NID - CHILE: STRIKE POST MORTEM

Created: 7/15/1986

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Declassified and Approved for Release0

CHILE:

Pott Mortem

Tne efrifce on Wednesday and Thursday sponsored by the opposition's Civic Assembly coalition was one ol the most disruptive ever against the regime ot Presldant Pinochet, and protaat activity probably will continue unabated In the coming monthal

The press reports at least seven people were killed andy police and Army gunfire.rotesters were arrested, and several dozen terrorist bombings were recorded, some blacking out half (he country on Wednesday night. Public transportation was crippled and business activity was slowed in major cities, but worker absenteeism was low in mosnactorios and mining areas because workers fear losing their jobs.

The government imposed strict censorship on loading radio stations, filed criminal charges againsttrikeare now InIs prosecuting several Journalists lor violating national security regulations. Police and Army troops were deployed In large numbnrs especially In slum areas where they tired on demonstrators. Even in middle-class districts troops used gunfire lo silence proleslers banging pots and pans, according to the press. Catholic Church bishopstatement calling on the armed forces to abstain from excessive forcejeainst sinkers because this only adds to the spiral ot vIolartce.H

tiled Iheuccess in terms of furthering the Ion's plan to convince the military that the country Is becoming ungovernnble.BJaxpects tha Civic MsemWvtocei^ew strikes soon,op opposition figure warnedB that continued government intransigencewilUpark heightened violence lor the remainder ol the year^

Comment: Although the government dkJ not overreact by closing down the center ot Santiago, as It did twice recently, ihe security forces" heavyhanded methods in slum and middle-class districts, along with press censorship and other forms of harassment, demonstrate that Pinochet is determined lo crush all protests. Moderate opposition leaders probably will point to Ihe strong popular reacbon to Ihe regime's measures to Iry lo convince senior military that Ihe public is turning against the armed forces. They probably will also call at least one more general strike by ll September,h anniversary ot Ihe regime. I

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