Created: 10/13/1977

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Uneasy Truco With Pinochet's Critics

The Chilean Government's recent moves to ameliorate its human rights practices are helping toajor irritant in relatione with some of its domestic critics, particularly the Catholic Churcha lesserlabor. The government's long-termas an eventual return to democraticbut many Chileans concede that the government seems to have ended the worst aspecta of Its repression.

The church hastore conciliatory attitude and is studiouslyonfrontation with the The wanning trend has been most eviJent in comments by Cardinaliberal who has frequently voiced opposition to the government's policies. The Cardinal, an astute political observer, is urging church leaders to be cautious in applying pressure on thesince he judges that such tactics would be

Cardinal 8ilva is advocating that church views be communicated privately to President Pinochet and other top officials. He believes this approachetter chance for moderating government practices. The olectlon last monthonservativeood friend of Pinochet, to head the church'a permanent episcopalreflects the new mood.

One prominent liberal church spokesman believes the nswlylever and capablemay be able toositive influence on the President. The improved relations between church and atate, however, will not prevent church liberals from speaking out bluntly if they find that the government is backsliding on human rights.

On the laborhreatened showdown between Pinochetroup of democratic trade union leaders seems to have been averted whan the Presidentst least for theto oust them from their


union positions, under the current political moratorium, union elections are prohibited, and the government can remove and replace labor officials at will.

The government's antipathy for the labor leaders stems from its conviction that they are being used by the Christian Democratic Party and are engaging inactivity to embarrass the government, while this does not appear to be the case, misgivings about the political motives of the group's spokesman may cause some of the labor leaders to reassess their role. onsensus may be developing among them to avoidthat could further jeopardize their status.

The government will continue to look askance at free labor activity, but the current truce atore tolerant policy. Both sides, in fact, jeem disposed to avoid extremes and toodus vivondi.

of harsh restrictions.


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Like the church, labor may perceive that it has more to gain by ending an adversary relationship and switching to more subtle forma of protest. inimum, both groups apparently believe that changed conditions in Chile could provide the climateradual relaxation

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