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Augusto Pinochet

Pinochet redirects here. For the social critic, see

Tancredo Pinochet.
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the rst or
paternal family name is Pinochet and the second or
maternal family name is Ugarte.

commission. In a 1988 plebiscite 56% voted against

Pinochets continuing as president, which led to democratic elections for the Presidency and Congress. After stepping down in 1990, Pinochet continued to serve
as Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army until 10
March 1998, when he retired and became a senator-forlife in accordance with his 1980 Constitution. However,
Pinochet was arrested under an international arrest warrant on a visit to London on 10 October 1998 in connection with numerous human rights allegations. Following
a legal battle he was released on grounds of ill-health, and
returned to Chile in March 2000. In 2004, Chilean Judge
Juan Guzmn Tapia ruled that Pinochet was medically t
to stand trial and placed him under house arrest.[6] By
the time of his death on 10 December 2006, about 300
criminal charges were still pending against him in Chile
for numerous human rights violations during his 17-year
rule, and tax evasion and embezzlement during and after
his rule;[14] he was accused of having corruptly amassed
at least US$28 million.[15]

Augusto Jos Ramn Pinochet Ugarte, more commonly known as Augusto Pinochet (Spanish pronunciation: [auusto pinote];[1] 25 November 1915 10
December 2006), was dictator[2][3] of Chile between
1973 and 1990 and Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean
Army from 1973 to 1998. He was also president of the
Government Junta of Chile between 1973 and 1981.[4]

Pinochet assumed power in Chile following a United

States-backed coup d'tat on 11 September 1973 that
overthrew the elected socialist Unidad Popular government of President Salvador Allende and ended civilian
rule. Several academics have stated that the support of
the United States was crucial to the coup and the consolidation of power afterward.[5] Pinochet had been promoted to Commander-in-Chief of the Army by Allende
on 23 August 1973, having been its General Chief of Sta
since early 1972.[6] In December 1974, the ruling military 1 Early life and military career
junta appointed Pinochet President of Chile by joint decree, although without the support of one of the coups Pinochet was born in Valparaso, the son of Augusto
instigators, Air Force General Gustavo Leigh.[7]
Pinochet Vera, a descendant of a French Breton immiFrom its beginning, the new military government imple- grant from Lamballe, and Avelina Ugarte Martnez, a
Pinochet went to primary
mented harsh measures against its perceived opponents.[8] woman of Basque descent.
Various reports and investigations claim that between and secondary school at the San Rafael Seminary of Val1,200 and 3,200 people were killed, up to 80,000 peo- paraso, the Rafael Arizta Institute (Marist Brothers) in
ple were interned and as many as 30,000 were tortured Quillota, the French Fathers School of Valparaso, and
then to the Military School in Santiago, which he entered
during the time Pinochet was in government.[9][10][11]
in 1931. In 1935, after four years of study, he graduUnder the inuence of the free market-oriented
ated with the rank of alfrez (Second Lieutenant) in the
neoliberal "Chicago Boys", the military government
infantry. In September 1937, Pinochet was assigned to
implemented economic reforms, including currency
the Chacabuco Regiment, in Concepcin. Two years
stabilization, tari cutting, opening Chiles markets
later, in 1939, then with the rank of Sub-lieutenant,
to global trade, restricting labor unions, privatizing
he moved to the Maipo Regiment, garrisoned in Valsocial security, and the privatization of hundreds of
paraso. He returned to Infantry School in 1940. On
state-controlled industries. These policies produced
30 January 1943, Pinochet married Luca Hiriart Rowhat has been referred to as the "Miracle of Chile, but
drguez, with whom he had ve children: Ins Luca,
critics state that the government policies dramatically
Mara Vernica, Jacqueline Marie, Augusto Osvaldo, and
increased economic inequality.[12] Chile was, for most
Marco Antonio.
of the 1990s, the best-performing economy in Latin
America, though academics continue to dispute the By late 1945 Pinochet had been assigned to the Carampangue Regiment in the northern city of Iquique. Three
legacy of Pinochets reforms.[13]
years later, he entered the War Academy but had to postPinochets 17-year rule was given a legal framework
pone his studies because, being the youngest ocer, he
through a controversial 1980 plebiscite, which approved
had to carry out a service mission in the coal zone of
a new Constitution drafted by a government-appointed
Lota. The following year he returned to his studies in the


Academy, and after obtaining the title of Ocer Chief of

Sta, in 1951, he returned to teach at the Military School.
At the same time, he worked as a teachers aide at the
War Academy, giving military geography and geopolitics
classes. He was also the editor of the institutional magazine Cien guilas (One Hundred Eagles). At the beginning of 1953, with the rank of major, he was sent for two
years to the Rancagua Regiment in Arica. While there,
he was appointed professor of the Chilean War Academy,
and returned to Santiago to take up his new position.[6]

in-chief of the Army to coordinate a far-reaching scheme

with the other two branches of the military and the national police. In later years, however, high military ocials from the time have said that Pinochet reluctantly became involved only a few days before the coup was scheduled to occur, and followed the lead of the other branches
(especially the Navy, under Merino) as they executed the

