31 Facts About Augusto Pinochet


Augusto Jose Ramon Pinochet Ugarte was a Chilean general who ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990, first as the leader of the Military Junta of Chile from 1973 to 1981, being declared President of the Republic by the junta in 1974 and becoming the de facto dictator of Chile, and from 1981 to 1990 as de jure President after a new Constitution, which confirmed him in the office, was approved by a referendum in 1980.

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Augusto Pinochet rose through the ranks of the Chilean Army to become General Chief of Staff in early 1972 before being appointed its Commander-in-Chief on 23 August 1973 by President Salvador Allende.

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On 11 September 1973, Augusto Pinochet seized power in Chile in a coup d'etat, with the support of the US, that toppled Allende's democratically elected left-wing Unidad Popular government and ended civilian rule.

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However, Augusto Pinochet was arrested under an international arrest warrant on a visit to London on 10 October 1998 in connection with numerous human rights violations.

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In 2004, Chilean Judge Juan Guzman Tapia ruled that Augusto Pinochet was medically fit to stand trial and placed him under house arrest.

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Augusto Jose Ramon Pinochet Ugarte was born in Valparaiso on 25 November 1915.

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Augusto Pinochet went to primary and secondary school at the San Rafael Seminary of Valparaiso, the Rafael Ariztia Institute in Quillota, the French Fathers' School of Valparaiso, and then to the Military School in Santiago, which he entered in 1931.

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In September 1937, Augusto Pinochet was assigned to the "Chacabuco" Regiment, in Concepcion.

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In 1948, Augusto Pinochet was initiated in the regular Masonic Lodge Victoria n°15 of San Bernardo, affiliated to the Grand Lodge of Chile.

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In January 1971, Augusto Pinochet was promoted to division general and was named General Commander of the Santiago Army Garrison.

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However, Augusto Pinochet soon consolidated his control, first retaining sole chairmanship of the military junta, and then proclaiming himself "Supreme Chief of the Nation" on 27 June 1974.

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Augusto Pinochet officially changed his title to "President" on 17 December 1974.

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Augusto Pinochet organized a plebiscite on 11 September 1980 to ratify a new constitution, replacing the 1925 Constitution drafted during Arturo Alessandri's presidency.

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Augusto Pinochet thus left the presidency on 11 March 1990 and transferred power to the new democratically elected president.

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Augusto Pinochet was then sworn in as a senator-for-life, a privilege granted by the 1980 constitution to former presidents with at least six years in office.

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Augusto Pinochet's reputation led Peruvians in the 1990s to call Alberto Fujimori "chinochet" instead of his ordinary nickname "chino".

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In Geopolitica, Augusto Pinochet plagiarized his mentor general Gregorio Rodriguez Tascon by using paragraphs from a 1949 conference presentation of Rodriguez without attributing them to him.

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Investigative journalist Juan Cristobal Pena has put forward the thesis that Augusto Pinochet felt intellectual envy of Carlos Prats and that the latter's assassination in 1974 was a relief for Augusto Pinochet.

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Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London on "charges of genocide and terrorism that include murder" in October 1998.

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Supreme Court ruled in favor of judge Juan Guzman's request in August 2000, and Augusto Pinochet was indicted on 1 December 2000 for the kidnapping of 75 opponents in the Caravan of Death case.

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Augusto Pinochet resigned from his senatorial seat shortly after the Supreme Court's July 2002 ruling.

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In 2006, Augusto Pinochet was indicted for kidnappings and torture at the Villa Grimaldi detention center by judge Alejandro Madrid, as well as for the 1995 assassination of the DINA biochemist Eugenio Berrios, himself involved in the Letelier case.

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On 25 November 2006, Augusto Pinochet marked his 91st birthday by having his wife read a statement he had written to admirers present for his birthday:.

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Augusto Pinochet died a few days later, on 10 December 2006, without having been convicted of any of the crimes of which he was accused.

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In January 2006, daughter Lucia Augusto Pinochet was detained at Washington DC-Dulles airport and subsequently deported while attempting to evade the tax charges in Chile.

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Augusto Pinochet was stripped of his parliamentary immunity in August 2000 by the Supreme Court, and indicted by judge Juan Guzman Tapia.

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Augusto Pinochet's trial continued until his death on 10 December 2006, with an alternation of indictments for specific cases, lifting of immunities by the Supreme Court or to the contrary immunity from prosecution, with his health a main argument for, or against, his prosecution.

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Supreme Court affirmed, in March 2005, Augusto Pinochet's immunity concerning the 1974 assassination of General Carlos Prats in Buenos Aires, which had taken place in the frame of Operation Condor.

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Augusto Pinochet suffered a heart attack on the morning of 3 December 2006 and was given the last rites the same day.

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Augusto Pinochet's remains lay in repose on 11 December 2006 at the Military Academy in Las Condes.

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Augusto Pinochet's body was cremated in Parque del Mar Cemetery, Concon, on 12 December 2006, on his request to "avoid vandalism of his tomb", according to his son Marco Antonio.

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