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An Interview with Novelist, Playwright and Activist Ariel Dorfman

StoryJune 01, 2001
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Detectives and police paid a visit to former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on Monday night at the Ritz Hotel inParis. In a summons translated aloud by the hotel manager, they asked if Kissinger would help judge Roger Le Loirewith his investigation of the murder of five French youths by the Pinochet regime in Chile in the 1970s. Kissingerignored the summons, saying later that he was too busy.

Judge Le Loire is investigating the disappearance, and presumed murder, of the five young French residents of Chile,in response to a formal complaint by the families. He is also investigating whether their fate was connected toOperation Condor, a concerted drive by several Latin American governments to suppress left-wing opponents and theirsympathizers.

Recently declassified CIA documents indicate that the American administration of the time–in which Henry Kissingerwas the Secretary of State–knew at least the broad outlines of the Condor plan.

Also on Monday, a Chilean Court of Appeal ruled that General Pinochet, indicted last January, was not exempt fromnormal criminal procedures before trial.

Pinochet is accused of ordering what has come to be known as the "Caravan of Death", and of covering up the murderand kidnapping of 75 people in the weeks after a coup that brought him to power in September 1973.

We are now joined in the studio by the exiled Chilean novelist, playwright and activist Ariel Dorfman.

Ariel Dorfman was born in Argentina in 1942, attended grade school in New York City and then moved to Chile, where hebecame a citizen. There he became a close ally of President Salvador Allende. He was forced to leave the country in1973 after the coup.

Dorfman has written extensively about General Pinochet and his brutal regime.

He is also considered by many to be one of the greatest living Latin American writers. Among his numerous plays,books and short stories are "Death and the Maiden" and "Speak Truth to Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark." Recentlyhe delivered the keynote address at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He is currently a professor atDuke University, and has just come out with a new book, ??Blake’s Therapy, published by Seven Stories Press.

Guest:

  • Ariel Dorfman

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