The new government rounded up thousands of people

and held them in the national stadium where many were
In 1956 Pinochet and a group of young ocers were cho- killed. This was followed by brutal repression during
sen to form a military mission to collaborate in the orga- Pinochets rule, during which about 3,000 people were
nization of the War Academy of Ecuador in Quito. He re- killed, and more than 1,000 are still missing.[19]
mained with the Quito mission for three-and-a-half years, In the months that followed the coup, the junta, with auduring which time he studied geopolitics, military geog- thoring work by historian Gonzalo Vial and admiral Patriraphy and military intelligence. It has been alleged that, cio Carvajal, published a book titled El Libro Blanco del
while in Quito, Pinochet had a romance with Piedad Noe cambio de gobierno en Chile (commonly known as El Liand fathered a boy named Juan.[17] At the end of 1959 bro Blanco, "The White Book of the Change of Governhe returned to Chile and was sent to General Headquar- ment in Chile"), where they said that they were in fact
ters of the 1st Army Division, based in Antofagasta. The anticipating a self-coup (the alleged Plan Zeta, or Plan
following year, he was appointed commander of the Es- Z) that Allendes government or its associates were purmeralda Regiment. Due to his success in this position, portedly preparing. United States intelligence agencies
he was appointed Sub-director of the War Academy in believed the plan to be untrue propaganda.[20] Although
1963. In 1968, he was named Chief of Sta of the 2nd later discredited and ocially recognized as the prodArmy Division, based in Santiago, and at the end of that uct of political propaganda,[21] some Chilean historians
year, he was promoted to brigadier general and Comman- pointed to the similarities between the alleged Plan Z
der in Chief of the 6th Division, garrisoned in Iquique. In and other existing paramilitary plans of the Popular Unity
his new function, he was also appointed Intendent of the parties in support of its legitimacy.[22]
Tarapac Province.
Canadian Jean Charpentier of Tlvision de RadioIn January 1971, Pinochet was promoted to division gen- Canada was the rst foreign journalist to interview General, and was named General Commander of the Santiago eral Pinochet following the coup.[23]
Army Garrison. At the beginning of 1972 he was appointed General Chief of Sta of the Army. With rising
domestic strife in Chile, after General Prats resigned his
position, Pinochet was appointed commander-in-chief of 2.1 U.S. backing of the coup
the Army on 23 August 1973 by President Salvador Allende just the day after the Chamber of Deputies of Chile Further information: United States intervention in Chile
The Church Report investigating the fallout of the
approved a resolution asserting that the government was
not respecting the Constitution. Less than a month later,
the Chilean military deposed Allende.

Military coup of 1973

Main article: 1973 Chilean coup d'tat

On 11 September 1973 the combined Chilean Armed
Forces (the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Carabineros)
overthrew Allendes government in a coup, during which
the presidential palace, La Moneda, was shelled and Allende committed suicide .[18] While the military claimed
U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger shaking hands with
that he had committed suicide, controversy surrounded
Pinochet in 1976
Allendes death, with many claiming that he had been assassinated.
Watergate scandal stated that while the U.S. tacitly supIn his memoirs Pinochet said that he was the leading plot- ported the Pinochet government after the 1973 coup,
ter of the coup and had used his position as commander- there was no evidence that the US was directly involved

in the coup.[24] This view has been contradicted by several academics, such as Peter Winn, who writes that the
role of the CIA was crucial to the consolidation of power
after the coup; the CIA helped fabricate a conspiracy
against the Allende government, which Pinochet was then
portrayed as preventing. He states that the coup itself
was possible only through a three-year covert operation
mounted by the United States. He also points out that the
US imposed an invisible blockade that was designed to
disrupt the economy under Allende, and contributed to
the destabilization of the regime.[5] Author Peter Kornbluh argues in his book The Pinochet File[25] that the US
was extensively involved and actively fomented[25] the
1973 coup. Authors Tim Weiner, in his book, Legacy
of Ashes,[26] and Christopher Hitchens, in his book, The
Trial of Henry Kissinger [27] similarly argue the case that
US covert actions actively destabilized Allendes government and set the stage for the 1973 coup.

ing the Navy, General Gustavo Leigh representing the

Air Force, and General Csar Mendoza representing
the Carabineros (national police). As established, the
junta exercised both executive and legislative functions
of the government, suspended the Constitution and the
Congress, imposed strict censorship and curfew, banned
all parties and halted all political activities. This military
junta held the executive role until 17 December 1974,
after which it remained strictly as a legislative body, the
executive powers being transferred to Pinochet with the
title of President.

4 Presidency
Main article: Military government of Chile (19731990)
The junta members originally planned that the presi-

The U.S. provided material support to the military government after the coup, although criticizing it in public. A document released by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 2000, titled CIA Activities in
Chile, revealed that the CIA actively supported the military junta after the overthrow of Allende, and that it made
many of Pinochets ocers into paid contacts of the CIA
or U.S. military, even though some were known to be involved in human rights abuses.[28] The CIA also maintained contacts in the Chilean DINA intelligence service. DINA was involved in crimes against human rights,
and its leaders, under Pinochets direct command, led
the multinational anti-communism campaign known as Junta session one week after the 1973 coup
Operation Condor, which amongst other activities carried out assassinations of prominent politicians and activists of left-wing views, but not involved in illegal activities, in various Latin American countries, in Washington,
D.C., and in Europe (see section below). In particular,
CIA contact with DINA head Manuel Contreras was established in 1974 soon after the coup, during the Junta
period prior to ocial transfer of Presidential powers to
Pinochet; in 1975, the CIA reviewed a warning that keeping Contreras as an asset might threaten human rights
in the region. The CIA chose to keep him as an asset,
and at one point even paid him. In addition to the CIAs
maintaining of assets in DINA beginning soon after the
coup, several CIA assets, such as CORU Cuban exile militants Orlando Bosch and Guillermo Novo, collaborated
in DINA operations under the Condor Plan in the early Pinochet in 1982
years of Pinochets presidency.
dency would be held for a year by the commanders-inchief of each of the four military branches in turn. However, Pinochet soon consolidated his control, rst retain3 Military junta
ing sole chairmanship of the military junta, and then proclaiming himself Supreme Chief of the Nation (de facto
Main article: Government Junta of Chile (1973)
provisional president) on 27 June 1974. He ocially
changed his title to President on 17 December 1974.
A military junta was established immediately follow- General Leigh, head of the Air Force, became increasing the coup, made up of General Pinochet represent- ingly opposed to Pinochets policies and was forced into
ing the Army, Admiral Jos Toribio Merino represent- retirement on 24 July 1978, after contradicting Pinochet


