Sunday, 2 September 2012


This weekend was an interesting mix: I went to the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, the Iglesia de San Francisco (sorry, Martha!), the Cerro Santa Lucia, and then partied on down in Barrio Lastarria and Vitacura with some friends of friends from work.

The Museum of Memory and Human Rights is dedicated to the victims of human rights violations committed during the dictatorship of Augosto Pinochet, from 1973 to 1990. It's a really excellent museum that shows the story of what happened during the dictatorship, as well as the coup itself, and their fall from power. Some of it's pretty nasty stuff: the secret state police, the DINA (replaced by CNI) and other government organisations, were responsible for the torture, execution, interrogation, intimidation and "disappearing" of tens of thousands of Chileans. Also taking into account both the 200,000 Chileans who were forced into exile and the fact that this happened little more than 20 years ago, it's understandable that this is something that Chileans are still coming to terms with; the museum was pretty empty.

Next up was a bit more sight-seeing, albeit slightly less heavy. The Iglesia de San Francisco is the oldest church in Santiago, and has managed to weather the frequent earthquakes well considering it's made out of adobe. It's a nice place, but basically just another church that happens to look a bit different. Close by is the Cerro Santa Lucia, a small hill in the middle of downtown Santiago Centro. You have to sign the guest book before entering (why, I'm not sure) but the walk up is well worth it for the great views on top. However, the vast number of cuddling couples on benches was a little off-putting; one is fine, but there was genuinely a couple on every single bench. Ew. However, the view at the top was pretty cool!

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