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Defending the Family: Female Begging and the Policing of Female Begging on the Streets of Pinochet's Santiago (1973–90)

  • Leith Passmore (a1)

Abstract

Economic crises during Chile's civic–military dictatorship (1973–90) forced a growing number of people onto the streets, including women who commuted from peripheral neighbourhoods to beg in downtown Santiago. Under military rule, impoverished women in public spaces became a police problem. Despite their constant presence on the streets throughout the twentieth century, Chile's begging laws were rarely applied to women, except for a brief period under Pinochet, when begging emerged as a female crime in Santiago. This paper examines female begging and the policing of female begging, revealing both to be framed as a defence of the family.

Spanish abstract

Las crisis económicas durante la dictadura cívico-militar en Chile (1973–90) forzaron a un creciente número de personas a trabajar en la calle, entre ellas mujeres que se trasladaban de barrios periféricos a pedir limosna en el centro de Santiago. Bajo el régimen militar, mujeres empobrecidas en espacios públicos se volvieron un problema policiaco. Pese a su constante presencia en las calles a lo largo del siglo XX, las leyes contra la mendicidad fueron raramente aplicadas a las mujeres, salvo durante un breve periodo de la era Pinochet cuando pedir limosna emergió como un delito femenino en Santiago. Este artículo examina la mendicidad femenina y su tratamiento policiaco, enmarcados ambos como una defensa a la familia.

Portuguese abstract

A crise econômica causada pela ditadura civil–militar do Chile (1973–90) forçou um grande número de pessoas a trabalhar na rua, incluindo mulheres que vinham de bairros periféricos para mendigar no centro de Santiago. Durante o regime militar, a presença de mulheres pobres em espaços públicos se tornou um problema ‘de polícia’. Apesar de sua constante presença nas ruas ao longo de todo o século vinte, as leis de mendicância raramente foram aplicadas às mulheres, exceto por um curto período sob Pinochet, quando a mendicância começou a ser vista como um crime feminino em Santiago. Este artigo examina a mendicância feminina e o policiamento da mesma, demonstrando que ambos foram enquadrados dentro do argumento de defesa da família.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. E-mail: leith.passmore@unab.cl

References

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1 Case 91.865-1, 2nd Criminal Court of Santiago (2CCS), 16 July 1979, Archivo Judicial de Santiago (AJS). All translations are mine, unless otherwise indicated.

2 The term ‘dueña de casa’ refers to women who might have worked, and might still be working, but whose identity was defined by the role of mother, wife and homemaker.

3 Código Penal de la República de Chile (1874).

4 Chateau, Manuel Gárate, La revolución capitalista de Chile (1973–2003) (Santiago: Ediciones UAH, 2012), pp. 221–7.

5 Aldunate, José, ‘El hambre en Chile’, Mensaje, 253 (1976), p. 509.

6 Hardy, Clarisa, Hambre + dignidad = ollas comunes (Santiago: PET and Academia de Humanismo Cristiano, 1986), unpaginated preface.

7 Bruey, Alison J., ‘Limitless Land and the Redefinition of Rights: Popular Mobilisation and the Limits of Neoliberalism in Chile, 1973–1985’, Journal of Latin American Studies, 44: 3 (2012), pp. 523–52.

8 Murphy, Edward, For a Proper Home: Housing Rights in the Margins of Urban Chile, 1960–2010 (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015), p. 164.

9 Corvalán, Oscar and Santibáñez, Erika, Situación socio-laboral de la juventud chilena: Diagnóstico y perspectivas (Santiago: CIDE, 1986), p. 124 and Agurto, Irene and de la Maza, Gonzalo, ‘Ser joven poblador en Chile hoy’, in Agurto, Irene et al. (eds.), Juventud chilena: Razones y subversiones (Santiago: Eco, 1985), pp. 65–6.

10 Rosemblatt, Karin Alejandra, Gendered Compromises: Political Cultures and the State in Chile, 1920–1950 (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2000); Hutchison, Elizabeth Quay, Labors Appropriate to Their Sex: Gender, Labor, and Politics in Urban Chile, 1900–1930 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001); Tinsman, Heidi, Partners in Conflict: The Politics of Gender, Sexuality, and Labor in the Chilean Agrarian Reform, 1950–1973 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002); Mooney, Jadwiga E. Pieper, The Politics of Motherhood: Maternity and Women's Rights in Twentieth-Century Chile (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009); and Thomas, Gwynn, Contesting Legitimacy in Chile: Familial Ideals, Citizenship, and Political Struggle, 1970–1990 (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011).