on that years plebiscite (ocially called Consulta Na- 4.1 Suppression of opposition
cional, or National Consultation, in response to a UN resolution condemning Pinochets government). He was reFurther information: Operation Condor and Indictment
placed by General Fernando Matthei.
and arrest of Augusto Pinochet
Pinochet organized a plebiscite on 11 September 1980 to
ratify a new constitution, replacing the 1925 Constitution
Almost immediately after the militarys seizure of power,
drafted during Arturo Alessandri's presidency. The new
the junta banned all the leftist parties that had constituted
Constitution, partly drafted by Jaime Guzmn, a close
Allendes UP coalition.[37] All other parties were placed
adviser to Pinochet who later founded the right-wing
in indenite recess and were later banned outright. The
party Independent Democratic Union (UDI), gave a lot
governments violence was directed not only against dissiof power to the President of the RepublicPinochet. It
dents but also against their families and other civilians.[37]
created some new institutions, such as the Constitutional
Tribunal and the controversial National Security Coun- The Rettig Report concluded 2,279 persons who disapcil (COSENA). It also prescribed an 8-year presidential peared during the military government were killed for poperiod, and a single-candidate presidential referendum in litical reasons or as a result of political violence. Accord1988, where a candidate nominated by the Junta would ing to the later Valech Report approximately 31,947 were
be approved or rejected for another 8-year period. The tortured and 1,312 exiled. The exiles were chased all over
new constitution was approved by a margin of 67.04% to the world by the intelligence agencies. In Latin Amer30.19% according to ocial gures;[29] the opposition, ica, this was made in the frame of Operation Condor, a
headed by ex-president Eduardo Frei Montalva (who had cooperation plan between the various intelligence agensupported Pinochets coup), denounced extensive irreg- cies of South American countries, assisted by a United
ularities such as the lack of an electoral register, which States CIA communication base in Panama. Pinochet befacilitated multiple voting, and said that the total number lieved these operations were necessary in order to save
of votes reported to have been cast was very much larger the country from communism. In 2011 the commisthan would be expected from the size of the electorate and sion identied an additional 9,800 victims of political returnout in previous elections. Interviews after Pinochets pression during Pinochets rule, increasing the total numdeparture with people involved with the referendum con- ber of victims to approximately 40,018, including 3,065
rmed that fraud had, indeed, been widespread.[30] The killed.
Constitution was promulgated on 21 October 1980, tak- Some political scientists have ascribed the relative blooding eect on 11 March 1981. Pinochet was replaced as iness of the coup to the stability of the existing demoPresident of the Junta that day by Admiral Merino.
cratic system, which required extreme action to overturn.
In a massive operation spearheaded by Chilean Army
para-commandos, some 2,000 security forces troops[31]
were deployed in the mountains of Neltume from June
to November 1981,[32] where they destroyed two MIR
bases, seizing large caches of munitions and killing a
number of guerrillas.

Some of the most infamous cases of human rights violation occurred during the early period: in October 1973,
at least 70 people were killed throughout the country by
the Caravan of Death. Charles Horman, a US journalist,
"disappeared", as did Vctor Olea Alegra, a member of
the Socialist Party, and many others, in 1973.

Many other important ocials of Allendes government

were tracked down by the DINA in the frame of Operation Condor. General Carlos Prats, Pinochets predecessor and army commander under Allende, who
had resigned rather than support the moves against Allendes government, was assassinated in Buenos Aires,
Argentina, in 1974. A year later, the murder of 119 opAccording to a book by Ozren Agnic Krstulovic, weapons
ponents abroad was disguised as an internal conict, the
including C-4 plastic explosives, RPG-7 and M72 LAW
DINA setting up a propaganda campaign to support this
rocket launchers as well as more than 3,000 M-16 riidea (Operation Colombo), a campaign publicised by the
es were smuggled into the country by opponents of the
leading newspaper in Chile, El Mercurio.
Other victims of Condor included, among hundreds of
In September weapons from the same source were used
less famous persons, Juan Jos Torres, the former Presin an unsuccessful assassination attempt against Pinochet
ident of Bolivia, assassinated in Buenos Aires on 2 June
by the FPMR. His military bodyguard was taken by sur1976; Carmelo Soria, a UN diplomat working for the
prise, and ve members were killed. Pinochets bulletCEPAL, assassinated in July 1976; Orlando Letelier, a
proof Mercedes Benz vehicle was struck by a rocket,
former Chilean ambassador to the United States and minbut it failed to explode and Pinochet suered only minor
in Allendes cabinet, assassinated after his release
from internment and exile in Washington, D.C. by a car
bomb on 21 September 1976. This led to strained relaIn a 1985 report, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights stated that it hoped that the case now under
way will lead to the identication and punishment of the
persons responsible for the execution of so culpable an
act.[33] Eventually, six members of the police secret service were given life sentences.


1988 referendum and transition to democracy

tions with the US and to the extradition of Michael Townley, a US citizen who worked for the DINA and had organized Leteliers assassination. Other targeted victims,
who escaped assassination, included Christian-Democrat
Bernardo Leighton, who escaped an assassination attempt
in Rome in 1975 by the Italian terrorist Stefano delle
Chiaie; Carlos Altamirano, the leader of the Chilean Socialist Party, targeted for murder in 1975 by Pinochet,
along with Volodia Teitelboim, member of the Communist Party; Pascal Allende, the nephew of Salvador Allende and president of the MIR, who escaped an assassination attempt in Costa Rica in March 1976; US Congressman Edward Koch, who became aware in 2001 of
relations between death threats and his denunciation of
Operation Condor, etc. Furthermore, according to current investigations, Eduardo Frei Montalva, the Christian
Democrat President of Chile from 1964 to 1970, may
have been poisoned in 1982 by toxin produced by DINA
biochemist Eugenio Berrios.[40]

20% on average[46] The junta relied on the middle class,
the oligarchy, foreign corporations, and foreign loans to
maintain itself.[47] Businesses recovered most of their lost
industrial and agricultural holdings, for the junta returned
properties to original owners who had lost them during
expropriations, and sold other industries expropriated by
Allendes Popular Unity government to private buyers.
This period saw the expansion of business and widespread
Financial conglomerates became major beneciaries of
the liberalized economy and the ood of foreign bank
loans. Large foreign banks reinstated the credit cycle,
as the Junta saw that the basic state obligations, such
as resuming payment of principal and interest installments, were honored. International lending organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Inter-American Development Bank
lent vast sums anew.[46] Many foreign multinational corporations such as International Telephone and Telegraph
(ITT), Dow Chemical, and Firestone, all expropriated by
Allende, returned to Chile.[46] Pinochets policies eventually led to substantial GDP growth, in contrast to the
negative growth seen in the early years of his administration. Foreign debt also grew substantially under Pinochet,
rising 300% between 1974 and 1988.

