The Women of Calama

Paula Allen

Calama is a town in the center of the Atacama desert, the driest region on earth. It is a grueling, dusty twenty-four hour bus ride north of Santiago, Chile. For the past twenty-three years a small, determined group of women have been digging in the vast expanse of the Atacama for the bodies of their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons. Their search began shortly after the military coup of September 11, 1973 in which President Salvador Allende was overthrown and General Augusto Pinochet took control of the Chilean government. Thousands of Chileans were tortured, executed and "disappeared".

Paula Allen, Copyright 1996