The autonomous struggles of Chilean workers

Image: Hugo Fuentes


The experience of Chilean workers with the industrial cordons, despite its contradictions and limits, must be taken as an authentic revolutionary experience

"Because this time it's not about changing a president, it will be the town that we built in Chile that's different… We can't quit our lives, we have the right to be free, and as human beings we can live in Chile” (Inti-Illimani, Song of Popular Power).


Salvador Allende's government period (1970-1973), anchored in the Popular Unity policy, appears as a great historical experience within Latin American political plots throughout the XNUMXth century. The latent political conflicts, the specific institutional path towards “socialism”, popular participation in governmental matters and the reaction of some sectors of the bourgeoisie to a government that did not meet some of their immediate interests, are elements that caught the attention of numerous scholars, researchers and activists of different theoretical shades and political expressions.

Many of these, well-intentioned or not, create true apologies for the Allende government, analyzing an entire historical, rich and complex experience, solely from those at the top of institutional power; as if a process of social transformation, which aims to create new forms of sociability and organization of human beings, could be carried out from a leading minority allocated to hierarchical and essentially capitalist forms of organization. Ultimately, within the capitalist state in its old institutions and old dominant practices.

In view of this, analyzes that come from the perspective of the labor movement and other exploited Chilean classes and sectors of that time, radicalized and self-organized in their struggle, are few and neglected by most researchers and activists. Given this scenario, our contributions aim to rescue the experiences of workers in their struggles against capital and against those who claim to represent them. In this sense, we will briefly present the self-organization experience of Chilean workers known as Cordões Industriais.


The experience of industrial cordons cannot be understood by neglecting the history of struggles of the Chilean labor movement and its relationship with the totality of social relations in the capitalist mode of production. In this sense, undertaking the analysis of the form in which capitalism takes on Chilean lands and its relationship with the labor movement is to understand the dynamics of class struggles and the correlation of forces between social classes, especially the working class and the bourgeoisie, in the sphere of production.

Chile, as well as other Latin American countries, since the beginning of the primitive accumulation of capital from European looting of the colonies (MARX, 2013), has been part of the process of building and expanding capitalism. Initially as a colony and later as a country inserted in the international division of labor, Chile conforms to the bloc of countries with subordinate capitalism. This means that with the increasing expansion and expansion of the domain of capital, the European capitalist countries that initially industrialized, due to the primitive accumulation of capital, are able to maintain a subordination of the late capitalist countries, as is the case of Chile.

Therefore, Chilean capitalism is subordinate and dependent, linked to the forms of international exploitation that each accumulation regime constitutes. It is from the intensive accumulation regime, which began at the end of the 2009th century and lasted until World War II (VIANA, 1980), that neocolonialism gave way to the new dynamic of international exploitation: imperialism, based on the export of money-capital (BENAKOUCHE, XNUMX). This process spreads throughout Latin America and reshapes the way in which capitalist production is engendered in Latin American countries, with Chile being a notable experience of this process.

It is in this context of multiple determinations that the Chilean labor movement confronts itself throughout its historical development in the 1879th century. Soon after the War of the Pacific (1884-2013), Chile entered and effectively integrated itself into international capitalism based on its massive production of saltpeter, being the only producer in the world. For a long time, saltpeter production will be the great driver of the Chilean economy as a whole (CURY, XNUMX), gradually developing an army of workers that culminates, later, in its crystallization from the exploration of ores in several regions of the country.

Progressively, throughout the first half of the 1926th century, the Chilean economic scenario was reconfigured as there was a great push towards industrialization, which meant an exponential increase in manufacturing establishments, industries and factories. From a population point of view, in 84.991 there were 1940 blue-collar workers allocated to various areas of production. In 287.872 this number rose to 1949 and culminated, in 389.700, with 2001 (CORREA; FIGUEROA, 162, p. 2000). The condition of “super-exploitation” (MARINI, XNUMX) to which countries with subordinate capitalism have been relegated creates precarious conditions and intense working hours, provoking resistance on the part of the exploited and oppressed.

In this sense, the Chilean labor movement, throughout its struggle of resistance and, in some cases, denial of capital in the process of social transformation, reflects the correlation of forces between social classes, the development of capitalist contradictions and the possibilities of emancipation. Some experiences are remarkable for the history of the Chilean labor movement, such as some strikes and mobilizations such as Domingo Rojo (1905), Santa María de Iquique (1907), San Gregorio (1921) and others.

