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Series / Los Archivos del Cardenal

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Poster from the first season. Left to right: Carlos Pedregal, Ramón Sarmiento, Laura Pedregal, Manuel Gallardo, Vicar Cristián Precht.
Eso no está muerto.
No me lo mataron.
Ni con la distancia.
Ni con el vil soldado.
— Chorus of 'Santiago de Chile' by Silvio Rodriguez. The cover performed by Los Bunkers is the main theme of Los Archivos del Cardenal.
Los Archivos del Cardenal is a Chilean TV series, who aired on Televisión Nacional de Chile between 2011 and 2014.

It's 1976. Three years passed since the military coup on September 11th, 1973 in Chile, and since then, countless violations of human rights. As a successor of an organization previosly created, the Vicariate of Solidarity was born. Their mission: Provide social and legal assistance to those who suffered human rights abuse by the dictatorship. The series is a fictionalized recreation of the work done by the Vicariate of Solidarity, mainly by the points of view of lawyer Ramón Sarmiento (Benjamín Vicuña) and social worker Laura Pedregal (Daniela Ramirez).

Each one of the major events shown through the complete run of the series, recreated real events who happened during Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship, who were documented in two books released along with the DVD box sets of both seasons.

Currently both seasons are available on the video library of the Consejo Nacional de Televisión.


Los Archivos del Cardenal provides examples of:

  • Anyone Can Die: Estabilished since the beginning. The whole series is set in the middle of a dictatorship, who will not hesitate to torture and/or murder anyone who stands in his way. Not even the main characters are safe from this. The prime example of this is the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Carlos Pedregal in the first season finale.
  • Cigarette Burns:
    • A way of torture used by CNI agents.
    • Mauro Pastene's nightmare in episode 9 features Pedro Santos putting a cigarette on his neck.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Covering the murder of Lautaro Marin, and making it to look like a regular police case, CNI agents Mauro and Troglio took a guy who had nothing to do with the case, called Pedro Santos, they forced him to write and sign a confession who makes him the responsible of the crime. After being beatened and pointed with a gun by Troglio, he had no option but to write the confession. Moments later, Troglio grabs a knife, and holding firmly both hands of Pedro, he cuts very deeply both wrists of him, almost at the point of slicing them. The audience doesn't see any blood coming out of both cuts, but the sharp sound of both of them, and Pedro screaming in pain, is enough to imagine he will be left bleeding to death.
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  • Punk in the Trunk: The original plan to take Mauro Pastene out of Chile, was putting him on the trunk of a car, so the Vicar Precht can take him to Los Andes, avoiding the CNI agents who are chasing him. It failed for two reasons. First, at the moment the plan was on the way, a state of emergency was declared, so the Vicar had no option but return to the place where Mauro was staying. And second, at the moment the Vicar was returning to that place, it was surrounded by CNI agents.
  • Self-Immolation: In episode 10, Sebastián Castañeda, desperate because her daughter Maria was arrested during a protest and he had no idea where she is, went to the Vicariate to seek help. Seeing that the work of the Vicariate was in vain, he decided to immolate himself in the front of the Vicariate's offices. Moments before he self-immolated, we know her daughter was set free, which allowed her to see his father agonizing in an hospital.
  • Spoiler Title: At least in the video library of the Consejo Nacional de Televisión and some episodes guides, many episodes are this.


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