The issue is Chile's remarkable success over the past 17 years -- the fastest growing economy outside Asia -- in a context of democratic stability and social progress, and whether that progress is due to the legacy of General Augusto Pinochet's 17 years of military rule.

It has to do with whether authoritarian rule is a prerequisite for economic development, with whether human rights abuses are acceptable to implement economic reforms and whether the economic achievements of any given country can be attributed to policies applied 20 or 30 years previously by a very different regime.

The policies applied under Pinochet were...

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