Among Latin American countries until the mid-1970s, Chile presented itself as the country with the greatest consolidated democratic tradition, respecting capitalist institutional dynamics, without many fissures in its internal coherence. But it was with the victory of the Popular Unity (UP) coalition in the 1970 presidential elections that a process of intensification of class struggles occurred, where each social class manifested its correlation of forces and interests.

Allende won Chile's presidential election in 1970 with support from Unidad Popular.[I] Popular Unity aimed to “construct socialism” along institutional lines, bringing together greater political participation by workers. It also invested in the seizure of legislative and executive power, in addition to aiming at the development of the economy through the nationalization of economic areas such as the mineral sector, foreign trade, financial system, distribution monopolies, industrial monopolies, electricity distribution, banks , etc.

This industry nationalization policy was implemented with the purpose of reducing economic dependence on foreign capital. In this sense, after the successful elections of Popular Unity, it instituted a program for the division of sectors of the economy into specific management areas. The Social Area would be controlled by the State, the Mixed Area combined the State and private sectors, and the Private Area that brought together small and medium-sized companies, the latter being protected from possible expropriation attempts by the working class.

It is in this program that the issue of workers' political participation appears. However, this participation only took place in social areas and in some industries and companies in mixed areas, where the State had greater decision-making power. Consequently, the bulk of the working population, which was still located in private areas, remained without any form of participation.

This political participation, however, did not constitute effective workers' control over the means of production in Chilean industries. The program, which was actually designed by the CUT (Central Única de Trabajadores de Chile) in collaboration with the Allende government, limited workers' participation to mere consultative spaces, without decision-making and deliberation power, an authority still kept mainly in the hands of state bureaucracy.

This was, without a doubt, one of the factors that made a portion of the Chilean working class at that time, as their struggles progressed, to gradually lose their hope in Popular Unity and their actions that undermined any type of autonomy and self-organization of the labor movement.

Any type of action by workers that went beyond institutional channels, any type of radicalization, expression of the initial forms of self-organization and realization of their revolutionary consciousness, were incisively punished by the government. The CUT, the largest trade union center at the time, umbilically linked to the Popular Unit, being couriers of transmission of state interests in factories and industries, served as a true buffer for the radicalized action of workers and a great vector of demobilization in general.

The country's political situation intensified even further with the employers' strike of October 1972, a measure taken by business owners who owned the country's fundamental means of circulation (both the transport of goods and the urban transport of people). Those responsible for organizing the employers' strike, in addition to the transport companies, were the Chilean business community, the industrial confederations and the multinationals in the mineral sector. This articulation was endorsed and sponsored by the North American government,[ii] who saw both in the measures of Salvador Allende's government in the short term, and in the growing and radicalized mobilizations of workers in the medium/long term, a threat to his immediate interests in the case of the Allende Government, and to the interests of maintaining the mode of capitalist production in general, in the case of worker mobilizations.

The paralysis of the transport sector damaged the entire distribution and supply system, bringing to the population in general and, more profoundly, to the exploited classes, a consumption crisis, from basic food to the public transport that took them to the work. As an aggravating factor, SOFOFA (Manufacturing Development Society) and the confederation of retail trade and small industry instruct factories to show solidarity with the transporters' strike and paralyze their activities; the Confederation of Production and Commerce calls for the non-opening of trade.

Many unions, autonomous organizations and branches of social movements take a stand and go on strike: bus owners, the Council of Medicine, dentists, engineers, accountants, bank employees, merchant marine officers, some associations of engineers and technicians, the Bar Association, pharmaceutical students, some associations of Merchant Marine technicians, taxi drivers, students from the Catholic University and some secondary students from the University of Chile. On the streets, far-right groups attacked trucks in operation, spreading miguelitos (devices that damage tires) and carried out 52 attacks against power transmission towers, railway lines and state-owned companies.

In this sense, truck owners, step by step, obtained the support of employers' organizations as well as a significant portion of the auxiliary classes of the Chilean bourgeoisie (“middle class”). In short, the employers' strike signified the bourgeoisie's response to that historical moment experienced in Chile, putting into question both Salvador Allende's government and the initial forms of organization and mobilization of workers. The government's reaction to the situation of the employers' strikes expressed, in a clear and systematic way, its bureaucratic policy and its position of collaboration with the national bourgeoisie. Allende adopted conciliation with the bourgeoisie and other auxiliary classes, a measure present throughout practically his entire term.

