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Chile - The Pinochet Era

Uploaded by schmick on May 06, 2002


Salvador Allende Gossens was elected the first Marxist president of Chile in 1970. He governed Chile from 1970 until 1973, the year of his death. The Allende government was not very successful. It approved sharp increases in the minimum wage whilst attempting to prevent price increases in consumer goods, in an effort to end Chile’s economic slump. This resulted in disaster for the country, as inflation soared, strikes became common and opposition towards the Allende government increased.

This led to a violent coup on September 11, 1973, in which military authorities, led by General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, took power over Chile. Allende was killed during this attack.

This period in Chile’s history put an end to many years of democratic rule in Chile. It also had dramatic and life-changing effects on Chileans, as at least ten percent of the population, or approximately two hundred thousand people, were affected by repressive situations. These situations included arrests, threats, a relative in prison, killed or “disappeared”, and expulsion for political reasons from the place of work or university.

Main Focus of Research:

On the 11th of September 1973, the Chilean armed forces staged a coup d’etat, in which president Allende was killed. A junta was installed which was composed of three generals and an admiral. It was led by the new president, General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte. Pinochet not only took control of the government, but also of the military.

Many thousands of people died in the fighting which erupted between those in support of and those in opposition to the junta.

Soon Pinochet emerged as the dominant figure and the rest of the junta acted as a sort of legislature. During a short period, General Pinochet received support of many people, political parties and other nations, as they believed that the dictatorship of Pinochet would restore the status quo as it had been before 1970. It was not long before these supporters realised that the military officers in power had different objectives, including the repression of all left wing and centre political forces.

The junta imprisoned, killed and tortured its opponents; dissolved congress; put limitations on the press; and banned political parties. An intelligence service known as DINA was established shortly after the coup. They kept secret detention centres where political prisoners were tortured, murdered or brutalised. A private enterprise economy was installed.

The policies of Pinochet’s government encouraged the development of free enterprise and a new...

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Uploaded by:   schmick

Date:   05/06/2002

Category:   History

Length:   5 pages (1,156 words)

Views:   1968

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