In 1973, there was a coup in Chile ― the Allende government was overthrown by the Pinochet junta. My parents were supporters of the previous government. After happened, the Pinochet military went on a spree of finding any material relating to the previous government and their ideology and banned and burned it. They wanted to purge Chile of all of those ideas. If you were found with anything , you could be potentially executed.
Both my aunt and my dad were political prisoners. In the end, they were exiled, but they had friends who were killed. When my dad was being pursued by the military police, my parents buried their books in the backyard ... some of these books are currently on my parent’s bookshelf.
These methods and tactics are still being used around the world. Information is so important, and whether or not an individual or a group of people can access information is a major factor in civil liberties and an informed populous.
Pablo Zanetta, SAIT Library Technician | Library Information Technology ‘08
Editor’s note: Hear Pablo’s story and learn about the importance of intellectual freedom at Freedom to Read: Epic Reading Marathon, Feb. 28 in SAIT's Reg Erhardt Library, 12 pm – 6 pm. Learn more at sait.ca.