Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte

The 30th president of Chile, from 12-17-1974 to 3-11-1990

Essential Question

Pinochet led Chile for 17 years, and what did he do during that time?


Augusto Pinochet rose to power through the coup against Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973. The coup ended the presidential democratic rule only a week before its 48th anniversary. In December 1974, Pinochet was appointed president by a joint decree from the military junta. During his rule, an estimated 1,200-3,200 people were killed, up to 80,000 interned, and up to 30,000 were tortured, including women and children. Pinochet was influenced by the Neoliberal Chicago Boys, and implemented economic reforms, including 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. His policies produced a time known as the "miracle of Chile" This time was ended by the 1982 monetary crisis, caused by Sergio De Castro's decision to link the US dollar to the Chilean currency. When the US dollar fell, it caused a massive devaluation in the Chilean economy. Pinochet made his 17-year regime a legal framework through the controversial 1980 plebiscite, but in the 1988 plebiscite, there was a 56% vote against continuing his presidency. Pinochet peacefully stepped down from power in 1990 and continued to serve as the Commander-in-Chief until 1998. He then retired and became a senator-for-life. Pinochet was arrested in 1998 in London in connection with numerous human rights allegations. After a legal battle, Pinochet was returned to Chile in the year 2000. In 2004, Chilean judge Juan Guzmán Tapia ruled that Pinochet was medically fit to stand trial (89 at the time). Pinochet died on December 10, 2006, with about 300 still pending criminal charges (mostly human rights violations, tax evasion, and embezzlement). Pinochet was also accused of corruptly amassing a wealth of 28 million US dollars or more.

One of Pinochet's speeches during his leadership

Augusto Pinochet: Ultimo Mensaje Presidencial 10 marzo 1990. ¡VIVA CHILE!

The Day of Youth speech, July 9th, 1977

Pinochet's speech on the Day of Youth was used to communicate to his people that his actions were important and also that the youth of Chile was important. Pinochet used this also as a way to justify his rise to power through a coup.

"proper approach to this problem is to reiterate once again that September 11 did not mean only the overthrow of a government illegitimate and failed, but represented the end of a political-institutional system completely depleted, and therefore imperative to build a new one. So it is not a job but a mere restoration eminently creative work, notwithstanding that such establishment to be fruitful must be rooted in the profound signs of our true and best national tradition." (translated by google from Pinochet's Chacarillas speech.)

Pinochet wants the youth of Chile to be able to have revolutionary ideas and be able to make change. He also stated that he would implement a democratic government in 1980, where the president would be voted in for 6 years and the legislature would also be voted on by the people.


And then there was one

"Pinochet, you rule Chile"

the army tells him.

Pinochet accepts,

economic reforms, or


Pinochet creates

The "Miracle of Chile"

and Chile prospers.

Sergio's planning

led to a crisis

ending miracles.

Not Pinochet's fault

Sergio's money planning

that is being blamed.

Pinochet ruling,

The plebiscite ends his rule

He peacefully quits.

Pinochet's new job

Commander-in-Chief he stays


Pinochet's last job

as a senator-for-life

allowed by the law.

Arrested, London

legal fight, back to Chile.

human rights lawsuit.

in two-thousand-four

Pinochet goes to trial

dies during two-thousand-six

three-hundred charges

still pending for Pinochet

and a mass of wealth.

ruled seventeen years

twenty-eight-million plus

useless in the grave

Pinochet's actions were his and not anyone else's.

"August 10th 2005 Faced With The Prosecutions That my wife, my son Marco Antonio and the first military government of my Collaborators Have Been object to, I declare: 1. - I assume full Responsibility for the matters That minister Sir Muñoz is Investigating and deny any participation in them by my wife, my children and my closest associates. 2. - If They want to jail someone, to pass judgment on a part of Chile's history, it should be me and not innocent people. 3. - I reiterate That I Never defrauded the state, neither did I gain illegitimate profit from the position I held. I gave, for prudent Reasons, since I would be subjected to persecution and political harassment, my life savings to foreign professional institutions. If there was a tax difference, my accountants have paid everything off. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte" (Pinochet addressing the charges against him and his family.)

Pinochet wrote this to say that his actions were his, and only he should be punished. He also stated that if people felt that his rule was wrong, then he should be imprisoned.