The first measure was to change the government's economic line, dismissing minister Pedro Vuskovic, an independent, to take over Orlando Millas, from the Communist Party, with the aim of stopping nationalizations, freezing salaries and negotiating an agreement with Christian Democracy (DC), a party of “opposition”, regarding the extension of social properties. The result of this was that, of the 120 initially planned to be transferred to the social property area, only 49 remained.[iii]

The second measure, tougher and in clear opposition to the workers, was another agreement with Christian Democracy for the inclusion of commanders of the Armed Forces in the executive cabinet. This civic-military cabinet had two objectives: to guarantee the parliamentary elections of March 1973 and to return the factories occupied during the employers' strike (we will talk about these occupations later). The set of these measures became known as the Prats-Millas plan, in “homage” to its articulators, General Prats, army commander, and Orlando Millas, the new economy minister.

As we can see, the government of Popular Unity was only concerned with preserving its government, making clear its real interests and its maximum conciliation with the national bourgeoisie, as well as its opposition to the process of deepening workers' struggles, serving as an important tool for popular demobilization.

In this context, workers faced a challenging duality of objectives. They needed to respond and resist both the advance of international capital, with its traditional practices of exploitation and innovative strategies of domination, and the state and union bureaucracy that, apparently, declared itself as a popular government, with a “socialist” orientation and supposedly representing of the workers.

The reaction of part of the working class and other exploited workers was radicalization. The absolute break with institutionality and the development, even if embryonic, of the self-organization of their struggles. The creation and development of Cordões Industriais is a direct response and consequence of this situation, both of attack by capital and by those who claim to represent workers. It is this response as well as its process and consequences that we will see below.


The outline and creation of the first industrial cordon takes us to the end of June 1972, even before the October employers' strike, where the industrial cordons spread across the country, creating a political impact unprecedented in Chilean history. It is important to express this process here, demonstrating that the radicalization of Chilean workers' struggles is the result of an accumulation of experiences, imbued with contradictions and advances.

In mid-April 1972, a process of establishing collaboration and political solidarity began organized by various popular movements in the industrial region of Cerrillos-Mapú. This region encompassed a large concentration of industries, popular neighborhoods and (homeless) camps, all of which presented serious infrastructure problems (transport, schools, hospitals, etc.) and supply. The trigger for this population's revolt was the precarious public transport service offered by the municipality.

The group of popular movements, workers and various political party leaderships called on the population to address the problem, debate a political platform and organize a Communal Workers Council, taking as inspiration the organization and experience of Soviets of the Russian revolution. This council organized a document to be delivered to local authorities who did not attend the activity. Under the organization and mobilization carried out mainly by workers who lived and worked in the commune, the main deliberation of the document was the need to “supplant both – the Municipality and the Alcalde – by a parallel body belonging to the Workers, the Consejo Comunal. " (PESTRANA; THEREFALL, 1974: p. 110-11).

Despite the initial success of the council, the demands were not fully accepted by the government and even the mobilization of the population in general was not able to be maintained. However, part of that group of movements continued to be organized and, in June 1972, with the process of strikes and occupation of the industries Perlak (food canning), Polycron (industrial chemistry and synthetic fibers) and El Mono ( aluminum), the population of the commune of Maipú is mobilizing again. According to Elisa de Campos Borges (2014), the workers filed complaints against the company owners, accusing them of promoting boycotts of production, selling on the black market, reducing the purchase of raw materials and even hiding products, which which contributed to the shortage of goods on the market.

The workers' main demand was government intervention in industries and their incorporation into Social Property Areas (APS). The geographical proximity of the companies and the fundamental support of the local population ended up encouraging the formation of joint coordination in the movement.

The Allende Government, wanting to maintain the legality of its government, established numerous barriers to prevent the nationalization of companies demanded by workers. Consequently, this process began to generate disillusionment among workers, especially due to the crisis in negotiations with State representatives. This context led to the creation of a Command to Coordinate the Struggles of Workers in the Cerrillos-Maipu Industrial Cordon. This movement emerged during a meeting attended by workers from around 30 companies, with notable mass participation by self-employed workers, as well as some linked to Chilean left-wing parties. In total, this group comprised approximately half a million workers.

A Fight Coordination Command platform was created[iv] containing 10 points, seeking to articulate common agendas for peasants, plobadores and workers: (i) supported the government and the president to the extent that he represented the struggles and mobilizations of workers; (ii) demanded the expropriation of monopoly companies as well as those that did not fulfill their labor commitments; (iii) workers' control of production through the constitution of Councils of delegates elected by the base; (iv) increase in salaries; (v) dissolution of Parliament; (vi) installation of the Popular Assembly; (vii) creation of the State Construction Company with control of “pobladores” and workers; (viii) occupation of all expropriated funds and peasant control through council of delegates; (ix) immediate solution for camp residents; (x) expressed repudiation of the bosses, the bourgeoisie, the judiciary, the controllership, the parliament and the state bureaucrats.