Protests continued, however, during the 1980s, leading to several scandals. In March 1985, the murder of
three Communist Party members led to the resignation
of Csar Mendoza, head of the Carabineros and member of the junta since its formation. During a 1986
protest against Pinochet, 21-year-old American photographer Rodrigo Rojas DeNegri and 18-year-old student His government implemented an economic model that
Carmen Gloria Quintana were burnt alive, with only Car- had three main objectives: economic liberalization, primen surviving.
vatization of state owned companies, and stabilization of
In August 1989, Marcelo Barrios Andres, a 21-year-old ination. In 1985, the government started with a second
member of the FPMR (the armed wing of the PCC, round of privatization, it revised previously introduced
created in 1983, which had attempted to assassinate tari increases and gave a greater supervisory role for the
Pinochet on 7 September 1986), was assassinated by a Central Bank. Pinochets market liberalizations have congroup of military personnel who were supposed to arrest tinued after his death, led by Patricio Aylwin.[13]
him on orders of Valparasos public prosecutor. However, they simply executed him; this case was included in
the Rettig Report.[41] Among the killed and disappeared 4.3 1988 referendum and transition to
during the military junta were 440 MIR guerrillas.[42]
Further information: Chilean transition to democracy


Economic policy

In 1973, the Chilean economy was deeply hurt for several

reasons, including the expropriation of 600 businesses by
the Allende government, a tiered exchange rate that distorted markets, protectionism, and the economic sanctions imposed by the Nixon administration,[43] ination
was 1000%, the country had no foreign reserves, and
GDP was falling rapidly.[44] By mid-1975, the government set forth an economic policy of free-market reforms
that attempted to stop ination and collapse. Pinochet
declared that he wanted to make Chile not a nation of
proletarians, but a nation of proprietors.[45] To formulate the economic rescue, the government relied on the
so-called Chicago Boys and a text called El ladrillo.

According to the transitional provisions of the 1980 Constitution, a referendum was scheduled for 5 October
1988, to vote on a new eight-year presidential term for
Pinochet. Confronted with increasing opposition, notably
at the international level, Pinochet legalized political parties in 1987 and called for a vote to determine whether or
not he would remain in power until 1997. If the YES
won, Pinochet would have to implement the dispositions
of the 1980 Constitution, mainly the call for general elections, while he would himself remain in power as President. If the NO won, Pinochet would remain President
for another year, and a joint Presidential and Parliamentary election would be scheduled.

Another reason of Pinochets decision to call for elections

Wages decreased by 8%.[46] Family allowances in 1989 was the April 1987 visit of Pope John Paul II to Chile.
were 28% of what they had been in 1970 and the budgets According to the US Catholic author George Weigel, he
for education, health and housing had dropped by over held a meeting with Pinochet during which they discussed


a return to democracy. John Paul II allegedly pushed and then Union for Chile), a center-right coalition inPinochet to accept a democratic opening of his govern- volving the Unin Demcrata Independiente (UDI) and
ment, and even called for his resignation.[48]
Renovacin Nacional (RN), parties composed mainly of
Political advertising was legalized on 5 September 1987, Pinochets supporters.
as a necessary element for the campaign for the NO to
the referendum, which countered the ocial campaign,
which presaged a return to a Popular Unity government in
case of a defeat of Pinochet. The Opposition, gathered
into the Concertacin de Partidos por el NO (Coalition
of Parties for NO), organized a colorful and cheerful
campaign under the slogan La alegra ya viene (Joy is
coming). It was formed by the Christian Democracy,
the Socialist Party and the Radical Party, gathered in the
Alianza Democrtica (Democratic Alliance). In 1988,
several more parties, including the Humanist Party, the
Ecologist Party, the Social Democrats, and several Socialist Party splinter groups added their support.

Due to the transitional provisions of the constitution,

Pinochet remained as Commander-in-Chief of the Army
until March 1998. He was then sworn in as a senatorfor-life, a privilege granted by the 1980 constitution to
former presidents with at least six years in oce. His
senatorship and consequent immunity from prosecution
protected him from legal action. These were possible
in Chile only after Pinochet was arrested in 1998 in the
United Kingdom, on an extradition request issued by
Spanish judge Baltasar Garzn, allegations of abuses had
been made numerous times before his arrest, but never
acted upon.[50] The extradition attempt was dramatised
in the 2006 BBC television docudrama Pinochet in SubOn 5 October 1988, the NO option won with urbia, with Pinochet played by Derek Jacobi.
55.99%[49] of the votes, against 44.01% of YES votes.
Pinochet complied, so the ensuing Constitutional process
led to presidential and legislative elections the following
The Coalition changed its name to Concertacin de Partidos por la Democracia (Coalition of Parties for Democracy) and put forward Patricio Aylwin, a Christian Democrat who had opposed Allende, as presidential candidate,
and also proposed a list of candidates for the parliamentary elections. The opposition and the Pinochet government made several negotiations to amend the Constitution and agreed to 54 modications. These amendments
changed the way the Constitution would be modied in
the future, added restrictions to state of emergency dispositions, the armation of political pluralism, and enhanced constitutional rights as well as the democratic
principle and participation to political life. In July 1989,
a referendum on the proposed changes took place, supported by all the parties except the right-wing Avanzada
Nacional. The Constitutional changes were approved by
91.25% of the voters.
Thereafter, Aylwin won the December 1989 presidential election with 55% of the votes,[49] against less than
30% for the right-wing candidate, Hernn Bchi, who
had been Pinochets Minister of Finances since 1985
(there was also a third-party candidate, Francisco Javier
Errzuriz, a wealthy aristocrat representing the extreme
economic right, who garnered the remaining 15%[49] ).
Pinochet thus left the presidency on 11 March 1990 and
transferred power to the new democratically elected president.
The Concertacin also won the majority of votes for the
Parliament. However, due to the binomial representation system included in the constitution, the elected
senators did not achieve a complete majority in Parliament, a situation that would last for over 15 years. This
forced them to negotiate all law projects with the Alliance
for Chile (originally called Democracy and Progress

