A Woman of very Red Heart

 by Saúl Miranda Ramos

Gladys Marín Millie

A long of the history of humanity there are a lot of important women who have contributed in the establishment of nations and its subsequent economy, education, culture, politic, health, and many others. In most cases they are not acknowledged and their production has been invisibilized; however, men and women have enjoyed the influences of the work of women. One renowned woman in Latin America is the Chilean Gladys Marín who was a very red hearth woman.

Since her Childhood and teen years Gladys was already a noted girl. She was born in Curepto, Chile in 1941, and was a daughter of a farmer and a teacher. Since her father left home leaving the family when she was 3 years old, the rest of the family had to move to Talagante. In this place, she studied the elementary school, and years after she moved again; but now to Santiago to study the “Normal[1]”. During her studies, some teachers used to say about her, she was a rebel.

Soon, in her young years Gladys started her political career. Meanwhile she was studying; she was designated as delegate of the class. Moreover, in these years she was invited to participate in the social organization “working class youth” which is also called “J”; and started student mobilizations. In 1958 she was enrolled in the Communist Party and the Chilean “J”. Soon, she met Jorge Muñoz who became her husband. Furthermore, she was elected secretary on the “J” when she was 22, congresswoman as a first time in 1965, organized protests against imperialism since 1967 until 1969, lean the 4th postulation of Allende to the Chilean Presidency and won with the government of the Popular Union.

 Afterward, her multiple activities were stopped by the coup d'etat led by Augusto Pinochet in 1973. The General established the bloodiest dictatorship in Latin America. By the time Pinochet was attacking the government building, Palacio de la Moneda, Gladys Marín addressed a speech to the Chilean population through Radio Magallanes: Each one since their fighting place and the moral high, we are going to defend what the people have won.

          After the starting of the dictatorship, the really hard repression and persecution forced to Gadys, and all communists, to proceed to clandestine. She was exiled, so never knew about her husband when he disappeared, how much he was tortured, and when he was killed. He is one of the 1198 missing people caused by the killer General Augusto Pinochet. In 1978, she had to enter to Chile with false identity and Spanish passport because Gladys was one of the 100 of people most seek by the military in Chile. Even though, she led the social resistance for almost 12 years; when the worst thing was that she couldn´t meet with her sons. Once, she followed, since far, one of them and she thought: he is so tall and so beautiful.

          Until this period, the dynamic of the Communists was in a defense position. When Gladys came back from Moscow she proposed to change to the political of attack. She lean the Popular Rebellion of Mass Politic and establish the patriotic front Manuel Rodríguez. Marín supported the try to kill Pinochet in Cajón del Maipo, so she declared: The rebellion and all kind of battle is legal, even the armed combat. As a result, the dictator responded with more repression, and he ordered the massacre of the left-wing leaders. In 1988 there was a plebiscite: Pinochet wanted to stay at the power for 9 years more. Gladys promoted the “NO” to Pinochet in this consultation and the dictatorship in Chile finished.

By the time the dictatorship had finished, Gladys Marín was candidate to Senator, and candidate to President of the Republic of Chile; so she was the first woman to be applied to this position in her country. Also, she became President of the Communist Party in Chile. Gladys was defendant by Pinochet based on defamation, and went to jail for 2 years. She was the first person in sue Pinochet because the violation of human rights; as a result, Pinochet was judged by first time. Gladys Marín, every time and everywhere, was a rebel. She used to challenge the National Police when she was attacked by them. She never stopped to persecute to Pinochet and accuse the complicity of the USA in the dictatorship in Chile.

          The illness and the dead of Gladys were seen coming in 2003. She gave a speech in front of La Moneda addressed to Salvador Allende remembering the 30th years of the coup d'etat. This year, a brain tumor was detected in Gladys, and she was tended in Cuba and Sweden. In addition, she wrote her book “Life is today” where she reflects about the possibility of another world with equal human beings, freedom, and fraternity: a future given birth by millions of people that were remained in the road of life, disappeared by hunger, social exclusion and death.

Gladys Marín died March 6th, 2005 in Santiago de Chile. She was a leader woman committed with the fight of people to the access to a better life, and wellbeing. There is no doubt; she is an example of courage for Latin American women and men of nowadays.

Comrade Gladys Marín: PRESENT!
Comrade Gladys Marín: PRESENT!
Comrade Gladys Marín: PRESENT!

Now and ever!

[1] In Latin America, Normal is an educational center where people study to become a teacher.


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