Los Crímenes que Estremecieron a Chile or “The Crimes that Shook Chile” is a recount of Chilean history through the use of personal stories and articles originally covered by the newspaper “La Nación”. The publication begins with a farewell address by president Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973 and moves forward from there. The main purpose of the book is to highlight the state of impunity created in Chile after 1990. While many of the ex- DINA and CNI agents named by the book were tried and in some cases convicted, the judicial practice did little beyond slapping human rights violators on the wrists. While journalism cannot convict the perpetrators, it can incriminate and spread its message to the masses, which is what they book attempts to do.
Because many of the stories were originally articles covered by unsponsored new sources they provide a different perspective from the information provided by the state. These stories were originally published by “rebel” newspapers and by journalists committed to writing the truth, intending to uncover the public’s eyes to lies of the dictatorship. In its current presentation, the books audience is those interested in a full history of Chile.
Los Crímenes que Estremecieron a Chile serves as a resource for lists of ex- DINA and CNI agents. It also serves as an example of what a culture of impunity looks like. Many violations were committed in the time between 1973 and 1990, yet little to no punishments were given. Finally, the book also exemplifies resilience and can serve as an example of how even in a state of complete censorship, the truth comes through and the people always have a way to fight back.