4.4 Relationship with Britain

Chile was ocially neutral during the Falklands War,
but Chiles Westinghouse long range radar that was deployed in the south of the country gave the British task
force early warning of Argentinian air attacks. This allowed British ships and troops in the war zone to take defensive action.[51] Margaret Thatcher, the British prime
minister at the time of the war, said that the day the
radar was taken out of service for overdue maintenance
was the day Argentinian ghter-bombers bombed the
troopships Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram, leaving 53 dead
and many injured. According to Chilean Junta member and former Air Force commander, General Fernando
Matthei, Chilean support included military intelligence
gathering, radar surveillance, allowing British aircraft to
operate with Chilean colours, and facilitating the safe
return of British special forces, among other forms of
assistance.[52] In April and May 1982, a squadron of
mothballed British Hawker Hunter ghter-bombers departed for Chile, arriving on 22 May and allowing the
Chilean Air Force to reform the No. 9 Las Panteras
Negras Squadron. A further consignment of three frontier surveillance and shipping reconnaissance Canberras
left for Chile in October. Some authors have speculated
that Argentina might have won the war had the military
felt able to employ the elite VIth and VIIIth Mountain
Brigades, which remained sitting in the Andes guarding
against possible Chilean incursions.[53] Pinochet subsequently visited the UK on more than one occasion.[54]
Pinochets controversial relationship with Thatcher led
Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair to mock Thatchers
Conservatives as the party of Pinochet in 1999.[55]


Intellectual life and academic work

gesting a pre-Fascist origin to the model of Pinochets
military government.
Historian Alfredo Jocelyn-Holt has referred to Pinochets
gure as "totemic" and added that it is a scapegoat that attracts all hate.[65] Gabriel Salazar, also a historian, has
lamented the lack of an international condemnation of
Pinochet in court, since, according to Salazar, that would
have damaged his image irreparably and that of the
judicial system of Chile [for the good] too.[65]

Image showing Pinochet in an event with background imagery

comparing the year of Chilean independence, 1810, with 1973,
the year of the coup d'tat that brought Pinochet to power.

Ideology and public image

Pinochet and his government have been characterised as

fascist.[56] For example, author Samuel Chavkin, in his
book Storm Over Chile: The Junta Under Siege, repeatedly characterizes both Pinochet himself and the military
dictatorship as fascist.[57]
However, he and his government are generally excluded
from academic typologies of fascism.[58][59][60][61] Roger
Grin included Pinochet in a group of pseudo-populist
despots distinct from fascism and including the likes of
Saddam Hussein, Suharto, and Ferdinand Marcos. He argues that such regimes may be considered populist ultranationalism but lack the palingenesis necessary to make
them conform to the model of palingenetic ultranationalism.[58] Robert Paxton meanwhile compared Pinochets
regime to that of Mobutu Sese Seko in the former Zaire
(now Democratic Republic of the Congo), arguing that
both were merely client states that lacked popular acclaim and the ability to expand. He further argued that
had Pinochet attempted to build true fascism, the regime
would likely have been toppled or at least been forced to
alter its relationship to the United States.[59] Anna Cento
Bull also excluded Pinochet from fascism, although she
has argued that his regime belongs to a strand of Cold
War anti-communism that was happy to accommodate
neo-fascist elements within its activity.[60] World Fascism:
a Historical encyclopedia notes:
Although he was authoritarian and ruled
dictatorially, Pinochets support of neoliberal
economic policies and his unwillingness to
support national businesses distinguished him
from classical fascists.[62]
Pinochet himself expressed his project in government as
a national restoration inspired in Diego Portales, a gure
of the early republic:[63]
Jacobo Timerman has called the Chilean army under
Pinochet the last Prussian army in the world,[64] sug-

5.1 Intellectual life and academic work

Pinochet was publicly known as a man with a lack of
culture. This image was reinforced by the fact that he
also portrayed himself as a common man with simple
ideas. He was also known for being reserved, sharing
little about his opinions or feelings.[66] Before wresting
power from Allende, Pinochet had authored two books,
Geopoltica (1968) and Campaa de Tarapac (1972),
which established him as a major gure in Chiles military literature.[66] In Geopoltica Pinochet plagiarized
his mentor general Gregorio Rodrguez Tascn by using
paragraphs from a 1949 conference presentation of Rodrguez without attributing them to him.[67][68] Rodrguez
had previously lectured Pinochet and Ren Schneider
and Carlos Prats in geography and geopolitics. In contrast to the two latter Pinochet was not an outstanding student but his persistence and interest in geopolitics made Rodrguez asume the role as his academic
mentor.[68] Rodrguez granted Pinochet a slot as assistant lecturer in geopolitics and in geography. According
to Rodrguez Pinochet would have been particularly impressed by his lectures on The Art of War.[68] Pinochet
would later succeed Rodrguez in the geopolitics and geography chair.[68]
Investigative journalist Juan Cristbal Pea has put forward the thesis that Pinochet felt intellectual envy of
Carlos Prats and that the latters assassination in 1974 was
a relief for Pinochet.[67]
During his lifetime, Pinochet amassed more than 55,000
books in his private library, worth an estimated 2,840,000
US dollars (20067). The extent of his library was only
known to the public after a police inspection in January
2006.[66] Pinochet bought books at several small bookshops in the old centre of Santiago and was later supplied
with books from abroad by military attachs who bought
texts Pinochet was searching after.[69][70] As ruler of
Chile he used discretionary funds for these purchases.[70]
The library included many rare books including a rst
edition (1646) Historica relacion del Reyno de Chile and
an original letter of Bernardo O'Higgins. A signicant
part of the books and documents of the library of Jos
Manuel Balmaceda was found in Pinochets library in
2006.[66] Pinochets library contained almost no poetry
or ction works.[70]




Supporters sometimes refer to Pinochet as mi general

(the military salutation for a general) while opponents
call him pinocho (Spanish for "Pinocchio", from the
childrens story).[71] A common nickname used by both
younger generations is el tata (Spanish equivalent of the
grandpa). After the Riggs Bank scandal he has been referred to sarcastically as Daniel Lopez, one of the fake
identities he used to deposit money in the bank.[72]


Post-dictatorship life
Arrest and court cases in Britain

Main article: Indictment and arrest of Augusto Pinochet

The case was a watershed event in judicial history, as it
was the rst time that a former government head was arrested on the principle of universal jurisdiction.[73]
After having been placed under house arrest in Britain
in October 1998 and initiating a judicial and public relations battle, the latter run by Thatcherite political operative Patrick Robertson,[74] he was eventually released
in March 2000 on medical grounds by the Home Secretary Jack Straw without facing trial. Straw had overruled
a House of Lords decision to extradite Pinochet.[75]


