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November 13, 2001

Felipe Agüero, a professor of political science at the University of Miami, spoke about his torture by the Chilean government under General Augusto Pinochet and his recent identification of his torturer. Shortly after the Pinochet coup in 1973, Agüero, a 21 year-old Chilean student, was arrested, detained and tortured. At an academic conference in 1988, he recognized his torturer—by then a professor at the Catholic University in Santiago— but remained silent, out of shame and lingering fear, until he named the man in February 2001.

Professor Agüero stressed the importance of open discussion of experiences with torture in the larger discussion of military repression. “People’s narratives need to be heard badly, more than anything else,” said Agüero, stressing that people have a “responsibility” to tell their stories.

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