CHILE: Governmenl Crackdown
The government's firm response to the "Dey of National Protest" last week Indicates that President Pinochet will continue to be tough in dealing with critics ol his economic policies and advocates of an accelerated transition to democracy.
The demonstrations were the most extensive since military rule beganarious groups staged largely nonviolent protests against wage cuts, the economic crisis, and restrictive social and political policies. Police killed two youths andecploB
The regimeeople during sweeps last weekend through several Santiago neighborhoods and banned news broadcastsadio network that had reported on the protests. Organizers of the activities will be prosecuted.jjfj
Before the crackdown, several progovernment spokesmen and the country's largestdiscussed the regime's declining popularity. They said the government woulC have to take constructive, moderate Initiatives to cope with growing opposition activities and public disenchantment.
Comment. The protests willongstanding split In Pinochet's cabinet. Hardliners charge that the protests are part of an International conspiracy and emphasize the need to stand firm. Moderates warn that repressive policies can polarize society and cost the government crucial
Pinochet presumably hopes the tough tactics that have succeeded In the past will helpecond day of protest next month. Continued harsh actions probably will alienate some moderate supporters. Pinochet can still count on solid backing from the Army, however, and Is In no Immediate danger.HOriginal document.