the rule of law and respect for human rights in all sectors of society.