Augusto Pinochet

Laura Owens


Augusto Pinochet led a military coup, backed by the United States, against the Allende government, the government under Salvador Allende, ending civilian rule. After the successful coup, Pinochet established himself as head of the new military regime. He was also instated as President of Chile by joint decree. The new government under Pinochet implemented a harsh and strict measures against any supposed opponents. Its claimed that between 1,200 and 3,200 people were killed, up to 80,000 put into forced labor camps, up to 30,000 people tortured, 1,500 to 2,000 Chileans disappeared during his reign, as well as over 200,000 people forced into exile.

New policies were introduced under the name of the "Miracle of Chile". The policies included economic reform, such as currency stabilization, tariff cutting, global trade, restricted labor unions, privatizing social security, and the privatization of state-controlled industries. Though some believe this dramatically increased economic inequality instead of reducing it.


Song of Pinochet

This anthem for Pinochet, shows how dedicated the people are to him. It also shows how the people have been brainwashed to believe that he is the answer to all their problems. Also, the fact that his name is said repeatedly through out the song proves that he's conceited enough to force himself on the people. The tune also resembles the United States' national anthem. This shows that Pinochet is comparing the United States government with his and implying that his government and country is just as good as the US' and that since the US helped with the coup, he's paying homage to the US. This also shows that he's trying to prove that his government is good, just as the US' government is good.



It's been ten years since Pinochet took power. I can't remember the day, but I've been about it so many times. With the aid of the United States of America, Pinochet overthrew Allende. My mother told me that it was a glorious day, I don't know why though.

The day's now are long and hard and spent under a film of tension and distrust. I barely remember the first few years spent under Pinochet, but I think they were nice, comfortable. But now, now I can't even stand to go outside and feel the stares of the people. It's like they're waiting for me to blow up, just like my mother.

I barely go to school, my father barely gets out of his bed, and if he does, he only does it to drink another bottle of beer or whiskey or some other liquor. The picture of that dreaded man still hangs in our entry way, the glass shattered and water stains on his nasty face.

Sometimes I wish that my mother did succeed in whatever she was trying. To at least have that man out of power, the people safe from fear, me safe from the stares.

Sometimes I wish that I would take that leap, and take up what my mother did, even if I do fail, as she did, at least I would have tried and done something to stop this oppression. At least I would have tried.

And trying and failing is a lot better than doing nothing at all.

Essential Question

What has Pinochet done to instill fear into people and how has this affected the country as a whole?