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  • By Jorge Canizares Esguerra

    I had just turned 12. I heard grownups either lament or cheer the news: Allende is gone. Allende is dead.

    Some Chilean entrepreneurs, friends of my parents, packed up and left Ecuador. But scores of new would-be friends soon began to arrive. Quito received its share of artists, economists, architects, workers: exiled, longing.

    And so I began to develop a liking for empanadas. And cuecas. And Neruda. And so my romance with the Chile of Intillimani, of Victor Jara, of Violeta Parra began.

    It continues to this day. September 11 is a day of reckoning indeed. Every time I hear this song about the plaza of la Moneda, like Pablo Milanes, I also cry.

    For all those who went missing and died cruel deaths.
    For all those whose lives irrevocably changed.
    For all those who, while in exile, contribute to shape me in countless small ways.

    September 11, 2013
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