According to Cury (2013, p. 290), “[…] the other significant element of the formation of this Cordão was the demonstration of the congregation of forms of struggle with the objectives present in the logic of action of the workers in a clear confrontation with the limits established by the system. It was the first industrial cordon whose successful organization inspired other diverse movements throughout Santiago and the rest of the country. The mobilization took place, as in most cases, due to labor conflicts in companies in that specific sector and supply problems”.

Trancoso (1988) demonstrates that the Coordinating Command/Cordão Cerrillos was the first draft of a geographic coordination of Chilean workers and that it broke with union channels and institutions. This is where we find what the author calls “class autonomy”, although he does not clarify what this expression means. From our perspective, however, we can say more precisely that this experience meant an initial break with state bureaucracy pointing towards self-organization. Still, at this time, there was support for the Allende government, but only when it contributed to the struggle and mobilization of workers.

With the arrival of the employers' strike in October 1972, workers had already experimented with organizing autonomously. In this sense, the reaction to the consequences of the strike (supply, attacks and attacks by the right, sabotage, black market, etc.), was immediate and surprising, both for the bourgeoisie, which perceived a solid organization of workers' resistance, when the bureaucracy state, which realized that the workers' struggle went beyond capitalist institutional dynamics.

The workers' response was the massive and widespread seizure of factories and the consolidation of industrial areas throughout Chile. The taking of factories did not follow any criteria used by the Allende government; Factories were occupied without distinction, especially those in private areas, where workers had no control over production. Through occupations, the position of bosses within their own factories was weakened and worker coordination was strengthened. This is how the cords were born by Vicuña Mackenna e Central Station in Santiago and HualpencilloOn Conception, as a result of the October strike.

There is no doubt that the initial seizure and occupation of factories was the result of an attempt to help the government overcome the difficulties of the strike. However, with the development of occupations and new forms of solidarity between workers and populations in the cordons, they exceeded all expectations in relation to their initial objectives.

The bourgeoisie's attempts to foment chaos were predominantly prevented by the efforts of workers and the population in general, who, on their own initiative, put the means of production into operation through effective self-organization. Allende, as we said previously, seeks a way out of the crisis through conciliation with the bourgeoisie; In this sense, he reduces the number of factories to be nationalized (from 120 to 43) and places the army in charge of ensuring compliance with this measure. However, as the large number of government supporters were workers, he could not use repression to retake the recovered factories and stabilize his government in light of the agreements he had signed with Christian Democracy and the bourgeoisie. In this sense, the Popular Unity government uses the union bureaucracy, the Central Única del Trabajadores de Chile (CUT), to try to co-opt and convince the workers to go back and leave the occupied factories.

Even so, the CUT representatives, when trying to convince the workers to vacate the factories and return to trust in the Allende government, are received with boos and responses expressing the rejection of bureaucracy and the need for progress towards workers' self-organization.

The discussion between a worker and a CUT bureaucrat in the famous and classic documentary is emblematic. The Battle of Chile by filmmaker Patrício Guzmán: the worker, in response to the CUT unionist, demonstrates that the occupation of factories is not just a defense of the Allende Government; it means, more than that, a process of social transformation starting with workers, which surpassed the State's own institutionality and support, since these are alien to workers' interests.

The occupation of factories brought, in addition to worker control, new forms of sociability and distribution of consumable goods. Solidarity between industries, as well as the intense debate and exchange of both ideas and work experiences, made possible new forms, even if embryonic, of sociability opposed to bourgeois values ​​and capitalist interests.

With the supply crisis caused by strikes and work stoppages, the industrial cordon workers, in conjunction with the population of their respective regions (many of them organized in communal commands), were responsible for structuring and organizing a new system of commercial relations to neutralize the effect of the crisis on the population. Thus, they were responsible for taking over the businesses, taking responsibility for distribution and transportation; in the use of the factory truck to transport milk to poblaciones, in the organization of popular fairs, in the exchange of products and raw materials between factories, and in the formation of defense committees with settlers and workers against possible attacks.

