, , Chile
|| November 25, 1915
|Died||December 10, 2006
|Last Modifed||Juan Croniqueur|
Nov 27, 2015 01:55am
|Info||Pinochet came to power in a coup d'état on September 11, 1973 after the Chamber of Deputies in its Resolution of August 22, 1973 declared that Allende had violated the Constitution. President Allende died before being captured. The exact circumstances of his death are still disputed. An autopsy in 1990 found that Allende's wounds were consistent with the suicide account. |
In his memoirs, Pinochet affirms that he was the leader of the coup, and used his position as Commander-in-chief of the Army to coordinate a far-reaching scheme with the other two branches of the military and the national police. In recent years, however, high military officials from the time have said that Pinochet reluctantly got involved only a few days before it was scheduled to occur and followed the lead of other branches (especially the Navy) as they triggered the coup.
Main article: Government Junta of Chile (1973)
A military junta was established immediately following the coup, made up of General Pinochet representing the Army, Admiral José Toribio Merino representing the Navy, General Gustavo Leigh representing the Air Force, and General César Mendoza representing the Carabineros (uniformed police).
Main article: Chile under Pinochet
Once the Junta was in power, Pinochet soon consolidated his control, first retaining sole chairmanship of the military junta, and then being proclaimed President on June 27, 1974. General Leigh, head of the Air Force, became increasingly opposed to Pinochet's policies and was forced into retirement on July 24, 1978. He was replaced by General Fernando Matthei.
During 1977 and 1978, Chile was on the brink of war with Argentina (also ruled by a military government) over a disagreement regarding the ownership of the strategic Picton, Lennox and Nueva islands at the southern tip of South America. Antonio Samoré, a representative of Pope John Paul II, successfully prevented full-scale war. The conflict was finally resolved on 1984, with the Treaty of Peace and Friendship (Tratado de Paz y Amistad). Chilean sovereignty over the islands and Argentinian over the surrounding sea is now undisputed.
In 1981, he promoted himself to the supreme army rank of Capitán General (literally Captain General), previously borne by colonial governors and by Bernardo O'Higgins, a hero of Chile's war of independence. The ranks was reserved only for those who were, at the same time, heads of Government and of the Army.