CHILE: UNEASY TRUCE WITH CRITICS

Created: 10/12/1977

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NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DAILY CABLE

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CHILEt Uneasy Truce with Critics

"'w Chilean Government'a reoent movee to ameliorate human^rxgnte practiceb have begun toajor irritant in relatione with eome of ite domeetio aritioe3 particularly the Catholio Churoha leeeer extent--labor. The government" long-termae the plan for eventual return to demooratioakeptioiem, but many Chileans ooneede that the government eeeme to have ended the uoret ae-peote of repreeeion.

//The Church hasore conciliatoryana is studiouslyonfrontation with theThe warming trend has been most evident inCardinaliberal who has frequently voicedto the government's policies. The Cardinal, an astuteobserver, is urging Church leaders to be cautiouspressure on the government since ho judges thatwould now be counterproductive.//

//Cardinal Silva is advocating that Church views be communicated privately to President Pinochet and other top officials. BBTAmmmmmmmmmV this approachetter chance of moderating government practices. The election last monthonservativeood friend of Pinochet's, to head the Church's permanent episcopal committee reflects the new mood.//

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the newly electedlever ana capaoae administrator^ may be able toositive influence on the President, The improved relations between church and state, however, will rot prevent Church liberals from speaking out bluntly if they conclude that the government is backsliding on human rights.//

^| On the laborhreatened showdown between Pinochetroup of democratic trade union leaders seems to have been averted when tho Presidentleast for theplans for the government to oust them from

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their union positions. Under the current political moratorium, union elections are prohibited and the government canC and replace labor officials at will.

The government's antipathy for the labor leadersstems from its conviction that they are boing used

by the Christian Democratic Party and aro engaging in political activity to embarrass the government. While this does not appear to be the case, misgivings about tho political motives of the group's spokesman may cause some of the labor leaders totheironsensus may be developing among them to avoid provocations that could further jeopardize their status.

| The government will continue to look askance at free laboractivity, but the current truce at leastore tolerant policy. Both sides, in fact, seem disposed to avoid extremes and toodus vivendi.

Like the Church, labor may perceive that it has more to gain by ending an adversary relationship and switching to more subtle forms of protost.inimum, both groupsbelieve that changed conditions in Chile could provide le climateradual relaxation of harsh restrictions.

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