Having existed for a little over a year, the industrial cordons managed to bring together a large part of the Chilean working class. In Santiago, the following cordons were organized: Cerrillos and Vicuña Mackenna, O'Higgins, Macul, San Joaquín, Recoleta, Mapocho-Cordillera, Santa Rosa-Gran Avenida, Panamericana Norte, Santiago Centro and Vivaceta. In Valparaíso, Cordón Puerto, Cordón Centro, Cordón Almendral, Cordón Quince Norte, Cordón El Salto, Cordón Concón and Cordón Quintero-Ventanas were developed. They also developed in cities such as Arica, Concepción, Antofagasta and Osorno (BORGES, 2011).

And how did the self-organization of industrial cordons workers work? After the creation and consolidation of the cordons, the workers began to systematize the form of organization. According to Trancoso (1988), from the first half of 1973 onwards, an organic model began to be adopted, with local specificities of each industrial cordon: (a) Workers' Assembly of each industry or company per Cordón, which would elect from 2 3 representatives for its Council, not needing to be a union representative; (b) Council of Cordón delegates; (c) Management of Cordón Industrial that was chosen by election in the Council of Delegates. This “direction” (executive, not deliberative) included the president and departments for organization, agitation and propaganda, cultural defense and the press.

In this sense, it was in the assemblies that the actions of each cordon were deliberated. Due to little documentation and records, it is difficult to analyze the internal dynamics of each industrial chain. But we can generally say that the forms of organization varied from region to region. Some more advanced cordons managed to untie the knot and free themselves from the union and party bureaucracy; others, however, maintained a great influence of union and party leaders – as is the case of the MIR (Revolutionary Left Movement), with Trotskyist tendencies and influences from the Cuban revolution. But in both cases, the workers' dissatisfaction with their representatives allowed them to elect another delegate. In summary, the cordon meetings were generally open, free, and often included the participation of settlers Of region.

On the first day of February 1973, published by the newspaper Urgent Task (1973), the first platform of joint struggle of the Cordões Industrias of the period appears with the main flags and guidelines for the workers of the various industries that made up the movement: (1) The struggle for the transition to the social sector, carried out by the workers of all companies related to the production of basic products, food and the construction materials industry. (2) The fight for the immediate expropriation of large private distributors. (3) The expropriation of all rural properties that exceed 40 hectares and have access to basic irrigation. (4) Establish worker control of production in the private sector and popular control of distribution. Workers will participate in decisions about production destined for the people, profits and food distribution. The immediate formation of worker supervision committees in all private industries is encouraged.

(5) Do not return any industry that is in the hands of workers and immediately withdraw the Millas project. (6) Direct distribution of the basic food basket to the people through Popular Warehouses. It is proposed to create a single state distributor. (7) Formation of a bipartite commission, Government-People, in charge of planning, execution and control of supply. (8) Grant sanctioning power to the Supply and Price Boards (JAP) and Communal Commands to supervise distribution to traders and punish those who do not sell, accumulate or speculate. Business closures and direct sales to locals are required. The workers of the Cordones Industriales will mobilize to assert this power.

(9) Ensure stable and safe work for construction workers. (10) Create a state-owned construction company that manages a unified planning system for procurement, supplies and machinery. (11) Defend the media that support the revolutionary struggle of the power bodies of workers, residents and farmers. (12) Call on all workers to establish Comandos Industriales por Cordón and Comandos Comunales as the only way to have an effective action body capable of mobilizing and proposing new tasks to the working class.

Many of these demands conflicted with Popular Unity's policies and proposals, indicating no longer an initial or relative opposition to the government, but an unequivocal confrontational relationship.

On September 11, 1973, with the Coup d'Etat carried out by the Chilean army, the workers' advance came to an abrupt halt. The experience of industrial cordons lasted a short time. But in this short time, the advancement of class consciousness, the threat of a break with capitalist relations, as well as the disengagement with the government and many union and party bureaucracies, demonstrates the revolutionary character of this experience.

While the army bombed the Palace of La Moneda destroying the resistance of the Allende government, troops headed towards the industrial cordons to repress and annihilate any type of resistance to the military dictatorship that was to come. Even with initial resistance from the workers, the inequality of forces caused the army to crush any type of resistance. Hundreds of deaths by the exploited and oppressed. The agitators, who were more politically advanced, were relegated to concentration camps that became Chilean football stadiums. The government leaders who survived, as well as those from other party and union bureaucracies, fled into exile to avoid being persecuted. The workers, who were unable to escape, were left with barbarity and terror.