11 This was the title of one of the organisation's pamphlets: Valores patrios y valores familiares, Cuadernos de Difusión, no. 7 (Santiago: Secretaría Nacional de la Mujer, 1982).

12 Thomas, Contesting Legitimacy in Chile, pp. 148–53; see also Baldez, Lisa, Why Women Protest: Women's Movements in Chile (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 114–16.

13 Hardy, Hambre + dignidad, unpaginated preface.

14 Thomas, Contesting Legitimacy in Chile, pp. 139–67 and 170–202.

15 For contemporaneous social science studies see: Razeto, Luis, Economía popular de solidaridad: Identidad y proyecto en una visión integradora (Santiago: Area Pastoral Social de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile, 1986); Campero, Guillermo, Entre la sobrevivencia y la acción política: Las organizaciones de pobladores en Santiago (Santiago: ILET, 1987); Schkolnik, Mariana and Teitelboim, Berta, Pobreza y desempleo en poblaciones: La otra cara del modelo neoliberal (Santiago: PET, 1988); Vergara, Pilar, Políticas hacia la extrema pobreza en Chile, 1973–1988 (Santiago: FLACSO, 1990); Hardy, Hambre + dignidad; Hardy, Clarisa, Organizarse para vivir: Pobreza urbana y organización popular (Santiago: PET, 1987). For historical studies see: Schneider, Cathy Lisa, Shantytown Protest in Pinochet's Chile (Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1995); Oxhorn, Philip D., Organizing Civil Society: The Popular Sectors and the Struggle for Democracy in Chile (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995); Thomas, Contesting Legitimacy in Chile; Murphy, For a Proper Home; Bruey, Alison J., Bread, Justice, and Liberty: Grassroots Activism and Human Rights in Pinochet's Chile (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2018).

16 Espinoza, Vicente, ‘Social Networks among the Urban Poor: Inequality and Integration in a Latin American City’, in Wellman, Barry (ed.), Networks in the Global Village: Life in Contemporary Communities (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999), pp. 149–51; Rodó, Andrea, ‘El cuerpo ausente’, Debate Feminista, 10 (1994), p. 87; and Sonia Zapata and José Antonio Moya, ‘La mendicidad y su mundo: Análisis y perspectivas de acción’, unpubl. Master's thesis, Instituto Latinoamericano de Doctrina y Estudios Sociales (Biblioteca Universidad Alberto Hurtado), 1991, p. 33.

17 Cárdenas, Mario, ‘Grupos marginados en los inicios de la era republicana: Vagabundos, mendigos e indigentes’, Cuadernos de Historia, 11 (1991), pp. 4762; Espinoza, Alejandra Araya, Ociosos, vagabundos y malentretenidos en Chile colonial (Santiago: DIBAM / CIDBA / LOM, 1999).

18 Claudina Acuña Montenegro, ‘El problema de la mendicidad en Chile’, thesis, Universidad de Chile, 1923; J. Florencio Galleguillos V., La vagancia y la mendicidad como problema social y como delito (Santiago: Dirección General de Prisiones, 1936); Valdovinos, Carlos, ‘La vagancia, la mendicidad y demás estados de desvalimientos y la represión de la ebriedad’, in de los Desvalidos, Patronato Nacional (ed.), La vagancia, la mendicidad y demás estados de desvalimientos. La acción del Patronato Nacional de los Desvalidos en el estudio de este problema (Santiago: Leblanc, 1942), pp. 1137.

19 León, Marco Antonio León, Construyendo un sujeto criminal. Criminología, criminalidad y sociedad en Chile. Siglos XIX y XX (Santiago: CIDBA / Editorial Universitaria, 2015); Cornejo, Tomás and González, Carolina (eds.), Justicia, poder y sociedad en Chile: Recorridos históricos (Santiago: Ediciones UDP, 2007); Alvarado, Daniel Palma, Ladrones: Historia social y cultura del robo en Chile, 1870–1920 (Santiago: LOM, 2011); Gómez, María José Correa (ed.), Justicia y vida cotidiana en Valparaíso. Siglos XVII–XX (Santiago: Acto Editores, 2014); Alvarado, Daniel Palma (ed.). Delincuentes, policías y justicias: América Latina, siglos XIX y XX (Santiago: Ediciones UAH, 2015).