Return to Chile

Pinochet returned to Chile on 3 March 2000. His

rst act when landing in Santiagos airport was to triumphantly get up from his wheelchair to the acclaim
of his supporters.[76][77][78] He was rst greeted by his
successor as head of the Chilean armed forces, General
Ricardo Izurieta.[76] President-elect Ricardo Lagos said
the retired generals televised arrival had damaged the
image of Chile, while thousands demonstrated against

cases, for medical reasons (vascular dementia). The debate concerned Pinochets mental faculties, his legal team
claiming that he was senile and could not remember,
while others (including several physicians) claimed that
he was only aected physically but retained all control
of his faculties. The same year, the prosecuting attorney
Hugo Guttierez, in charge of the Caravan of Death case,
declared, Our country has the degree of justice that the
political transition permits us to have.[82]
Pinochet resigned from his senatorial seat shortly after
the Supreme Courts July 2002 ruling. In May 2004,
the Supreme Court overturned its precedent decision, and
ruled that he was capable of standing trial. In arguing
their case, the prosecution presented a recent TV interview Pinochet had given for a Miami-based television network, which raised doubts about his alleged mental incapacity. In December 2004 he was charged with several
crimes, including the 1974 assassination of General Prats
and the Operation Colombo case in which 119 died, and
was again placed under house arrest. He suered a stroke
on 18 December 2004.[83] Questioned by his judges in
order to know if, as President, he was the direct head of
DINA, he answered: I don't remember, but its not true.
And if it were true, I don't remember.[84]
In January 2005 the Chilean Army accepted institutional responsibility for past human rights abuses.[85] In
2006 Pinochet was indicted for kidnappings and torture
at the Villa Grimaldi detention center by judge Alejandro Madrid (Guzmns successor),[86] as well as for
the 1995 assassination of the DINA biochemist Eugenio
Berrios, himself involved in the Letelier case.[87] Berrios,
who had worked with Michael Townley, had produced
sarin gas, anthrax and botulism in the Bacteriological
War Army Laboratory for Pinochet; these materials were
used against political opponents. The DINA biochemist
was also alleged to have created black cocaine, which
Pinochet then sold in Europe and the United States.[88]
The money for the drug trade was allegedly deposited into
Pinochets bank accounts.[89] Pinochets son Marco Antonio, who had been accused of participating in the drug
trade, in 2006 denied claims of drug tracking in his fathers administration and said that he would sue Manuel
Contreras, who had said that Pinochet sold cocaine.[90]

In March 2000 Congress approved a constitutional

amendment creating the status of ex-president, which
On 25 November 2006 Pinochet marked his 91st birthday
granted its holder immunity from prosecution and a by having his wife read a statement he had written to adnancial allowance; this replaced Pinochets senatorshipmirers present for his birthday: I assume the political refor-life. 111 legislators voted for, and 29 against.[80]
sponsibility for all that has been done.[91] Two days later,
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of judge Juan he was again sentenced to house arrest for the kidnapping
Guzmns request on August 2000, and Pinochet was in- and murder of two bodyguards of Salvador Allende who
dicted on 1 December 2000 for the kidnapping of 75 op- were arrested the day of the 1973 coup and executed by
ponents in the Caravan of Death case.[81] Guzmn ad- ring squad during the Caravan of Death.[92][93]
vanced the charge of kidnapping as the 75 were ocially
However, Pinochet died a few days later, on 10 December
"disappeared": even though they were all most likely
2006, without having been convicted of any of the crimes
dead, the absence of their corpses made any charge of
of which he was accused.
homicide dicult.
However, in July 2002, the Supreme Court dismissed
Pinochets indictment in the various human rights abuse



Scandals: secret bank accounts, tax evasion and arms deal

Scandals: secret bank accounts, tax Pinochet, through a front company in the British Virgin
Islands, which BAE has used to channel commission on
evasion and arms deal
arms deals.[99] The payments began in 1997 and lasted
until 2004.[99][100]

Documentation of some of Pinochets many United States bank


Furthermore, in 2007, fteen years of investigation led

to the conclusion that the 1992 assassination of DINA
Colonel Gerardo Huber was most probably related to various illegal arms trac carried out, after Pinochets resignation from power, by military circles very close to
himself.[15] Huber had been assassinated a short time
before he was due to testify in the case concerning the
1991 illegal export of weapons to Croatian army. The
deal involved 370 tons of weapons, sold to Croatia by
Chile on 7 December 1991, when the former country
was under a United Nations' embargo because of the
support for Croatia war in Yugoslavia.[101] In January
1992, the judge Hernn Correa de la Cerda wanted to
hear Gerardo Huber in this case, but the latter may have
been silenced to avoid implicating Pinochet in this new
case[15][102][103] although the latter was not anymore
President, he remained at the time Commander-in-Chief
of the Army. Pinochet was at the center of this illegal
arms trade, receiving money through various oshores
and front companies, including the Banco Coutts International in Miami.[104]

