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Renato Espinosa AFTERWORD I BY ALICE EMBREE Complier Renato Espinosa September 5, 1942-May 18, 2007 It is ironic that September 11, 2001, is exploited in the United States as a reason to “spread democracy” in Iraq. On another September 11in 1973 democracy was dismantled in Chile with covert U.S. assistance. It is a date seared into the memories of many in Latin America who saw tanks surround Chile’s presidential palace and crush the elected government. Renato Espinoza, who died on May 18 at 64, kept the story of Chile’s democratic promise, repression, and resistance alive in Austin for many years. Renato came to Texas in 1963 through an exchange program administered by the University of Texas International Office. \(Democratic Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Dave McNeely, Ricardo Romo, Carol Keeton Rylander, Lowell Lebermann, Dave Oliphant, John Wheat, Sara Speights, and former Observer editor Kaye Northcott were among the Texans who traveled to Chile as part of the program. I was a participant in the Funded by the U.S. State Department, the program was buffeted by political change in both Chile and the United States. The Chileans were student leaders in parties of the left and right. They asked Texans questions about Vietnam and civil rights and got answers that weren’t always welcomed by the State Department or UT administrators. Renato returned to Texas with wife Loreto in 1965 and earned a doctorate in psychology from UT. The Espinozas returned to Chile shortly after President Salvador Allende’s election, eager to be part of the change promised by the Popular Unity government. It was a time of hope for many Chileans, until the military coup. Renato was arrested in northern Chile while working in the administration of a nationalized copper mine. Through good fortune and the persistent efforts of family, he was released. Most of those arrested with him were executed. With the help of friends in Texas, Renato was offered a job, and the Espinozas and their two young daughters returned to Texas. Renato and Loreto found a supportive communi ty in Austin’s Latin American Policy Alternatives Group. In September 1976, the brutality of the Chilean dictatorship exploded on the streets of Washington, D.C., when Orlando Letelier and his colleague, Ronni Moffit, were assassinated by a car bomb. Letelier was the Chilean JUNE 15, 2007 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 31