By way of synthesis, we can say that the industrial cordons, as Cury (201) rightly said, can be characterized as an organization of a territorial nature made up of factories from different productive sectors that aimed, in addition to political organization, to maintain permanent debate between local workers, joint actions to maintain production under the control of workers.[v]

Its importance lies in its advancement in Chilean workers' struggles, seeking to self-organize, creating egalitarian structures of collective action that come into direct antagonism with the social relations existing in today's society:

Workers' self-organization is feared both by repression in the service of the status quo, and also by the traditional left, both of which intend, through bureaucratization and manipulation of information, to maneuver workers' organizations. Hence socialist relations are the result of workers' self-organization combined with the social consciousness that workers have about their practice (Tragtenberg, 2008, p. 3).

The limits of this experience are expressed both by the non-break with the totality of what Tragtenberg calls the “traditional left”, and by the duality between support for the government and its total break. We believe that this total rupture would be a direct consequence of the actions of the cordons themselves, who every day came into antagonism with the government's measures. Unfortunately, this hypothesis cannot be verified given the destruction of the cordons by the Chilean army's coup, repressing the workers in their radicalization.

In this sense, we can relegate the experience of industrial cordons, despite its contradictions and limits, as a revolutionary experience, where the basic maxim of AIT, written by Marx, was put into practice: “The emancipation of workers is the work of the workers themselves!”.

*Gabriel Teles is a doctoral candidate in sociology at USP and professor of sociology at the Federal Institute of Goiás (IFG).


BENAKOUCHE, Rabah. Global Accumulation and Dependence. Petropolis, Voices, 1980.

BORGES, Elisa. With the Popular Unity, now we are Government. The experience of Cordonos Industriales in Chile de Allende. Proceedings of the XI International Meeting of ANPHLAC. Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, 2014.

CORREA, Sofia; FIGUEROA, Consuelo (Org.) History of the Chilean XX siglo: paradoxical balance. Santiago: Editorial Sudamericana, 2001.

CURY, Márcia Carolina de Oliveira. The popular protagonism of class experiences and social movements in the construction of Chilean socialism (1964-1973). Doctoral thesis, Campinas, 2013.

___. Unions and industrial guilds: the constitution of new social relations in the construction of Chilean socialism (1972-1973). Proceedings of the IV Symposium on Social Struggles in Latin America. Londrina, UEL. 2010.

GAUDICHAUD, Franck. Popular Power and Industrial Cordones: Testimonies about the urban popular movement 1970-1973. Santiago: LOM, 2004.

Newspaper Urgent task 1978.

KORSH, Karl. Marxism and Philosophy. Porto, Confrontation, 1977.

MARINI, Ruy Mauro. dialectic of dependency. Petropolis, Voices, 2000.

MARX, Carl. Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. Sao Paulo, Martins Fontes, 1983.

Marx, Carl. The capital. Sao Paulo, Boitempo, 2013.

NETTO, Jose Paulo. Introduction to the Study of Marx's Method. São Paulo, Popular Expression, 2011.

PESTRANA, Ernesto; THEREFALL, Monica. Pan Techo y Poder. El Movimiento de Pobladores de Chile (1970-1973). Buenos Aires: Ed. SIAP-Planteos, 1974.

TRAGTENBERG, Maurício. Reflections on Socialism. São Paulo, Editora Unesp, 2008.

TRANCOSO, Hugo Cancino. Chile: the problem of Popular Power in the process of the Chilean road to socialism – 1970-1973. Ed. AARHUS, University Press, 1988.

VIANA, Nildo. Capitalism in the Age of Integral Accumulation. Aparecida, Ideas & Letters, 2009.


[I] Political coalition that included the Communist and Socialist parties, Partido Radical, Movimiento de Acción Popular Unitario (MAPU), Acción Popular Independiente (API) and Izquierda Cristiana (IC).

[ii] The Corvert report on action in Chile indicates that the CIA introduced three million dollars into the country in 1972 – around US$135 million today.

[iii] It is necessary to reiterate that the nationalizations planned by the Popular Unity government did not represent more than 20% of Chilean industrial workers, that is, the proposed alliance policy left out other industrial workers, not counting construction workers, the unemployed , artisans, and a large percentage of rural workers not integrated into agrarian reform.

[iv] From October 72, it was renamed Cordón Cerrillos.

[v] Due to space (and because it is not the objective of this text), we will not be able to address the issue of Popular Power. However, the set of actions of the population in their autonomous government organizations became known as Popular Power. There is a rich and complex debate on this point, raising discussions both in the heat of the moment and theoretical discussions about the meaning of Popular Power. At another time, we will present a discussion about.

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