Gladys Marín Millié – Chile (1941 – 2005)

Gladys Marín Millié has passed away

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Gladys del Carmen Marín Millie (July 16, 1941 – March 6, 2005) was a Chilean activist and political figure. She was Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Chile PCCh (1994-2002) and then president of the PCCh until her death. She was a staunch opponent of General Augusto Pinochet and filed the first lawsuit against him, in which she accused him of committing human rights violations during his seventeen-year dictatorship … She died of brain cancer after a long battle which included treatment in Cuba and Sweden. Upon her death the government declared two days of national mourning. In accordance with her wishes, her coffin was exhibited at the former National Congress in Santiago and was viewed by thousands of mourners prior to its cremation. For her funeral the PCCh and her family organized a march through the center of Santiago, where there were between 500,000 and 1 million marchers. An avenue crossing a working class district of Santiago was later renamed after her … (full long text).

She said: “To fight is not to suffer, to fight is to create”.

Gladys del Carmen Marín Millie (Curepto, 16 de julio de 1941 – Santiago, 6 de marzo de 2005) fue una profesora y política chilena, dirigente del Partido Comunista de Chile. Fue Diputada para el período 1965-1969 y reelegida en 1969 … (full text, es.wikipedia) … and: Página de Gladys Marín en el sitio del Partido Comunista.

Gladys del Carmen Marín Millie – Diputado.


Gladys Marín Millié – Chile (1941 – 2005)

She worked for the Chilean Communist Party (in Spanish: Partido Comunista de Chile). This is a Chilean political party that advocates communism. It was founded in 1922, as the continuation of the Socialist Workers Party.

Gladys Marín, Communist opponent of Pinochet, 8 March 2005.

Con el respaldo de mil firmas. ALCALDE REMITIRÁ AL CONCEJO SOLICITUD DE LOS COMUNISTAS PARA QUE UNA CALLE DE PUNTA ARENAS LLEVE EL NOMBRE DE GLADYS MARÍN. Con el respaldo de mil firmas, la directiva del Partido Comunista en Magallanes, se reunió con el alcalde Juan Morano Cornejo, solicitando que se nomine con el nombre de Gladys Marín Millie, una calle de Punta Arenas, indicando que “el nombre y la figura de Marín convoca la simpatía y solidaridad de millones de chilenos” y “que Punta Arenas no es ajena a ese sentir”. Tamara Avendaño, presidenta del Partido Comunista en Magallanes, indicó que la fallecida dirigente nacional de los comunistas fue “una activa luchadora por las causas del pueblo” y que su figura “es reconocida tanto nacional como internacionalmente”. El alcalde Juan Morano, les manifestó a los dirigentes comunistas, que la solicitud de nominar una calle con el nombre de Gladys Marín Millie, la iba a remitir al concejo municipal para su aprobación, indicando también, que era muy oportuna la solicitud, en el Día Internacional de la Mujer … (centros chilenos blog, 10/03/2007).

Her unofficial life and work.

In September 1973, Gladys Marín, who has died, aged 63, of a brain tumour, had just arrived back in Chile from a tour of Europe when the army chief-of-staff Augusto Pinochet led a military coup against the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende. Immediately, Marín, a leading member of the Chilean Communist party and a parliamentarian, broadcast a desperate message of defiance on Radio Magallanes. Her name appeared on the junta’s most-wanted list, and she went underground, separated from her husband, the Santiago Communist party secretary Jorge Muñoz, and their two sons … (full text).

Bidding a 2005 farewell to the best and brightest.

Found on 1000PeaceWomen: Gladys Marín’s ‘footprint’ remains. It is in the people of her country and in the world that admired her leadership, just as they admired the fighting spirit that sustained her, in the struggle against the tyranny that devastated Chile from 1973 to 1990. It was the same spirit that gave her the strength to overcome the pain of exile, of knowing that her husband had disappeared, of being far away from her two sons. She believed that, “the ideals of justice, peace and solidarity, the ideals of communism, are going to destroy the awful myths propagated against the left-wing movement.”

“Gladys’ life happened along with the life of Chile. There are no events in these decades that do not involve mutual footprints”. This text was written by the composer and singer Silvio Rodríguez in the preface to the Cuban edition of “La vida es hoy” (Life is today), his autobiography published in 2003. He is referring to Gladys Marín.

She was born on July 16 1941 in Curepto, a region in the South of Chile. She grew up in the countryside along with her three sisters. “We had so much space to play. I was so, so happy. It was the happiness of living with fresh air and sun”.

At 11 she went alone to Santiago to study at the Escuela Normal where she stood out because of her intellectual capacity and her rebelliousness. She was invited to enter the Communist Youth Movement and gained her credentials as a militant in 1958. “We the workers and the poor are the majority. We start machines, we seed, we harvest, and we construct roads and bridges. We do everything, but except for the poverty and the fatigue, we do not possess anything. Our sweat and blood have gone to enrich those few who own the wealth”.

President of the Federation of Teaching Students, in 1957 she took her degree as a teacher and was assigned to a school for children with mental deficiencies. In 1963 she married Jorge Muñoz Poutays. “It was the time of the great marches in solidarity with Vietnam and Cuba”.

In 1965, the 23-year-old Gladys was chosen as Deputy of the second district of Santiago, a district with a clear proletarian composition. A year later she accompanied Pablo Neruda in his tour as presidential candidate. In 1973 she was again elected, but this time her parliamentary work was interrupted by the coup d’etat.

