Chile’s Amnesty International has asked soccer fans to do the unthinkable -- with the hope of commemorating the inconceivable.
With a campaign titled “Gol de Silencio” (Goal Of Silence), the organization has asked players and soccer fans to refrain from cheering the first goal when they face Venezuela at the National Stadium on Friday night. According to Chilean daily La Tercera, the idea is to commemorate the thousands of human rights violations that occurred within the same venue after General Augusto Pinochet’s military coup forty years ago.
Chile’s Amnesty International created a video explaining the campaign that has caught the attention of several Chilean news outlets and citizens. Images from the 1973 coup and text delineate the purpose of the “Goal of Silence.”
(Watch The Video Above)
The video’s message reads as follows, translated from Spanish:
On September 6, 2013, Chile hosts Venezuela in the same stadium where the human rights of 12,000 Chileans were violated 40 years ago. To all the Chilean players, we ask that when the first goal is scored, don’t celebrate it. Keep your mouths closed to stop the scream that comes from your soul. Clench your fist so you don’t raise your hand in the air. And if you really want to celebrate the goal to the fullest, tell the entire stadium to stay silent as well. We know that not celebrating the first goal is a lot to ask, but the good thing is that we will celebrate the second goal with everything we’ve got.
With the hashtag #goldesilencio, the organization hopes to spread the word through social media.
“This is just one of a series of actions we are doing as Amnesty International to commemorate the 40 years with the purpose of preserving the historical memory,” Executive Director of Chile’s Amnesty International Ana Piquer told the Cooperativa radio station. “It’s a crazy idea not to celebrate a goal but the severity of what occurred in the National Stadium merits the effort in memory of the human rights victims there.”
On Sept. 11, 1973, General Pinochet overthrew the world’s first democratically elected Marxist government lead by President Salvador Allende.
The U.S. government helped destabilize the Allende government, supported the coup, and backed Pinochet's military dictatorship as it committed human rights violations against thousands of its citizens.
Following the coup, Chile's new authorities rounded up an estimated 12,000 political prisoners and corralled them into Santiago’s National Stadium. Most were supporters of the Allende government and were interrogated, tortured and executed.
Pinochet’s oppressive military dictatorship lasted until 1990 when he stepped down, though he remained involved within the Chilean government. He died in 2006 without ever being convicted for any of the crimes he was accused of.
Chile’s national team will face Venezuela at the National Stadium on Friday at 8:30 p.m.