Augusto Pinochet

Chile's Ruthless Dictator

Pinochet's Life

  • He was born in Valparaiso, Chile on November 25, 1915
  • After attending local schools, Pinochet graduated from the Chilean Military Academy in 1936.
  • His education and experience in the military is extensive: He studied at the Infantry School, the War Academy, and the National Defense Academy, and even taught at a few of these schools. He served overseas, and became regimental commander. He quickly moved up in ranks.

Pinochet's Beginning as Dictator

  • During these years, the military was minimally involved in government. Chilean elites feared the increasing involvement of lower class citizens in government.
  • in 1970, Salvador Allende became president, and brought with him very socialistic ideas that threatened landowners and businesses.
  • Allende named Pinochet Commander in Chief in August of 1973. Less than one month later, Pinochet led a military junta against Allende, that overthrew him and bombed Santiago (the capitol of Chile)

Pinochet's Authoritarian Dictatorship

  • To avoid any opposition against him, Pinochet arrested around 130,000 people, exiling and killing thousands
  • In 1981, Pinochet created a new Constitution in which he would remain in power for another 8 years. With all of the measures taken, it was nearly impossible to create any opposition against him.
  • "He did away with Congress and all political parties, placed military men in control of all universities, eliminated any press freedoms, established a curfew, and declared martial law after being proclaimed national president in June 1974."
  • To deal with Chile's inflation problem, Pinochet implemented a "shock treatment" on the economy that sent Chile into a depression almost as bad as the Great Depression. Although they recovered and had rapid growth, another recession made Pinochet reconsider his plans, and establish some means of social security
  • By 1984, Chile's debt was fifth largest in Latin America, unemployment was at 30%, and the manufacturing section was destroyed.
  • In October of 1988, Pinochet allowed a popular vote; 55% of the country voted "no" to Pinochet staying in power, and in 1990 a new president was inaugurated


  • After he was forced from presidency, Pinochet remained Head of the Armed Forces. There, he still had a great influence about what was allowed in government affairs. In 1998, he was named senator for life...granting his immunity in Chilean Courts.
  • By the time of his death in 2006, Pinochet was charged with and tried for human rights abuse, tax evasion, fraud, 119 murders and over 3,000 kidnappings and disappearances.
The Legacy of Chile's Pinochet Dictatorship Lives On

Video Analysis

For this video, we analyzed from minute 0:00 to 5:45. This video basically explains that Chile still operates under the same 1980 constitution produced during the reign of Augusto, as well as the same justice system. 3200 people were effortlessly killed by government forces. Hundreds of thousands were also tortured and some even disappeared. The constitution made these actions okay and right. Under Augusto's rule, these instances were allowed. This video shows that Augusto was a hasteful dictator. He had no limits for what was right and let his government officials get away with very harsh treatment that went against humanity. Instances where the police would strip girls naked and interrogate them show some very unhumane acts. These acts also show the this regime was one of the harshest known dictatorships to Chile and even World history. This video proves that Augusto was a leader who was unrespectful and looked down upon. A typical dictator except with no limits. Some of his only supporters truly lived in fear of doing wrong and being punished. Augusto was a ruthless dictator and this video certainly validates that statement.

An Original Piece

It began with Allende in office,

Chile's business and economy distraught

And watching from his position in the army,

Pinochet came up with a plot.

He overthrew the government

attacking all those who opposed

and with the failing country

a free market is what he chose

Two recessions later,

with one of the highest debts

Chile had fallen to pieces

and their dictator was still a threat

Finally 9 years later

Pinochet was removed from office

But with his position now as a commander in chief,

Chile still had to be cautious

He was elected Senator

where he would be safe from court

This privilege was taken from him

And he fell a little short

When he died in 2006,

He had quite the record

With murders, kidnappings and even tax evasion,

Augusto Pinochet's Chile needed to be restored


Despite the horrible dictatorship run by PInochet, why did only 55% of Chileans vote no on his return in 1988?

Works Cited

" World History: The Modern Era - Username ." World History: The Modern Era - Username . N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. <>.

The Real News. "The Legacy of Chile's Dictatorship Lives On." You Tube. The Real News, 11 Feb. 2013. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. < >.