On Monday, the Chilean teacher's strike entered its fifth week. More than 70 percent of the teachers voted to reject the latest government offer and want to continue the national strike indefinitely. The strike has involved hundreds of thousands throughout the country, with particularly active participation in the regions. For her part, the education minister Marcela Cubillos has shown great arrogance, and only last week agreed to dialogue amidst controversy over police brutality. After large marches of tens of thousands in the past weeks marked a milestone in the teacher’s movement, the high point was the cacerolazo (banging on pots and pans as a political protest) of the patipelados (destitute people) on 26 June, which galvanised the support and solidarity of the public in the streets.

In the vicinity of Ercilla, in the Araucanía region in southern Chile, 24-year-old indigenous Mapuche, Camilo Catrillanca, was murdered by members of the so-called Comando Jungla of the Chilean national police. The young man, a nephew of the local Mapuche chief of Temucuicui, leaves behind his pregnant wife and a daughter of six. Camilo was driving a tractor and was accompanied by a 15-year-old minor when they were showered by bullets, one of which found its way to the back of his head. This is just one more case in the brutal history of police assassinations against the Mapuche people. The lives of dozens of youth and minors are being taken. Meanwhile, the authorities are quick to deem such incidents as “clashes”, with the police continually hindering investigations.

Today is the anniversary of the coup that overthrew president Salvador Allende in Chile and installed the brutal Pinochet dictatorship. We publish here a document written in 1979 by Alan Woods analysing the history of the Chilean labour movement and specially the period of the Popular Unity coalition government of Allende. Who was behind Pinochet's coup? What interests was he defending? What were the policies of the Allende government and why despite all warnings was he unable to prevent the coup?