Chamudes Reitich, Marcos

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CHAMUDES REITICH, MARCOS (1907–1989), Chilean politician and journalist. Born in Valparaiso, Chamudes became an active Communist leader and the founder of the Avance student's group during his university studies in Santiago. He played a prominent role in the establishment of the Popular Front – a coalition that culminated in the election of Pedro Aguirre Cerda as president of Chile. In the elections for Parliament in 1937 he was elected as mp for Valparaíso. An excellent orator, he was considered the best speaker in the Chamber of Deputies.

In 1940 Chamudes abandoned the Communist Party, left his parliamentary seat, and moved to the United States, where he worked as a photographer. When the U.S. joined World War ii Chamudes enlisted as a volunteer in the American army, but was forced to renounce his Chilean citizenship. After the war he returned to Chile. The Chilean Parliament then passed a law that gave him back his citizenship.

Chamudes worked with success as a newspaper and radio journalist. He joined the Radical Democratic Party, adopting an anti-Communist ideology. During the government of Jorge Alessandri in 1964 he was nominated director of the Santiago daily La Nación. He was an important adversary of Allende and his supporters. He founded the weekly pec, which fulfilled a central role in the campaign against Allende that brought about the revolution of 1973. Chamudes published several books on political subjects. He lived his last years in Buenos Aires.

[Moshe Nes El (2nd ed.)]