On September 11, 1973, after the speech by Salvador Allende, Gladys spoke on the radio calling the people to resist: “Everyone should resist from their battle positions and maintain their high morale. We will defend what the people have won”. She was near to being imprisoned several times, but she always managed to escape from her pursuers: “The milicos are coming! Shouted the companions who hid me, when the military forces were after me. I hid under the cradle of my crying baby.

From this position I could see the legs of a huge person with a uniform standing at the door. He stood there for seconds that seemed to me to last an eternity, and then he opened the closet and looked at the bed. Then he turned back and went away. A little angel had saved me.

Her name appeared among the names of the 100 persons who were most wanted by the military junta. She went from one hiding place to another until the Communist Party ordered her to seek asylum in Holland’s embassy in Santiago, where she remained for eight months. “During that time communication with my husband was reduced to slips of paper that we sent inside bottles of shampoo and through which I got news about our children, who remained with their grandparents”.

Holland was her first destiny before she was based in Moscow. She used her prolonged exile to denounce the abuses of the military regime. In 1976, while she was in Costa Rica, she found out about the disappearance of her husband along with the entire board of the Communist Party from their base in Conferencia Street. And she would never hear any more about him.

“There is nothing worse than uncertainty. People, and mainly the young, are the ones who are most interested in knowing what happened. Society cannot be allowed to forget. Otherwise things can be repeated against human beings, with the same ferocity and the same pain”.

“The idea of returning to Chile remained fixed; it was an urgent, indomitable idea”.

The plan for her return was baptized Operation return. “I came into the country from Mendoza in Argentina by bus. That first time I returned disguised as a Spaniard, with a well-learned Spanish history, with a Spanish accent and a brace and false hips and breasts to make me look fatter.”

During the 12 years that she lived clandestinely, she left and returned to Chile using multiple birth certificates and personalities. She assures us that she slept in an adjacent house to Pinochet’s and that she stayed at the house of her sister’s neighbours without her sister knowing it and observed her children from a distance.

In 1980 she travelled to Moscow to convince the external leadership of the Communist Party to initiate a policy for a Popular Rebellion of the Masses. “To fight against the dictatorship and to end the crime and the paralysing terror was the desire of the majority”. That line was ratified with the return to control of the military sector of the party that in 1983 created the Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez (FPMR), which would try to bring about the execution of Pinochet.

“There existed a collective feeling that he should be eliminated and it was decided to act on this. We are against violence; the idea of Communism is to end the social and class inequalities that generate that violence. It was the fascist coup d’etat, with Augusto Pinochet at the top, that installed the most brutal violence that it is possible to know “.

In 1987 her sons sent an ultimatum to her: We must see each other now or never. “There had been already ten years of clandestine life in Chile and although my two children were so close, I could not see them”. They met in Bariloche where they stayed together for 15 days on the Argentinean side of the Andes. Her first public appearance was in 1989 for the Fiesta de los abrazos , an act in celebration of the 68° anniversary of the Communist Party. In 1994, Gladys Marín was unanimously chosen as General Secretary of the Party.

From this new position she made harsh criticisms against the government of Eduardo Frei. In September of 1996 she was arrested for two days because of the following declaration: “The person most responsible for State terrorism, for the crimes against humanity, is Pinochet and he continues to be active on the political scene and continues giving orders. And he is able to do that because the Government allows it “. In 1998 she presented the Court of Appeals in Santiago with the first criminal complaint against Pinochet. She was also the first one to make a declaration, in the proceedings presided over by the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, as a result of which the general was arrested and detained in London for two years.

In June she was chosen as a presidential candidate. It was the first time that the Communist Party had put forward one of its militants for that position and she was the first woman to be put forward for the post of President of Chile. On July 15 2003, the president of the Communist Party once again denounced Augusto Pinochet, holding him to be responsible for the disappearance of the Communist leaders from their base in Conferencia Street in May 1976.

That year she was diagnosed as having a brain tumor. Gladys was not discouraged; she just wished for “enough strength to be able to to say goodbye to my people and my compañeros “.

On March 8, 2005, after 63 years of life, thousands of people, among them the country’s president, Ricardo Lagos, said a moving good bye to her on the streets of Santiago. The Chilean flag and the flag of the Communist Party covered her coffin. The occasion coincided with International Women’s Day. “In my life there are loves, people and ideas that I have loved and to which I have dedicated all my days and all my efforts. I have travelled a lot, but my heart and my mind have always been in a certain place, a certain history. I have always been concerned about the liberation from the chains of exploitation and from injustice that restrict the lives of my people. But every day is a day to be born again, to submerge, to breathe again, to continue once again on our way”.

“War is big business for the powerful trans- national groups but meanwhile there is hunger and there are children who die of curable diseases. War is a damnable word and it is necessary to eradicate it. We must direct all our forces towards it; towards peace and understanding between human beings “. (1000PeaceWomen).

Find her and her publications on IAI PK; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search: one message on alt.obituaries.


The black list;

South America, Central America and the Carribean, 2002;

FEMALE PRESIDENTAL CANDIDATES, 1990-99: This is a list of the women who stood as candidates for the post of President;


Rick Walter, Urban Pioneers: The Role of Women in the Local Government of Santiago, Chile, 1935-1946, Hispanic American Historical Review – 84:4, November 2004, pp. 661-699.

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