Something Fierce: Carmen Aguirre

Carmen Aguirre fled Chile soon after that and landed in Vancouver. But she went back to fight in the underground resistance to Pinochet's rule ... a life she's only now prepared to talk about openly.



Part Three of The Current

Something Fierce: Carmen Aguirre

On September 11th, 1973, Chilean President Salvador Allende barricaded himself in the Presidential Palace and delivered his final speech to the Chilean people. A military coup was under way ... the air force had already bombed two of the country's radio transmitters and President Allende took to short-wave radio.

As he famously predicted in his speech, Salvador Allende died that day, ... one that would change the lives of so many people including a little girl who would come to Canada. In the months after the coup, thousands of people who opposed the rise of General Augusto Pinochet were murdered or disappeared. Thousands more fled Chile and found refuge in Canada.

Carmen Aguirre and her family were among those refugees. But then before she was a teenager Carmen's Mom took her daughters back to South America because she wanted to be part of the underground resistance to General Pinochet. And that plunged her daughters into a secret and sometimes terrifying life.

Today, Carmen Aguirre is a playwright and actor. She has written about her extraordinary experiences in a new book called Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter. It will be released this weekend. Carmen Aguirre was in our Vancouver studio.

Last Word - The Refugee Hotel

We ended today's program with Carmen Aguirre reading a passage from her play, The Refugee Hotel. It's set in Vancouver in 1974 and it tells the story of eight struggling Chilean refugees, including a character named Manuel who speaks in this passage.


Other segments from today's show:

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