20 Salvatore, Ricardo D. and Aguirre, Carlos (eds.), The Birth of the Penitentiary in Latin America: Essays on Criminology, Prison Reform, and Social Control, 1830–1940 (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1996); Aguirre, Carlos A. and Buffington, Robert (eds.), Reconstructing Criminality in Latin America (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2000); Salvatore, Ricardo D., Aguirre, Carlos and Joseph, Gilbert M. (eds.), Crime and Punishment in Latin America: Law and Society since Late Colonial Times (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001).

21 For Chile see Aravena, Carla Rivera, ‘Mujeres malas. La representación del delito femenino en la prensa de principios del siglo XX’, Revista de Historia Social y de las Mentalidades, 8: 1/2 (2004), pp. 91111; Gómez, María José Correa, ‘Demandas penitenciarias: Discusión y reforma de las cárceles de mujeres en Chile (1930–1950)’, Historia, 38: 1 (2005), pp. 930; and Comandini, Ana Gálvez, ‘Lupanares, burdeles y casas de tolerancia: Tensiones entre las prácticas sociales y la reglamentación de la prostitución en Santiago de Chile: 1896–1940’, Tiempo Histórico, 5: 8 (2014), pp. 7392. In a regional context see Guy, Donna J., Sex and Danger in Buenos Aires: Prostitution, Family, and Nation in Argentina (Lincoln, NE, and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1991); and Carey, David Jr., I Ask for Justice: Maya Women, Dictators, and Crime in Guatemala, 1898–1944 (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2013).

22 Palma, Daniel, ‘“Una historia en verde”: Las policías en Chile. Balance y sugerencias para la investigación’, Revista Historia y Justicia, 2 (2014), p. 18.

23 Both sets of ledgers (cases and files) for all of Santiago's criminal courts are currently held in the 34th Criminal Court. The record is incomplete due to damage, poor management and loss. This study focuses on Courts nos. 1–5 because, according to a report compiled for the author by the Dirección de Estudios de la Corte Suprema, they received the most begging cases, and because the ledgers for these courts are the most complete.

24 The totals do not tally because some case files could not be found in the AJS.

25 There is little in the available case files to suggest that the women detained were inhibited by fear of abuse or reprisal when speaking before a judge. Police harassment was real, as was fear of it, but statements show a preparedness to admit to begging, denounce police harassment or insist police are lying.

26 Zapata and Moya, ‘La mendicidad y su mundo’, Anexo A: ‘Historias de vida’.

27 Consejo Nacional para la Superación de la Pobreza (CNSP), La pobreza en Chile: Un desafío de equidad e integración social (Aug. 1996), available at http://www2.superacionpobreza.cl/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/la_pobreza_en_chile_1996.pdf (last accessed 4 March 2020).

28 Ministerio de Justicia, Ley no. 19.567 (1 July 1998).

29 Acuña Montenegro, ‘El problema de la mendicidad’, pp. 7–10, 26–8; Valdovinos, ‘La vagancia’, pp. 11–12; Porteus, J. D., ‘Microspace Geography: Beggars in Santiago de Chile’, in Barr, Brenton M. (ed.), New Themes in Western Canadian Geography: The Langara Papers, no. 22 (Vancouver: Tantalus Research, 1976), pp. 8995; Spooner, Mary Helen, Soldiers in a Narrow Land: The Pinochet Regime in Chile (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999), pp. 175–6.

30 Acuña Montenegro, ‘El problema de la mendicidad’, pp. 21 and 25; Valdovinos, ‘La vagancia’, p. 31.

31 Labbé, Marcos Fernández, ‘Police Imagination: The Construction of Drug Users and Drug Trafficking in Chile, 1900–1950’, in Huertas, Luz E., Lucero, Bonnie and Swedberg, Gregory J. (eds.), Voices of Crime: Constructing and Contesting Social Control in Modern Latin America (Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2016), pp. 7882.

