Augusto Pinochet

Chile

Profle

Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte was born on November 25, 1915 in Valparaiso, Chile. He was the oldest of six children, his father a middle-class government worker. Augusto Pinochet entered military school when he turned 18, and graduated as a Sub-Lieutenant in four years.


Pinochet rose quickly in rank, even though the fact that Chile was not at war. In fact, Pinochet never saw any action in combat during his entire military career but he was looked up upon with his hard work and effort to everything he did.


Augusto Pinochet was a career army officer and military dictator of Chile from 1973 to 1990. His years in power were marked by inflation, poverty and the ruthless repression of opposition leaders. Years after stepping down, he was charged with several war crimes relating to his time as President, but he later died in 2006 before he could be convicted of anything.

Constitution of Chile

Under the reign of Augusto Pinochet, he made a new constitution for Chile to follow. This constitution which is still being used today was confirmed by Augusto Pinochet. In its temporary dispositions, the document ordered the transition from the former military government, with Augusto as President of the Republic. This document was really all up to Augusto and the people did not really have a choice but the people actually thought it was necessary to have a new and improved constitution. Later In 2005, over 50 reforms were approved, which eliminated some of the remaining undemocratic areas of the text, such as the existence of non-elected Senators and the inability of the President to remove the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. These reforms led the President to controversially declare Chile's transition to democracy as complete. Pinochet was determined to exterminate leftism in Chile and to reassert free-market policies in the country’s economy, after publicly anncounting what he plans to do, 75% of the people voted for him.

Letter to Augusto Pinochet

I, a survivor of this brutal dictatorship, want to write you a letter, explaining the pain you brought to our country, Chile. As everybody in Chile knew, the president, had announced a referendum to be held on October 5. After 15 years of brutal dictatorship, in which an estimated 3,000 political opponents had been killed, another 3,000 had “disappeared” and about 10 times that number had been tortured, by Pinochet’s secret police, Chileans were being asked for their opinion of the regime. The vote was going to be a straight choice: “yes” or “no” to eight more years. You were a brutal leader who forced everything from his people. Even forcing us to vote for your laws, good or bad ones. I think a democracy is where Chile needs to head for and a dictatorship is only destroying our country.

Question

Was the torture of Augusto Pinochet necessary to change Chile into a better country? Seeing as the constitution that was made by him actually improved Chile in someways politically.