Memory Studies

Pro-dictatorship memorialization in democratic Chile (1990–2020): How is it maintained?


Valentina Infante Batiste


The article examines the combinations of conditions that explain the maintenance of pro-dictatorship memorialization in democratic Chile, where various pro-dictatorship memory sites, memorials, squares, and street names still positively commemorate the military dictatorship or associated elements (1973– 1990). The study used four main explanatory factors and subjected them to a Qualitative Comparative Analysis. The procedure revealed that, in Chile, pro-dictatorship memory sites are maintained through two main paths. On one hand, “Walls” (veto players) block elimination demands and guarantee the prodictatorship sites’ maintenance. On the other hand, it is the combination of “Silence” (absence of human rights organizations denouncing the site) and “Local and/or Institutional Support” (protection granted by local communities or state agencies) that explain the maintenance of pro-dictatorship memorialization. These results reflect a unique sociological attempt to understand the phenomenon of pro-dictatorship legacies and their permanence in democracy.