In 2004, a United States Senate money laundering investigation led by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and
Norm Coleman (R-MN)ordered in the wake of the 11
September 2001 attacksuncovered a network of over
125 securities and bank accounts at Riggs Bank and other
U.S. nancial institutions used by Pinochet and his associates for twenty-ve years to secretly move millions of
dollars.[94] Though the subcommittee was charged only
with investigating compliance of nancial institutions under the USA PATRIOT Act, and not the Pinochet regime, Pinochet was stripped of his parliamentary immunity in
August 2000 by the Supreme Court, and indicted by
Senator Coleman noted:
judge Juan Guzmn Tapia. Guzmn had ordered in 1999
the arrest of ve militarists, including General Pedro EsThis is a sad, sordid tale of money launderpinoza Bravo of the DINA, for their role in the Caravan of
ing involving Pinochet accounts at multiple Death following the 11 September coup. Arguing that the
nancial institutions using alias names, oshore
bodies of the "disappeared" were still missing, he made
accounts, and close associates. As a former
jurisprudence, which had as eect to lift any prescription
General and President of Chile, Pinochet was
on the crimes committed by the military. Pinochets trial
a well-known human rights violator and violent
continued until his death on 10 December 2006, with an
alternation of indictments for specic cases, lifting of imOver several months in 2005, Chilean judge Sergio munities by the Supreme Court or to the contrary immuMuoz indicted Augusto Pinochets wife, Lucia Hiri- nity from prosecution, with his health a main argument
art; four of his children Marco Antonio, Jacque- for, or against, his prosecution.
line, Veronica and Lucia Pinochet; his personal secretary,
Monica Ananias; and his former aide Oscar Aitken on
tax evasion and falsication charges stemming from the
Riggs Bank investigation. In January 2006, daughter Lucia Pinochet was detained at Washington DC-Dulles airport and subsequently deported while attempting to evade
the tax charges in Chile.[95] In January 2007, the Santiago Court of Appeals revoked most of the indictment
from Judge Carlos Cerda against the Pinochet family.[96]
But Pinochets ve children, his wife and 17 other persons
(including two generals, one of his former lawyer and former secretary) were arrested in October 2007 on charges
of embezzlement and use of false passports. They are accused of having illegally transferred $27m (13.2m) to
foreign bank accounts during Pinochets rule.[97][98]

The Supreme Court armed, in March 2005, Pinochets

immunity concerning the 1974 assassination of General
Carlos Prats in Buenos Aires, which had taken place
in the frame of Operation Condor. However, he was
deemed t to stand trial for Operation Colombo, during
which 119 political opponents were disappeared in Argentina. The Chilean justice also lifted his immunity on
the Villa Grimaldi case, a detention and torture center in
the outskirts of Santiago. Pinochet, who still beneted
from a reputation of righteousness from his supporters,
lost legitimacy when he was put under house arrest on
tax fraud and passport forgery, following the publication
by the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of a report concerning the Riggs Bank in July
2004. The report was a consequence of investigations
In September 2005, a joint investigation by The Guardian on nancial funding of the 11 September 2001 attacks
and La Tercera revealed that the British arms rm BAE in the US. The bank controlled between US$4 million
Systems had been identied as paying more than 1m to and $8 million of Pinochets assets, who lived in Santi-



ago in a modest house, dissimulating his wealth. According to the report, Riggs participated in money laundering
for Pinochet, setting up oshore shell corporations (referring to Pinochet as only a former public ocial), and
hiding his accounts from regulatory agencies. Related to
Pinochets and his family secret bank accounts in United
States and in Caribbean islands, this tax fraud ling for
an amount of 27 million dollars shocked the conservative sectors who still supported him. Ninety percent of
these funds would have been raised between 1990 and
1998, when Pinochet was chief of the Chilean armies,
and would essentially have come from weapons trac
(when purchasing Belgian 'Mirage' air-ghters in 1994,
Dutch 'Lopard' tanks, Swiss 'Mowag' tanks or by illegal Pinochets funeral
sales of weapons to Croatia, in the middle of the Balkans
war.) His wife, Luca Hiriart, and his son, Marco Antonio
Pinochet, were also sued for complicity. For the fourth
time in seven years, Pinochet was indicted by the Chilean



congestive heart failure and pulmonary edema,[107] surrounded by family members, at the Military Hospital at
14:15 local time (17:15 UTC).[108]
Massive spontaneous street demonstrations broke out
throughout the country upon the learning of his death. In
Santiago, opponents celebrated at the Alameda avenue,
while supporters grieved outside the Military Hospital.
Pinochets remains were publicly exhibited on 11 December 2006 at the Military Academy in Las Condes. During
this ceremony Francisco Cuadrado Prats, the grandson of
Carlos Prats, a former Commander in Chief of the Army
in Allendes Government, murdered by Pinochets secret
police, spat on the con, and was quickly surrounded
by supporters of Pinochet, who kicked and insulted him.
Pinochets funeral took place the following day at the
same venue before a gathering of 60,000 supporters.[109]

Augusto Pinochet on the bier on 11 December 2006

In a government decision, he was not granted a state funeral, an honor normally bestowed upon all those who
had been presidents of Chile, but a military funeral as former commander-in-chief of the Army appointed by President Salvador Allende. The government also refused to
declare an ocial national day of mourning, but it did
authorize ags at military barracks to be own at half
sta. Pinochets con was also allowed to be draped
in a Chilean ag. Socialist President Michelle Bachelet,
whose father Alberto was temporarily imprisoned and
tortured after the 1973 coup, dying shortly after from
heart complications, said it would be a violation of [her]
conscience to attend a state funeral for Pinochet.[110] The
only government authority present at the public funeral
was the Defense Minister, Vivianne Blanlot.

Pinochet suered a heart attack on the morning of 3

December 2006, and subsequently the same day he was
given the last rites. On 4 December 2006, the Chilean
Court of Appeals ordered the release of his house arrest.
On 10 December 2006 at 13:30 local time (16:30 UTC)
he was taken to the intensive care unit.[106] He died of

Pinochets body was cremated in Parque del Mar

cemetery, Concn on 12 December 2006, on his request
to avoid vandalism of his tomb, according to his son
Marco Antonio.[111] His ashes were delivered to his family later that day, and are deposited in one of his personal
residences. The armed forces refused to allow his ashes
to be deposited on any military grounds.[112]


Human rights violations

9 Notes

Main article: Chile under Pinochet Human-rights .

