CHILE: REACTION TO JUNTA'S TOUGH LINE

Created: 3/24/1977

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Chlloi Reaction to Junta's Tough Lino

Influential civilian eupportore of the Chilean junta are alarmed over the tough measures it recently adoptod. They believe that President Pinochet may have 'gone too far" by outlawing all remaining political parties and stiffening the penaltiea for political activity.

Youth leaders, for oxamplo,overnment-sanctioned group,ritical public statement last week. They expressed the hope that tho government would "overcome the concerted action of certain fascists and extremiate in general who seek to takv advantage of the current situation to aharpon aocial and political tension." Two conaorvatlvein indirect but unmistakablejust how far tho junta intends to go in limiting political And tho civilian head of the commission sot up toew constitution questioned the junta'a need to assume authority beyond the vast powers it already has.

In addition to the political ban, increasedon the press and an extension of the state of siege wore announced. The party ban is the most disturbing devolopmont because it appears to end what faint hope thoro was for early restoration of traditionally opon political practlcos. Host Chilean observers percelvs no noed forrastic measure; partlos of the left had already been dissolved and those that remained were being closely watched.

Pinochet may have been taken somewhat aback by the criticism that his latest moves have drawn. On March IB he addressed the nation in what ooemed an effor to defend his actiona and mollify Chilean public opinion. The President reviewed the junta's economic accomplishments and stressed the lack of aocial strife since the military takeover. Pinochet, nevertheless, repeated his charge that tho Christian Democrats had consistently violated tho political receaa and had preachod dangerous, "domagoglc" solutions that could only lead to "chaos."

IUMIT

secret

Presidentop of aorta by announcing hia intontion to assign "important legislative projects to tho Council ofivilian advisory groupof distinguished citizens. He also suggested that the council could oventually evolveegislative chamber, but there ore few local observers who believe tho group will evor bo more than window dressing.

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