Declassified and Approved for Release0
Teat Ihe Pinochet Regime
Thaelations with tha church and tha democratic political opposition are likely to deteriorate furtheresult ol protest activities scheduled lor today and neat week. It Praaldant Pinochet respond* by erreatlng centrist politicians, he risks deepening tensions within his government andajor aetback to errortj fo accelerate the transition to democrecy-B
Archbishop Fresno's unprecedenled callational day ol prayer today constitutes an open challenge to the regime.onservative advocate of dialogue between the regime and the democratic opposition, has Implicitly warned that stronger steps are possible unless recent measures against the church are relaxed.
The day of prayer will draw large crowds to churches in poor and middle-class neighborhoods but probably will be largely nonviolent.
Leaders of the moderate Democratic Alliance coalition, who have acknowledged their credibility Is at stake, are determined to use the day of prayer to stir support for large-scale peaceful demonstrations in major cities next Tuesday and Wednesday.r-
they hope to persuade Chileans toneighborhood rallies, andeturn to democracy, while avoiding confrontation with security forces in downtown
university students to take to the streets and ilted. The Communists and other radical leftists, many of whom have gone underground, probably will urge slum dwellers to erect barricades, attack official vehicles, and otherwise challenge the authorities.
Injuries and fatalities appear certain
The turnout for the protests next week may be greater than others this year despite the state of siege. It Is unlikely, however, that large numbers of protesters will challenge the security forces. Nevertheless, becauae these forces. Including military units. wiB be widely deployed and probably will react more vigorously than in the past, numerous
ardline actions and his evident Intent lo abort the transition process have sparked divisions within thea membersempon They also want Pinochet to permit interior Minister Jarpa. the leading Cabinet moderate, toialogue with the opposition.
Pinochel probrbly calculates thai ihe democratic opposllion will remain divided and unable to generate widespread popular support, particularly within the middle class. He probably also reasons lhattin terrorism will continueto escalate, thus alarming many Chileans and playing into his handsjjj
it the opposition appears likety to succeed in mounting major demonstrations, however, Pinochet probably win order preemptive arrests of even moderate political leader
rackdown could cause Jarpa to resign, thereby intensifying frtction in the government, especially if Pinochet tries to replace Jarpaardliner. The departure of the government's main conduit to the democratic opposition would bolster mo extreme left's contention thai Pinochet can be removed only through force |
H next week's protestsarge turnout, political agitation probably wW continueigh level lor several more weeks, and opposllion groups may attempt to organize another demonstration before Christmas. Meanwhile, terrorist bombings and other violence, which have Increased markedly in recent months, probably will continue unabated.
US companies have been targets of terrorist attacks In recent months, and this pattern may Intensity. Foreign Investors reportedly are already becoming more cautious aboul Investing In Chile,orsening of the political situation mayeassessment regarding new multilateral lending to Santiago!Original document.