Karin Arroyo’s family arrived in Montreal in 1979 from Valparaiso, Chile. The young family was fleeing the Pinochet dictatorship in the South American country, though politics were lost on the three-year-old who was just excited to see her father. He had landed in Canada six months before.

Edmundo Arroyo-Fuentes had travelled to Montreal in October 1978, telling his extended family he was heading to Spain and not Canada, where he would seek political asylum.

Chileans who opposed Augusto Pinochet had learned to be cautious when seeking asylum after the brazen 1976 assassination of Orlando Letelier.

Letelier, a prominent opponent of military rule in Chile, was killed in a car bombing on the streets of Washington DC by agents linked to the Pinochet regime, suggesting his power extended beyond Chile’s borders.

So the Arroyo family – Karin, her mother and her eight-year-old brother – waited for news. A call finally came. They were to join their father.

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