Chilean Army Under Scrutiny In Quake Zone

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For a country with Chile's dark and violent past, the decision to send soldiers on to the streets to restore order in the wake of Saturday's devastating earthquake is a sensitive one.

For some, it evokes painful memories of the 1970s and 1980s, when Gen Augusto Pinochet regularly deployed troops to repress his opponents.

But for others, it’s a necessary evil in a country reeling from what outgoing President Michelle Bachelet has described as the biggest catastrophe in its history.

“Imagine, for a coalition that has governed this country for 20 years and that fought against the dictatorship, the idea of having the military on the streets was not easy,” government minister Sergio Bitar told the BBC.