Created: 7/21/1977

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Military Pressure for Policy Changes

President Pinochet's decision to announce anreturn to civilian rule marka an extraordinaryconcession to critics of Chile's hard-line military regime. Porhapa more important, lt reflecta wideapread pressure from witMn tho armedsource ofa shift in national policy. Plans to eaae repression are dealgned in largeoavorablo reaction from the US.

Junta members have repeatedly urged the Prealdcnta timetable for transition to civilianlnflusntlal Counoil of Army Generala recentlykoy roia in convincing Pinochotove towardnormalisation was imperative.


generals reconuuended in June that Pinocheta aeries of wide-ranging policy changea. Theiria rootedtrong deelre for Chile to Improve relations with tho US. In all probability, Chile'sostraciem and the attendant difficulty in procuring arms have convinced armed forces lesdera that internal policies must be altered if Chile la to repair itsimage abroad.

The generala. olieve that the recent meet-

ings of the organisation or American States in Grenada amply demonstratedow power balance that favors those nations closely aligned with the US ia developing in Latin America. There is consequent uneaso among Chileans that opponents of its human righta practices--ouch as tho US, Mexico, and Venezuela--will uoe their influence to persuade other Lotln American governments to




tiiB with Chile. The Chileanlose supporters have been countries of the samoripe in the southern cone.

Pinochet evidently has been bombarded with studioselaxation of the government's emergency tre and improvement in relations with the US. He

ecent Foreign Ministry recommen-mn thst Chile seek to negotiate ita probleme with the US. Zn addition, Chilean diplomats ara now suggesting thst specific measures, such as reducing the atate-of-slege, will be forthcoming. Purther announcements could be timed to coincide with the junta's fourth anniversary on

'resident hasrastic oven controversial National Intelligence Directorate, the secret police organization responsible for most human righta violations. DINA'a arrest powers are to beto the regular police,eorganized andunit will concentrate solely on gathering political Intelligence. Theee changes might be mode before11.

Full restoration of the open democratic societyenjoyed by Chileans laong way off. Nevertholeoo, if the government followa through on ita recent propoaod actions, the most blatant aspects ofwould be eaaed. Pinochet clearly expects the US to react positively to these gestures.

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