32 Valdovinos, ‘La vagancia’, pp. 24; Labbé, Marcos Fernández, ‘Asociales: Raza, exclusión y anormalidad en la construcción estatal chilena, 1920–1960’, Revista de Historia Social y de las Mentalidades, 16: 2 (2012), pp. 184–5; Fernández Labbé, ‘Police Imagination’, p. 81.

33 Ministerio de Justicia, Ley no. 11.625 (21 Sept. 1954); Ley no. 19.313 (21 July 1994).

34 Polomer, Azun Candina, ‘Seguridad ciudadana y sociedad en Chile contemporáneo. Los delincuentes, las políticas y los sentidos de una sociedad’, Revista de Estudios Históricos, 2: 1 (2005); Fernández Labbé, ‘Asociales’, pp. 167–94; León León, Construyendo un sujeto criminal, pp. 133–68.

35 Planificación, Ministerio de, Habitando la calle. Catastro nacional de personas en situación de calle (Santiago: Ministerio de Planificación, 2005), p. 28.

36 From the end of the nineteenth century, women and children were targeted by charitable institutions, not police; see de León Atria, Macarena Ponce, Gobernar la pobreza: Prácticas de caridad y beneficencia en la ciudad de Santiago, 1830–1890 (Santiago: DIBAM, 2011), pp. 183206. In subsequent decades police barely detained any women, and public concern about ‘female’ crime focused on abortion, abandoning the home, bigamy, adultery and ‘crimes of passion’: see Rivera Aravena, ‘Mujeres malas’, pp. 100–2.

37 A review of Ledgers 5, 6 and 7 of the 2CCS of files sent to the AJS identified 114 ‘beggars’ (65 women and 49 men) and 1,704 ‘vagrants’ (323 women and 1,381 men) by name and sex. Only nine women and 11 men were detained for both ‘crimes’. Common first and last name combinations and the use of initials may impact the accuracy of the numbers, but not to any significant degree.

38 Based on a review of 89 vagrancy cases in the AJS.

39 At the national level arrests of men outnumbered those of women; see Zapata and Moya, ‘La mendicidad y su mundo’, p. 20.

40 See, for example, Spooner, Soldiers in a Narrow Land, pp. 175–6.

41 Zapata and Moya, ‘La mendicidad y su mundo’, Anexo A, pp. 34–43.

42 Schkolnik and Teitelboim, Pobreza y desempleo, pp. 13–14.

43 Han, Clara, Life in Debt: Times of Care and Violence in Neoliberal Chile (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2012), pp. 7587. See also Hardy, Hambre + dignidad, pp. 158–9 and 168.

44 Schkolnik and Teitelboim, Pobreza y desempleo, pp. 13–14.

45 Zapata and Moya, ‘La mendicidad y su mundo’, pp. 91–4, 146–51.

46 Rodó, Andrea and Saball, Paulina, ‘Mujer popular, familia y cesantía: Apuntes de terreno’, Proposiciones, 9 (1983), pp. 3954; Rodó, ‘El cuerpo ausente’, pp. 86–7.

47 Rodó and Saball, ‘Mujer popular’, p. 49.

48 Ibid., p. 51; Rodó, ‘El cuerpo ausente’, pp. 86–7.

49 Rodó and Saball, ‘Mujer popular’, p. 49.

50 Sixty-seven identifiable women have an address in their file. More than half lived in Conchalí (13), La Granja (12) or La Cisterna (10).

51 Rojas, Sergio, ‘Políticas de erradicación y radicación de campamentos. 1982–1984, discursos, logros y problemas’, Documento de Trabajo FLACSO, 215 (1984), pp. 914; Ramón, Armando de, Santiago de Chile. Historia de una sociedad urbana (Santiago: Catalonia, 2007), p. 254. La Granja, Conchalí and La Cisterna ranked third, fifth and 19th respectively among the most overcrowded comunas: see Petit, Sergio Wilson, El drama de las familias sin casa y los allegados (Santiago: Fundación para la Acción Vecinal y Comunitaria, 1985), p. 89.

