Augusto Pinochet

Did Pinochet's Dictatorship harm or benefit Chileans?

Pinochet's Biography

Augusto Pinochet was born november 25th 1915 and died December 10th 2006 at the age of 91. During his college years he attended the Chilean War Academy. After leaving the academy he became a soldier and rose in rank until he was commander in chief. When the government became militarized, he was the number one candidate for president and was elected in 1974. He was a Chilean president turned dictator in the late 1970's to early 1990's. He staged a US backed coup to overthrow the previous government and take military control.Pinochet was insane, he killed nearly 3000 people, tortured 30,000 and enslaved almost 80,000 people during his reign of terror. However, thanks to Pinochet's time in office, Chile was one of the best performing economic countries in Latin America. When he took up office, Chile was facing 1000% inflation. He went in and took out a lot of loans from other countries and companies. Some actions he took were currency stabilization, tariff cutting, opening Chile's markets to global trade, restricting labor unions, privatizing social security, and the privatization of hundreds of state-controlled industries. These policies produced what has been referred to as the "Miracle of Chile," but critics claim the government policies dramatically increased economic inequality.

Pinochet's journal entry.

11 March 1998,

As i grow older I can no longer assume this position of Commander-in-Chief. This is the end of my time as a leader and today I am going to retire. I have done all I can for this Nation with the best intentions at all times. I will assume my position of senator for life and live a relaxing life in Santiago, the city I love. I have no regrets of my time in office but I do not like to reminisce. I brought economic stability back to this country and helped education and healthcare for my people. I was disappointed when the people elected another president in our democratic elections of 1990 but I cannot say I am surprised. I do not wish to reflect on my past for I refuse to be ashamed of my accomplishments. Those who blame me for the loss of their loved ones I blame them for the previous failure of this country. Hopefully I will leave this country in a better place I left it. Maybe my time here was better spent than I imagined.

Crimes of Pinochet - Chile, November 1998

Crimes of Pinochet Documentary.

This video portrays the life of detained Chileans in concentration camps during Pinochet's rule. It has a few first hand accounts of what went on in the camps and how his rule affected the people. The first 5 minutes contain the most important information and it talks heavily on his cruelty towards the people and what little he did for the country. The video is clearly biased but provides value as you get a more in-depth look of Pinochet's presidency.