Augusto Pinochet

By Jordan Towers

PROFILE

Augusto was born on November 15th, 1915 in Valparaiso, Chile. Augusto is a taller man, and typically uses his height to look more powerful. He was a career army officer, meaning he spent most of his time in the army as his job. Pinochet led the military coup against the socialist government and assumed presidency of Chile. During his reign he was not going to show any mercy. Once he had taken presidency he immediately banned all leftist parties, no one was allowed to run against him for presidency. Roughly 3,100 people were killed by the military government, all for political reasons. Later, around 40,000 people were tortured and 1,300 were exiled for political reasons. Augusto created the Caravan of Death, and they were to hunt down people to publicly execute. They would kill prisoners publicly and would fly helicopters around the country and shoot down people, for political reasons. Pinochet condoned these actions as they were his personal death squad. Pinochet also did not approve of Marxist businesses, and shut down about 600 businesses that Former President Allende opened. The economy plummeted, inflation was at 1000% and the people were making less money. The country had no foreign reserves and the GDP was crashing rapidly. Pinochet had ruined the economy and claimed it was for the best of the country. Augusto was ruthless in his rule and was not allowing anyone to go against his own authority even when he needed advice to fix the country.

VISUAL PROPAGANDA

This poster is a piece from Chile during Pinochet's reign. As you can see he is standing in front of the Chilean flag, showing nationalism and his support for his country. Then you notice that he covers almost all of the power, making his look more powerful. At the bottom the spanish reads out, "Warrior against Marxism." Pinochet hated the left side and wanted all communism to be rid of the world. At the top of the poster is reads "Hero" as if he was a hero for removing the socialist government with a military coup. Next you may notice his clothing, he is wearing Chilean flag colors, red and blue. He wears a formal military outfit and has rank patches on his shoulders, corresponding to Captain General of the Chilean Army. He made himself look more powerful and more authoritarian than he actually looks by using his poster, plus he rallies rightists against communism by worshipping Pinochet as the "Warrior against Marxism."

Dear Pinochet,

I'm writing in regardes to your current new position and leadership of our country. Besides the fact you removed an unfair government, you have taken leadership over our country without any voice from the people. You have started to claim yourself as the "Warrior against Marxism" and you believe that our country has leftists inside the borders. I can tell you that those people are here and they are citizens. They have the human right to voice their opinion regardless of your's. People have been going missing, leftists mostly, and I know that you are making that happen. You are committing a major crime, Pinochet, stop it at once. These people have the basic human right to believe whatever they want. You are killing, torturing and exiling our people, only because you disagree. You are wrong Augusto, you need to stop and return this country to an independent democracy. I understand this letter will probably not change you and I will most likely end up being tortured or killed because of writing this, actually... no, just thinking of it.


Your socialist citizen,


Eduardo Gonzalez

Essential Question

Was Augusto Pinochet a beneficial leader or a harmful leader to Chile?