52 Mayr, Doris Cooper, Delincuencia común en Chile (Santiago: LOM, 1994), p. 88.

53 Gross, Patricio and Rodríguez, Alfredo, ‘Segregación ambiental en Santiago: 1952–1982’, Eure, 15: 44 (1988), pp. 5577.

54 Raczynski, Dagmar and Serrano, Claudia, Vivir la pobreza. Testimonios de mujeres (Santiago: Pispal / CIEPLAN, 1985), pp. 19, 184.

55 Ibid., pp. 18–19.

56 Ibid., pp. 43–58. See also Ministro de Economía, Fomento y Reconstrucción (Ministry of the Economy, Development and Reconstruction, MEFR), XV censo nacional de población y IV de vivienda, 12 vols., Vol. 2 (Santiago, 1982), pp. 266–7; and Schkolnik and Teitelboim, Pobreza y desempleo, pp. 323–7.

57 Raczynski and Serrano, Vivir la pobreza, pp. 43–58, 88, 98.

58 Hardy, Hambre + dignidad, p. 70. Hardy's figure for the eastern ollas comunes aligns with the 1982 census: see MEFR, XV censo nacional de población y IV de vivienda, Vol. 3, pp. 124–5, and with Schkolnik and Teitelboim's figures for the poblaciones of José María Caro, Lo Sierra, Lo Hermida and a campamento in Lo Espejo: see Pobreza y desempleo, p. 296.

59 Children and other relatives living with the nuclear family contributed more to household income than did wives; see Hardy, Hambre + dignidad, p. 79.

60 Raczynski and Serrano, Vivir la pobreza, p. 44.

61 Rodó and Saball, ‘Mujer popular’, p. 42.

62 Ibid., p. 45; Hardy, Hambre + dignidad, pp. 158–9; Nunez, Lorena, ‘Women on the Streets: Vending and Public Space in Chile’, Economic and Political Weekly, 28: 44 (1993), pp. WS71 and WS75–WS76.

63 Raczynski and Serrano, Vivir la pobreza, pp. 240–1.

64 Rodó and Saball, ‘Mujer popular’, pp. 41–6 and 52; CNSP, La pobreza en Chile.

65 In the available case files between 1979 and 1990, 59 individual women can be identified. Around half of these women were detained at least once with their children, or alongside someone with children. They identify as mostly as dueñas de casa (22). The next highest category is street vendor (five).

66 Zapata and Moya, ‘La mendicidad y su mundo’, p. 148.

67 Ibid., p. 149.

68 Interview with Guadalupe in Zapata and Moya, ‘La mendicidad y su mundo’, Anexo A, pp. 14–32.

69 Ibid., pp. 148–9.

70 Ibid., Anexo A, p. 26.

71 Ibid., p. 77.

72 Ibid., Anexo A, pp. 11 and 69.

73 Ibid., pp. 34–43.

74 Case 113.573-11, 2CCS, 23 Nov. 1985, AJS; Case 112.161-6, 2CCS, 9 July 1985, AJS.

75 Case 112.421-3, 2CCS, 30 July 1985, AJS.

76 Case 111.092-11, 2CCS, 22 April 1985, AJS.

77 Bengoa, Javier Martínez and Palacios, Margarita, Informe sobre la decencia: La diferenciación estamental de la pobreza y los subsidios públicos (Santiago: Ediciones SUR, 1996), p. 14. The same year, the CNSP's report detailed the effects of male alcoholism in the poblaciones and the ‘strength of women in the everyday struggle against poverty’. These women were, the report says, willing to do anything – including begging – to provide for their families: see La pobreza en Chile.

78 See note 16.

79 Sánchez, Héctor Jacob, Análisis crítico sobre la policía uniformada chilena (Santiago: n.p., 1984), pp. 79 and 49–54.

80 For the regime's effort to eradicate crime and its persecution of societal groups that contradicted its modernisation narrative see Bruey, Bread, Justice, and Liberty, pp. 90 and 145.

