Whatever the reason, I guess they mainly wanted to wait out  the confirmation of the modest political liberation taking place which had helped boost Chile’s economy between 1976 to 1979. When the new constitution was announced in March 1981, did they feel more comfortable bringing out the magazine. Even so, Pinochet would remain in power until 1989 and therefore the ultimate law of the land. What finally nudged him out was the national referendum with 55% of population voting resounding NO to the 43% saying YES to his run for an extended term.

The first issue hand delivered to us by Herman Valerius and Rodolfo Letelier at Playboy International Publishing’s 1981 annual conference taking place at Playboy Club in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Proud as can be and glowing in their success of having sold out the first print run of 100,000 + copies within days. The second printing already ordered, they are there to justly join the expanding family of the world wide editions of Playboy.

Halfway through the conference, I have just introduced one of the editors to do his audio-visual presentation and have sat down, when I see my secretary Teresa (Velazquez) hurriedly coming down the aisle and scoot right next to me. I follow her out of the meeting room and into the lobby of the club. Standing there are Herman and Rodolfo, looking like as if they have been hit by a boulder.

‘Didn’t want to leave without saying goodbye to you, but I am sorry, we have to return to Santiago immediately. There is an emergency regarding the reprint of Playboy. We will call  you as soon as we have dealt with the crisis.’ Says Herman while Rodolfo looks on nervously. Teresa has helped them re-book and the limo is waiting outside to take them to the O’Hare International Airport.

Two days later, I am told that while the plant awaited the distribution truck to pick up the second print run, instead a military truck shows up and hauls away the pallets of the freshly printed second run of the magazine. All 50,000 or so copies confiscated by the thugs of the regime. Playboy magazine’s Chilean edition, like its people disappears as suddenly as it had appeared and before it had a chance to grow. Nipped right in the bud.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Some years later when I saw Herman and Veronika on a visit to Chicago, he told me rest of the story. Not only did they confiscate the magazine, but also arrested and imprisoned the principal owner Juan Fernandez.

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