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The Marusia massacre (Spanish: Masacre de Marusia) (March, 1925) was the Chilean government's response, then headed by Arturo Alessandri, to a strike by the workers of a saltpeter mine, that ended with more than 500 deaths.


On March of 1925, the workers of the nitrate "office" (saltpeter mine) of Marusia, on the province of Antofagasta near the Andes, went on strike to demand a salary raise, less working hours and better working conditions. While the negotiations were taking place between the company executives and the worker's representatives, the British engineer who run the "office", much hated because of his habit of whipping his workers, was found dead near the mine. A Bolivian engineer was accused of the crime and executed without process by decision of the owners of the company.


The union, under the leadership of Domingo Soto, was afraid of reprisals, and especially of another massacre like the one that had happened only a few years before in San Gregorio, so they decided to take several preventive measures. They contacted the other "offices", and proposed to blow up the railroad tracks in order to prevent the arrival of strike-breakers. The government aprised of the unrest responded by sending forty soldiers under the command of captain Gilberto Troncoso, known as the "Hyena of San Gregorio" for his violent behaviour.

The women of Marusia organized themselves under the leadership of Selva Saavedra, and decided to resist the advance of the troops. When the soldiers arrived, they entered the town already shooting. A group of workers responded by throwing dynamite sticks at them, killing several soldiers and taking over their guns. Then the workers mounted a counter-offensive taking over the explosive depot of the mine, and cutting the telegraphic wires. Captain Troncoso was forced to retreat.

The miners proceeded to arm the whole town (about 2,400 people). In an open assembly, the union leaders proposed to negotiate their surrender, while some miners advocated to call upon the help of the workers from other mines. In the end the motion of Domingo Soto calling for the Town priest to negotiate was decided upon.

While these negotiations were taking place, the army returned with a 300-men strong battalion under the command of Colonel Pedro Schultz. They attacked the town in the middle of the night and machined-gun everyone in sight. Hundreds died, including women and children — the exact number was never properly established. A group of workers were able to mount a hasty defense, throwing dynamite sticks to the advancing troops, and they managed to kill 36 soldiers and to injure 64. The surviving miners escaped with their families into the high mountains. This put an end to the inmediate strike, but the conflict flared again less than two months later, and led to the La Coruna massacre.

See also

  • Arturo Alessandri
  • San Gregorio massacre
  • La Coruna massacre
  • History of Chile

External links

Other pages about History of Chile

-1925 Chilean coup d'etat -1973 Chilean coup d'etat -1992 Galvarino -2006&#8211? -Alejandrina Cox incident -Alessandri family -Allende family -Allende stamps -Antonio Samore -Arauco War -Ariostazo -Army of the Andes -Burnt Alive case -Capture of Valdivia -Carrera family -Caso Degollados -Charles Horman -Chile under Allende -Chile under Pinochet -Chilean Civil War -Chilean Revolution of 1829 -Chilean coup d'etat -Chilean transition to democracy -City of the Caesars -Clemente de Lantano -Colonia Dignidad -Covadonga (ship) -Crossing of the Andes -Cuban packages -DINA -Death of Salvador Allende -Economic history of Chile -Errazuriz family -Esmeralda (BE-43) -Estadio Nacional de Chile -Estadio Victor Jara -Figueroa mutiny -First Ladies of Chile -Flach (submarine) -Forced disappearance -Frei family -Gabino Gainza -Garcia de Nodal expedition -Government Junta of Chile (1924) -Government Juntas of Chile -Heroes (Chilean miniseries) -History of Chile -History of Chile during the Parliamentary Era (1891-1925) -Huaso (horse) -Ines de Suarez -John E. Hamm -Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia -Kingdom of Chile -Leighton case -Letelier case -Liberal-Conservative Fusion (Chile) -List of archaeological sites in Chile -List of major political scandals in Chile -List of presidents of Chile -Lonco -Maitland Plan -Mapuche -Maria Callcott -Marusia massacre -Michael Townley -Missing (film) -Montt family -National Party (Chile) -Norte Grande insurrection -Nueva Extremadura -Occupation of the Araucania -Operation Colombo -Operation Condor -Operation TOUCAN (KGB) -Paul Schafer -Pedro de Valdivia -Project Cybersyn -Project FUBELT -Ranquil massacre -Rettig Report -Royal Governor of Chile -Saber noise -Sailors' mutiny -Schneider Doctrine -Scorpion scandal -Seguro Obrero massacre -Supreme director -Tacnazo insurrection -Tanquetazo -Timeline of Chilean history -Toqui -Valech Report -Valparaiso bombardment -Villa Grimaldi

Other pages about Massacres in Chile

-Caravan of Death -Marusia massacre -Ranquil massacre -Seguro Obrero massacre

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Marusia_massacre

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