Augusto Pinochet

By Emily McSherry

Augusto Pinochet began his career in 1935 when he joined the Chilean army. He was later appointed Commander in Chief by President Salvador Allende. In 1973 however, he led a military coup in which overthrew Allende and ultimately gave Pinochet supreme power over Chile. Later, Pinochet was made head of the junta's governing council. He had the goal in getting rid of Chile's opposition where approximately 130,000 people were arrested, many were tortured as well. During Pinochet's rule, there was a significant rate of economic inflation and poverty. In 1998, he was arrested however, for violating human rights. To some, Pinochet was remembered as a leader who saved Chile from the socialism of Allende and did all that he could to prevent communism and anarchy while other can only remember the violence and economic hardships he caused.

Many Chileans mourn the deaths of their friends and families whom were killed under Pinochet's reign. His harshness comes about from his time serving in Chile's military and rose to the rank of commanding a detention camp for Chilean communists. These people only relate Pinochet with cruelty and destruction as the terrible things he did ruined the lives of many and imprinted a scar on all of them in which can not be taken away. He was a ruthless and short-tempered man who killed over 3,200 people out of anger against the liberal opponents of Chile's government. Unfortunately, he continued the terrible techniques of other torturous leaders such Hitler and Stalin and created work camps where only few people survived. He was selfish and all they wanted to do is escape from their terrible past and do anything they can to forget the tragedies Pinochet caused during his rule.


I, Augusto Pinochet, will leave an extraordinary legacy behind me. I have been able to get rid of the liberal opponents of this government through different ways to ensure that no one will try to endanger the well-being of Chile's government. There was no other decision to make as the liberals During my rule, the United States assisted our nation by encouraging lower taxes, getting rid of state-run businesses, and making foreign investments. I also in fact, rescued them from the socialism of Salvador Allende and did all in my power to prevent communism and anarchy. Chile will thus be able to move forward and continue increasing the welfare I have left behind.

Essential Question

How did the beliefs and emotions of Augusto Pinochet lead to his violent rule and what impacts did they have on Chile?

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