IM - CHILE EXPLORING THE UNEXPECTED

Created: 6/6/1986

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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TTM trowing political agitation Ch.it haa experienced in recent weeks. II not checked an Inatrtvitional crisla that, in our judgment, could thraatert Pieaident power. This could occur Mlora vearend If tha anrJregime protest ia lo o'"- being cappedrolonged nationalIf Pinochet persist* in relying exclusively on hoavy handed measures lo contain mounting oppoaltlon. Convantional wisdom holds thai the President enjoys unwavering support In tha highly dlacipllned and politically aa wall aa militarily all-important Army, out wa beUeve that Inenseroup al Banter officers might auddanly demand that Pinochet adopt more accommodating pollclea toward tha opposition and commit hlmi.ll urvequlvocablyeturn to civilian rule by the end of hla term In IMS

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to their longstanding commitment that they will uphold thaeturnemocrallc form of government in >M*

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Catholic Church Is also becoming more critical of theactivist wing is pressing for openwa believe thai ihe institution end ihe government may be

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strong statement urging constitutional reforms.most Chileans viewedall tor,irect presidentialoreover, according to theresno met several .Weeks ago with representatives of the PCCh-ted political coalition5iscuss the worsening political situation. This, in our view, was particularly significant bseause Of Fresno's well-known annpetny toward the Communists. In mid-May (he Cardinal publicly criitcired the governmeni for Its numerous recent armed sweeps Of slum neighborhoods, which he said were dehumarwing end poMieallv disruptive The hierarchy may toon tell the governmeni it wilt recommend mat me Vatican cancel or postpone the Popes visithilepringochoioss confrontational position toward his opponents and agrees soon to concrete political noeioliration measures

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Finally, In mid-April is leading professional, labor, academic, social, and otherNational Civic Assembly- that demanded sweepingeconomic reforms. The directorate ot the Civicincludes ebut is led by Christian Democrats--gave the government until the end of Mayor else face systematic protests and organised civil disobedience. Whenfailed to respond, trie Civic Assembly's president announced plans forstrike July<tney

canonsideratUI BopdllrUU aAlirogJme campaign, which theyow uncertainty and build momentum for an eventual prolonged strike. ffJJaSfJJaVaVaffaBfJJ

We OeNeve these developments show mat few Chileans support, or ere neutral toward, the President. Even the businessvery loyal to Ptnochet-

Pinochet Is renjslng to budge, and in recent months hes publicly reiterated that he win not negotlete with the moderate opposllion. modify0 Constitution (which allows for his reelectioningle-candidate presidential plebiscite. or speed up political liberanmian. He has recently become more open In showing disdain for politicians, particularly those of the center and center left. One ot his most viluetrative outbursts In memory occurred when he accused the organi-ersro-democracy international perbamentary conference held In Santiago last month of being "traitors who would sell their country end their mothers* to schiave power. Plnocnet also stoutly defended his order to blanket the capitel with Army troops, tanks and armored vehicles toemonstration coinciding with tne conference. We betlevo in it manyprobably even senior military offsuch intemperate behavior by the President as demeaning ioign that Plnoehet Is overreacting to foreign end domestic criticism, (most Chileans greeted Pinochet's action with stupefaction.

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intensified aflort (ad by Army, to crack down on protestors Tnis has msuited mmlhtirliatlon of Santiago during recent demonstrations, and repeated sweeps ofslum neighborhoods, dunng which tha security forces detained and interrogatedvi-ar-erea ana mm

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poor. In additon.security services naveumber of

people and senouttyprotestors. We believe thatmay be creating an explosive situation in the Hums and that thebecoming more confident that their violent tactics are generating greater popularen all-out effon to oust Pinochet this year. In effect in our view, the country Ispoiamod.1

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Evan If the militarv lakes no action against Pinochet anytime soon, we believeIn the Army probably is beginningarden against ihe continued use ofto control protests, carry out Slum sweeps, conduct COuntee-torronst activities, andto supplant the Carabineros. Army officers have traditionally been very leeryintne Army In the eyes ol

the Chilean public.tne Army Is concerned that

its image wes damegeo ov its roiohe events o! !iU Uey. senior officers probably will weigh carefully whether their units should be used in this fashion again this year.

the Vice Commander of theretains themmanaer--wasarty to the decision to use troops onay and has already molested his lack of support for deploying them again in the same fashion. Moreover, one opposition pany already is talking about taking the regime to court over Pinochet's 'unconstitutional" use of the Army against the population.

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ie Chilean Army are so ingrained that any move against Pinochet would have to have the strong supportubstantial number of tho SD-oddy generate, especially the majonty of those who command troops. Althoughove would not necessarily require the support of such figures as the Army representative on the junta, the Army vice commander, or the general In charge of the Santiago metropolitan region,reme hardliner, support from the Air Force. Navy and Carabmeros would be important particularlyould be tooor Army officers to act entirely on their own. (Ihare ishilean Army action to remove Msoccurred most recently3 before planning lor the coup against Allendefor close coordination between the Army and the other services in planning anti-government moves.)

Would Pinochet Respond?

oor judgment, he would probably respond in one of four ways to an ultimatumarge, representative group ol officers:

Reject their demands outright;

Agree In principle Out with the Intention of outmaneuvering his challengers once Ihe

crisis dissipates:

or

ow to the Inevitable and agree to moderate his policies toward tha opposition andirm Intention to step down

In oor view, ho would most likely attempt to retain the initiative by resorting to either of the first two options.

Because Pinochet has maintained direct personal control

Influential aervtce-fthrough retiring potential troublemakers, rewar

generally enforcing'strict discipline, his instinctive reaction probably: v

officers' demands ind try to cow them by the mere force of hishis tactic effectively manyhe past to insure mat his commands war* obeyed.

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