The Chicago Conspiracy: A film memory of chile’s 9/11 and beyond

From subversive action films

The Chicago Conspiracy

The concept for the film was born with the death of a former military dictator, Augusto Pinochet. His regime murdered thousands and tortured tens of thousands after the military coup on September 11, 1973.

The Chicago Conspiracy takes its name from the approximately 25 Chilean economists who attended the University of Chicago and other prestigious universities beginning in the 1960s to study under the neoliberal economists Milton Friedman and Arnold Harberger. After embracing Friedman’s neoliberal ideas, these economists returned to assist Pinochet’s military regime in imposing free market policies. They privatized nearly every aspect of society, and Chile soon became a classic example of free market capitalism under the barrel of a gun.

The Chicago Conspiracy is about today. We began this documentary with the death of a dictator, but we continue with the legacy of a dictatorship.

The Chicago Conspiracy is about the Day of the Youth Combatant. On this day, two young brothers and militants of the MIR, Rafael and Eduardo Vergara, were gunned down by police as they walked through the politically active community Villa Francia. March 29 is not only about the Vergara brothers—it is a day to remember all youth combatants who have died under the dictatorship and current democratic regime.

The Chicago Conspiracy is about the students who fight a dictatorship-era educational law put into place on the last day of military rule. Over 700,000 students went on strike in 2006 to protest the privatized educational system. Police brutally repressed student marches and occupations.

The Chicago Conspiracy is about the neighborhoods lining the outskirts of Santiago. They were originally land occupations, and later became centers of armed resistance against the military dictatorship. A number of them, such as la Victoria and Villa Francia, continue as areas of confrontational discontent to this day.

The Chicago Conspiracy is about the Mapuche conflict. The Mapuche people valiantly resisted Spanish occupation, and continue to resist the Chilean state and the multinational corporations who strip Mapuche territory for forestry plantations, mines, dams and farming plantations. The government has utilized the dictatorship-era anti-terrorism law to jail Mapuche community members in struggle. Two young weichafes (Mapuche warriors), Alex Lemún and Matías Catrileo, were recently killed by Chilean police—one in 2002, the other in 2008.

The Chicago Conspiracy is a response to a global conspiracy of neoliberalism, militarism and authoritarianism.

With music by SubVerso.

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