Memorandum on the Situation in the Coal Mining Area16


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The control which the Communists had in the mining area is astonishing. A miner was compelled to join the Communist Party. If a miner was sick and did not belong to the Party, he was given one peso a day; but if he did belong to the Party, he was given thirty-one pesos per day. The Communist Party controlled the majority of public officials and such agencies as the post office, telegraph system, and treasury. There were some Communists who lived in the zone, officials and organizers, who were on the pay roll of the Communist Party. One such individual indicated that the Party paid him two thousand five hundred pesos monthly plus expenses for his work of agitation and propaganda. All these officials and organizers will be sent to Quiriquina. One of the principal women agitators was Blanca Sanchez, a school teacher in Lota, who has now been removed from [Page 511] the mining area. It appears that the company on many occasions had requested through the Ministry of Education that this Communist agitator be removed, but nothing was ever done about it.

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  1. Transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in Chile in his despatch 15,681, October 21, 1947, not printed.