Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 2nd: the death of Rodrigo Rojas in Chile and American nemesis

Theo Sampson, an international student of mine (originally from Greece) and a friend, wrote to me about the death 27 years ago on this day of his high school classmate from Wilson High in DC, Rodrigo Rojas as well as the beating of Rodrigo's friend, Carmen Quintano, by thugs/"soldiers" sent by the dictator Pinochet. Augusto Pinochet was put in power in 1973 and aided by the criminals President Nixon and Henry Kissinger (the overthrow of Allende was an act of aggression, the torture and disappearances with at least CIA cooperation and sometimes oversight...).


Hubris - thanks to the courage of Edward Snowden, Europeans have now learned that the NSA is spying on all of them. The lead story on the right front page of the New York Times today is about their anger.

Overthrowing democratic governments, spying on everybody, secret military missions (JCOS) nightly everywhere, "deniable" drone killings - extending even into the era of Obama, America has a long, long way to go. See here and here.

"Nemesis" - Theo uses this naturally, but Chalmers Johnson also wrote an important book with this title (the third in his series).

Fate is not ordained. It is just a looming possibility if one cannot change. For a people, change means public action from below.


Theo urged me to circulate this request and I urge everyone to support it.


"Twenty seven years ago on July 2, 1986, Chilean soldiers supporting the dictatorial regime of Augusto Pinochet beat with their rifles, broke several bones and then set on fire Rodrigo Rojas, a schoolmate of mine from Wilson High in DC, and his friend Carmen Quintana. The soldiers took the two "bodies" and threw them in a ditch. However both were still alive, and somehow managed to get to a hospital with multiple fractures and burnt over 60% of their bodies. Four days later Rodrigo died, Carmen survived. This created a major diplomatic incident even among the US supporters of the dictator, especially Jesse Helms and the US ambassador in Chile. With US independence coming up, I hope we have learned something from our past involvement abroad, but our hubris to this date doesn't seem to have subsided. I'm worried about the domestic and international ramifications of this arrogance. Nemesis (in the ancient parlance) has a way of catching up and punishing the transgressors...

To read about the incident go to:

There is an effort to have an exhibit of Rodrigo's photographs in Santiago, Chile. Contributions are welcome, $5 will do it friends. $5. I hope you can find it in your hearts and support this young man whose life was cut short by a dictator and his bullies. If you'd like to contribute, please go to Exposición Rodrigo Rojas de Negri on Facebook to read about this effort at:

Exposición Rodrigo Rojas de Negri

To donate, please go to:

If the goal is not attained, your money will be refunded!
Thank you for your time, interest, and possible help.


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