81 Begging is its own ‘crime’, rather than a sub-category of vagrancy or sospecha. In the 89 cases of vagrancy reviewed (see text at note 38), both women and men were typically detained because their names appeared in the PDI database, and although sospecha was an overwhelmingly male category, thousands of women (5,522 in 1979) were arrested for sospecha. In 1979, 315 women were detained for begging. Women such as Erna reported being arrested because they could not produce identification when asked to by the carabineros (Case 120.406-1, 2CCS, 22 June 1987, AJS); another (Case 122.203-1, 2CCS, 3 Nov. 1987, AJS) described being detained even after producing her papers.

82 Case 109.732-2, 2CCS, 31 Dec. 1984, AJS.

83 Case 111.603-6, 2CCS, 30 May 1985, AJS.

84 Case 113.537-11, 2CCS, 23 Nov. 1985, AJS.

85 Ministerio de Justicia, Ley no. 16.618 (1967).

86 Prieto, Carlos Maldonado, ‘Los carabineros de Chile: Historia de una policía militarizada’, Iberoamericana – Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 20: 3 (1990), p. 18.

87 Flores, Jorge Rojas, Historia de la infancia en el Chile republicano, 1810–2010 (Santiago: JUNJI, 2010), pp. 372 and 504–8; Una ley que ayudó a solucionar problemas de vagancia infantil’, Niño y Patria, 1: 1 (1975), p. 18.

88 Pardo, Sandra Ponce (Teniente [Lieutenant]), ‘La policía chilena y su preocupación frente al niño en situación irregular’, Niño y Patria, 1: 1 (1975), p. 14.

89 A 1967 article in the La Nación newspaper cited in ‘Una ley que ayudó’, p. 18.

90 Jefe de la Comisaría de Mujeres habla para nuestra revista’, Niño y Patria 1: 1 (1975), p. 53.

91 La historia señala permanente comunión del Binomio Hombre – Mujer’, Niño y Patria 1: 1 (1975), p. 28.

92 Actas de Sesiones de la honorable Junta de Gobierno, Acta no. 112-a (15 April 1974): https://www.bcn.cl/obtienearchivo?id=recursoslegales/10221.3/34754/1/acta112_a_1974.pdf (last access 25 March 2020).

93 Rojas Flores, Historia de la infancia, pp. 685–6.

94 de Justicia, Ministerio, Plan Nacional para Menores 1978–1982 (Santiago, 1978), pp. 3, 11–15, 19–25, 37. See also Clubes de menores: Rol preventivo, vacuna contra la irregularidad social’, Niño y Patria, 2 (1978), pp. 37–8.

95 Ministerio de Justicia, Plan Nacional para Menores, p. 9.

96 Celebración del año internacional del niño’, Niño y Patria, 3 (1978); Oyarzún, María Eugenia, ‘La responsabilidad de la sociedad frente al niño’, Niño y Patria, 4 (1980), pp. 911.

97 Rojas Flores, Historia de la infancia, pp. 690 and 695.

98 Castillo, Patricia and Peña, Nicolás, ‘Niñez como objeto del discurso de la prensa durante la dictadura chilena (1973–1989)’, Revista Austral de Ciencias Sociales, 32 (2017), pp. 2340; here pp. 30–1.

99 As cited in ibid., p. 30.

100 Ministerio de Justicia, Plan Nacional para Menores, pp. 3, 11–15, 19–25, 37.

101 Ministerio de Justicia, Decreto Ley no. 2.465 (1979); Rojas Flores, Historia de la infancia, p. 708.

102 Actas de Sesiones de la honorable Junta de Gobierno, Acta no. 112-a.

103 Pieper Mooney, The Politics of Motherhood, p. 138; Thomas, Contesting Legitimacy in Chile, p. 141.

104 Oficina de Planificación Nacional (ODEPLAN), Política de población: Política poblacional aprobada por su excelencia el Presidente de la República y publicada en el Plan Nacional Indicativo de Desarrollo (1978–1983), en noviembre de 1978 (Santiago: ODEPLAN, 1979), translated in Chile Adopts Pronatalist Policy’, Population and Development Review, 5: 3 (1979), pp. 563–71.