Pinochets regime was responsible for various human
rights abuses during its reign including murder and torture
of political opponents. According to a government commission report that included testimony from more than
30,000 people, Pinochets government killed at least
3,197 people and tortured about 29,000. Two-thirds of
the cases listed in the report happened in 1973.[113]
Professor Clive Foss, in The Tyrants: 2500 Years of
Absolute Power and Corruption (Quercus Publishing
2006), estimates that 1,5002,000 Chileans were killed
or disappeared during the Pinochet regime. In October 1979, the New York Times reported that Amnesty
International had documented the disappearance of approximately 1,500 Chileans since 1973.[114] Among the
killed and disappeared during the military regime were
at least 663 Marxist MIR guerrillas.[115] The Manuel Rodrguez Patriotic Front, however, has stated that only 49
FPMR guerrillas were killed but hundreds detained and
tortured.[116] According to a study in Latin American Perspectives,[117] at least 200,000 Chileans (about 2% of
Chiles 1973 population) were forced to go into exile.
Additionally, hundreds of thousands left the country in
the wake of the economic crises that followed the military coup during the 1970s and 1980s.[117] Some of the
key individuals who ed because of political persecution
were followed in their exile by the DINA secret police, in
the framework of Operation Condor, which linked South
American military dictatorships together against political

10 References
[1] Augusto Pinochet. Forvo. 27 August 2014. Retrieved
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[2] Peter Kornbluh (September 11, 2013). The Pinochet File:
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[3] Monte Reel and J.Y. Smith (December 11, 2006). A
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[8] Chile under Pinochet a chronology. The Guardian
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[9] (Spanish) English translation of the Rettig Report
[10] 2004 Commission on Torture (dead link)

See also
Chilean presidential election, 1970
United States intervention in Chile
Book burnings in Chile
History of Chile
Missing, a lm based on the life of U.S. journalist
Charles Horman, who disappeared in the aftermath
of the Pinochet coup

[11] Chile to sue over false reports of Pinochet-era missing.

Latin American Studies. 30 December 2008. Retrieved
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a Los Boldos, La Nacin 26 December 2006
[92] Eduardo Gallardo: Pinochet indicted for 1973 execu- [113] Reel, Monte; J.Y. Smith (11 December 2006). A
tions, Associated Press, 27 November 2006.
Chilean Dictators Dark Legacy. The Washington Post.
Retrieved 18 November 2009.
[93] Procesan a Pinochet y ordenan su arresto por los secuestros y homicidios de la Caravana de la Muerte, [114] A Green Light for The Junta? New York Times. 28 Oc20minutos, 28 November 2006.
tober 1977
[94] United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on In- [115] Caidos Del Mir En Diferente Periodos. Ceme (Centro
vestigations of the Committee on Governmental Aairs:
De Estudios Miguel Enriquez. (PDF). Retrieved 2013Levin-Coleman Sta Report Discloses Web of Secret
Accounts Used by Pinochet, Press Release. US Senate
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Af- [116] Aquellos que todo lo dieron. El Rodriguista, 11 Aos de
Lucha y Dignidad, 1994. Web.archive.org. 2005-11-04.
fairs, http://www.senate.gov/~{}levin/newsroom/release.
Retrieved 2013-10-11.
cfm?id=233631 16 March 2005
[95] U.S. Sends Back Pinochet Daughter, CNN, 28 January [117] Wright, Thomas C.; Oate Ziga, Rody (2007).
Chilean political exile. Latin American Perspectives 34
(4): 31. doi:10.1177/0094582x07302902.
[96] Corte revoca mayora de procesamientos en caso Riggs,
El Mercurio, 3 January 2007 (Spanish)
[97] Pinochet family arrested in Chile, BBC, 4 October 2007
[98] Cobertura Especial: Detienen a familia y principales colaboradores de Pinochet, La Tercera, 4 October 2007
[99] David Leigh and Rob Evans, Revealed: BAEs secret 1m
to Pinochet, The Guardian, 15 September 2005 (English)
[100] David Leigh, Jonathan Franklin and Rob Evans, Detective
story that linked 1m Pinochet cash to BAE, The
Guardian, 15 September 2005 (English)
[101] Biographical notice on Memoria viva NGO website (Spanish)
[102] Jorge Molina Sanhueza, Gerardo Huber saba demasiado,
pero no alcanz a contarlo. El coronel que le pena al
ejrcito, La Nacin, 25 September 2005 (Spanish)
[103] Andrea Chaparro, CDE insiste en unir caso Huber con
trco de armas a Croacia, La Nacin, 15 August 2005
[104] Andrea Chaparro Sols, Generales (R) y civiles de Famae
procesados en caso armas a Croacia, La Nacin, 13 June
2006 (Spanish)
[105] U.S. sends back Pinochet daughter, CNN, 28 January 2006
[106] Muere el ex dictador Chileno Augusto Pinochet EFE
[107] Augusto Pinochet falleci en el Hospital Militar tras sufrir
recada "; El Mercurio"
[108] Chiles General Pinochet 'dead' BBC News

11 Further reading
Muoz, Heraldo (2008). The dictators shadow : life
under Augusto Pinochet. New York: Basic Books.
ISBN 978-0-465-00250-4. Retrieved 20 January
2008. (Reviewed in Washington Post, Book World,
p. 2, 2009-10-19)
Whelan, James R. (1989). Out of the Ashes: Life,
Death and Transguration of Democracy in Chile,
1833-1988. Regnery. ISBN 978-0-895-265531.

12 External links
Extensive bio by Fundacin CIDOB (in Spanish)
Augusto Pinochet (19152006) A Biography
France 24 coverage Augusto Pinochets Necrology
on France 24
BBC coverage (special report)
Documentary Film on Chilean Concentration Camp
from Pinochets Regime: Chacabuco
CIA Acknowledges Ties to Pinochets Repression
from The National Security Archive
Chile under Allende and Pinochet
Human rights violation under Pinochet

[109] Pinochets funeral draws 60,000. CBC News. 12 December 2006. Retrieved 5 March 2013.

The Times obituary

[110] Clashes Break out after Pinochets death, Yahoo!News,

11 December 2006

Analysis of economic policy under Pinochet by

economist Jim Cypher in Dollars & Sense magazine

[111] Family Wants Pinochet Cremation

Chile: The Price of Democracy New English Review

What Pinochet Did for Chile Hoover Digest (2007
No. 1)
Pinochet and Me by journalist Marc Cooper ISBN
When US-Backed Pinochet Forces Took Power in
Chile video report by Democracy Now!
The CNN interview with Chilean President Augusto
Pinochet 1994 on YouTube





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CC BY-SA 3.0 Contributors: Own work Original artist: Snorky
File:Wiktionary-logo-en.svg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f8/Wiktionary-logo-en.svg License: Public
domain Contributors: Vector version of Image:Wiktionary-logo-en.png. Original artist: Vectorized by Fvasconcellos (talk contribs),
based on original logo tossed together by Brion Vibber


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