f: In my introduction I explain what was going through my head the first
time we talked. Now it’s your turn: at first, what did you think of our
When we first got together, I wasn’t sure exactly what we’d be doing. But I
had a premonition, one of those feelings you get, that we were going to get
along well. The first time, when we met at the Café Raíces, I don’t know, I
felt a kind of empathy. Even though I’m pretty critical of researchers, espe-
cially political scientists, who’ve worked with indigenous peoples, I felt a
‘‘click’’ with you, I don’t know how else to describe it, and that was interest-
ing to me. You seemed di√erent, at least in that first conversation. Even
though you tried to come o√ as really informed and secure on the topic we
were discussing, I glimpsed the fact that you didn’t know everything and
that you really wanted to learn. That interested me.
Second, from the beginning it was really clear that we’d be working
together. You didn’t begin by demanding that we do it your way, which
is what I’ve generally seen with other Chilean and foreign researchers.
They come in with their hypothesis, it’s preconceived, and all they want to
do is prove it. This was something di√erent I saw in you that first time.
Still, I consulted with others about you. I remember telling you at one
point that I’d talked with José Aylwin. I also talked with Fresia Manquilef,
with my husband, with my sisters, and I told them, look, there’s something
about this lady, I’m not sure what, but she seems di√erent. And I began
to have confidence in you, not in the sense of proving my hypothesis that
you were a di√erent kind of researcher, but more because I felt an a≈nity
with you.
To that must be added the fact that I’d been thinking about writing for a
long time. In fact I had a lot of things written down, a piece here and there,
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