105 Ibid., p. 569.

106 Ibid., p. 570.

107 Ibid., p. 569.

108 Thomas, Contesting Legitimacy in Chile, p. 148.

109 Bruey, Bread, Justice, and Liberty, pp. 84 and 89–94.

110 Becerra, María Teresa Miranda, ‘Departamento de Menores: Medidas adoptadas y proyección futura’, Niño y Patria, 1: 2 (1978), pp. 1314. Articles in the magazine also point to inadequate housing, parental alcoholism, underdevelopment and ‘irresponsible’ family planning, and they make clear a preference to keep families together: Georgina Rivera Lechat (Capitán [Captain]), Consecuencias desfavorables del medio que conducen a la condición de irregularidad’, Niño y Patria, 2 (1978), p. 11; La familia popular y todos sus problemas’, Niño y Patria, 5 (1985), pp. 41–3.

111 Colonel Mario López, chief of the Department of Minors and executive vice-president of Niño y Patria, explained this dynamic in 1987, saying that child beggars were detained only if they should have otherwise been at school: see de la Solidaridad, Vicaría, ‘Mendicidad infantil. La pobreza obliga’, Solidaridad, 251 (1987), p. 20.

112 Chilean police prefectures have a larger brief than do individual commissaries. The Anuarios de estadísticas policiales published by the carabineros and the INE (see source to Figure 1) break down arrests by prefecture from 1982.

113 In the sample of cases, the 2nd Women's Commissary and the 34th and 35th Minors’ Commissaries were responsible for 13 arrests of women for begging between 1979 and 1987, and for none after 1987.

114 de Chile, Carabineros, de Instrucción, Dirección, Manual básico de procedimientos policiales para Carabineros (Chile: Carabineros de Chile, Dirección de Instrucción, 1982), p. 43.

115 Case 120.406-1, 2CCS, 22 June 1987, AJS.

116 Interview with Sister María de la Paz Venegas (7 Nov. 2019, Congregación Buen Pastor [Congregation of the Good Shepherd], Santiago). Sister María de la Paz was warden of the COF from 1978 to 1982 and again between 1991 and 1994. The COF also had a section for ‘minors’, that is prisoners under the age of 21. Sister María de la Paz recalled the youngest during her time as being around 18.

117 The archive of the Good Shepherd Congregation contains a 1984 update to the 1983 agreement, raising the number of ‘minors in irregular situations’ whom the sisters agreed to house from 40 to 45 (Archivo Histórico de la Fundación Buen Pastor, Document 200-8-1).

118 CNSP, La pobreza en Chile, p. 22.

119 Ibid.

120 Case 91.865-1, 2CCS, 16 July 1979, AJS.

121 Case 99.329, 2CCS, 26 Feb. 1982, AJS; Case 103.934-9, 2CCS, 24 June 1983, AJS; Case 109.815-9, 2CCS, 8 Dec. 1985, AJS; Case 118.873-1, 2CCS, 2 March 1987, AJS.

122 Case 113.133-6, 2CCS, 15 Oct. 1985, AJS.

123 Zapata and Moya, ‘La mendicidad y su mundo’, pp. 92–4, 97 and 149.

124 Contreras, Victoria and Weihert, Uwe, Sobrevivir en la calle: El comercio ambulante en Santiago (Santiago: PREALC, 1988), pp. 3940, 91, 93, 99, 103. Murphy too writes of the ambivalent relationship between pobladores and the police within the poblaciones: see For a Proper Home, pp. 143–4.

125 Begging arrests followed a different rhythm from repression in the poblaciones. Massive raids of poor comunas showed a lull in the late 1970s, spiked in the mid 1980s and remained relatively high in the late 1980s: see Moya, Laura, Videla, Claudia and Balladares, Ricardo (eds.), Tortura en poblaciones del Gran Santiago (1973–1990) (Santiago: Corporación José Domingo Cañas, 2005), p. 75.

126 Contreras and Weihert, Sobrevivir en la calle, pp. 20 and 37.

127 Ibid., p. 38.

128 As translated in Nunez, ‘Women on the Streets’, p. WS79.

129 Contreras and Weihert, Sobrevivir en la calle, pp. 5 and 23.

130 Ibid., p. 16.

131 Carabineros de Chile, INE, Anuarios de estadísticas policiales (1989–98).

132 Cámara de Diputados, Sesión no. 29(a) (15 Jan. 1991).

Keywords

Defending the Family: Female Begging and the Policing of Female Begging on the Streets of Pinochet's Santiago (1973–90)

  • Leith Passmore (a1)

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