Law of Permanent Defense of Democracy
Under the pressure of the United States of America, Chilean President Gabriel González Videla enacted the Law of Permanent Defense of Democracy (Spanish: Ley de Defensa Permanente de la Democracia, Ley N° 8.987), also known as Cursed Law (Ley Maldita), which outlawed the Communist Party of Chile and banned 26,650 persons from the electoral lists.
The law banned the expression of ideas which appeared to advocate "the implantation in the republic of a regime opposed to democracy or which attack the sovereignty of the country."
The detention center in Pisagua, used during Carlos Ibáñez del Campo's dictatorship (and which would also be used during Pinochet's dictatorship), was re-opened to imprison Communists, Anarchists and revolutionaries, although no detainee was executed this time. Prominent Communists, such as the senator Pablo Neruda, fled into exile. He also broke relations with the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact states. A pro-communist miners' strike in Lota was brutally suppressed. Demonstrations against what the communists called la ley maldita ("the damned law") led to the declaration of martial law, but were successfully repressed.
The law was replaced through Law n.º 12.927, about State Security Law (Seguridad del Estado), on 6. August 1958 which ended the proscription of the Communist Party and restored penalties for crimes against state security and public order to levels comparable with those that existed prior to 1948.
- Simon Collier,William F. Sater, A history of Chile, 1808-2002, Cambridge Latin American Studies, 2004, url, page 248
- Adam Feinstein, Pablo Neruda: A Passion for Life url
- Human Rights Watch, Limits of Tolerance: Freedom of Expression and the Public Debate in Chile on 1 November 1998, 1-56432-192-4, retrieved 29 June 2011