The Dictator Who Was Augusto Pinochet

1088 words - 5 pages

Augusto Jose Ramon Pinochet Ugarte also known as Augusto Pinochet was born on November 25, 1915 in Valparaiso, Chile, and died on December 10, 2006 in Santiago, Chile. He was a murderous Dictator who ruled in Chile from 1973 to 1990. He was Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army from 1973 to 1998 and president of the Government Junta of Chile between 1973 and 1981. Pinochet managed to attain full power by overthrowing Salvador Allende, a socialist government, by using military force. His years in power were defined by inflation and poverty leaving behind a legacy of abuse that took successive government years to catalogue. Numerous years after Pinochet stepped down, he was charged with several crimes from the time when he was president, but he died before he could be convicted of anything.
Pinochet family was descendents of French settlers who had come to Chile more than a century ago. He was the eldest of six children and his father was a middle-class government worker. He entered military school when he turned 17 in the midst of being rejected three times. Finally after four years he graduated as a Sub-Lieutenant. One of the reasons why Pinochet rose above so quickly was due to Chile not being at war. In fact, its been said Pinochet has never sought any types of action in combat during his entire military career. According to his biographer, James Whelan, Pinochet lived a quiet childhood, with his mother who played a very important role in the formation of his character. Pinochet worked his way through the office corps and became involved in politics around the 1950s. The difficult thing to understand is that it was his apparent lack of political ambition that advanced him as a commander under chief Allende, who considered Pinochet a trustworthy person.
Many people saw Pinochet as a shy, middle-aged army man that had close connections with the government. Everyone in general saw him as a polite, kind hearted, and loyal man that everyone loved. Most importantly President Allende considered him a loyal ally. According to Christopher Minister’s article the “Biography of Augusto Pinochet,” it states that Pinochet met Salvador Allende in 1948, which at the time was a young Chilean senator. Allende was a socialist governor that went to visit the concentration camp operated by Pinochet where most of the Chilean communist were held. Years later in 1970, Allende was elected president and soon promoted Pinochet to commander of the city Santiago Garrison. A few years later, Allende believed Pinochet has proven himself as a trustworthy, valuable person by helping Allende with his Economic policies. Allende soon promoted Pinochet to Commander-in-Chief of all Chilean armed forces on August 23, 1973.
Allende who at the time was a socialist governor, believed that Pinochet fully supported him. Minister points out in his article, “Allende's socialist platform advocated nationalizing foreign-owned industry and rectifying Chile's gross economic disparity....

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