Chile

New documentary on Pinochet’s dictatorship: Some wounds should not heal

By Debra Watson, 25 September 2008

The Judge and the General tells the story of recent efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of horrific acts of political repression committed three decades ago under Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet.

The unquiet death of Charles Horman

Chilean court reenacts stadium execution of American journalist

By Bill Vann, 17 May 2002

Gunshots rang out once again in Santiago’s National Stadium May 14, nearly 30 years after the Chilean sports facility was turned into a center of torture and execution by a US-backed military junta that overthrew the elected government of President Salvador Allende.

Large anti-government swing in Chilean elections

By Mauricio Saavedra, 28 December 2001

For the first time since the return to civilian rule in 1990, the ruling “centre-left” coalition in Chile polled less than half the votes in the December 16 parliamentary elections, allowing former military dictator General Augusto Pinochet’s political heirs to claim that they will return to power after the next elections.

Anti-government hostility marks Chilean election campaign

By Perla Astudillo, 15 December 2001

Socialist Party leader Ricardo Lagos, who won the Chilean presidency as the candidate for the ruling Concertacion coalition in early 2000, is facing his first major electoral test in tomorrow’s congressional elections. After entering office with promises of dealing with the crimes of the military and former dictator General Augusto Pinochet, as well as providing better health care and working conditions, Lagos has delivered on none.

Chilean regime signs electoral pact with Communist Party

By Perla Astudillo, 2 October 2001

The Chilean Socialist Party—President Ricardo Lagos’ faction of the ruling Concertacion coalition—has signed an electoral pact to support Communist Party (PC) candidates in two of its safest seats for the December congressional elections. Under the terms of the August 1 agreement, the withdrawal of the Socialist Party (PS) candidates is likely to see the first PC members elected to the Chamber of Deputies since civilian rule was restored in 1990. In effect, the PC would become part of the ruling coalition for the first time since the Popular Unity government headed by Salvador Allende that was ousted in the 1973 military coup by General Augusto Pinochet.

Chilean court ends Pinochet’s trial

By Mauricio Saavedra, 14 July 2001

With the Chilean government of President Ricardo Lagos pressing for a halt to the prosecution of former military dictator Augusto Pinochet, the Santiago Appeals Court all but ended his trial this week by suspending the case indefinitely on the pretext of Pinochet’s ill health.

Jail deaths spark protest in Chile

By Perla Astudillo, 5 July 2001

Over 12,000 prisoners throughout Chile went on strike last month in protest over the death of 26 inmates in a fire in a jail in the northern city of Iquique. The strikers were demanding an end to the chronic overcrowding and brutal regime in Chilean jails that led to the Iquique fire.

Chilean court dismisses murder charges against Pinochet

By Mauricio Saavedra, 12 March 2001

The Santiago Court of Appeals handed former Chilean military dictator General Augusto Pinochet a partial victory last week, dismissing charges of masterminding dozens of murders and kidnappings in the “Caravan of Death” case. He now faces trial only on minor charges of being an accessory, with a maximum penalty of three to five years' house arrest.

Pinochet's return fuels political conflicts in Chile

By Mauricio Saavedra, 18 March 2000

Augusto Pinochet's recent arrival in Chile after 16 months confinement in Britain has heightened suppressed antagonisms within the country. Victims of the former dictatorship, emboldened by Pinochet's detention, have demanded his prosecution, along with other military officers. On the other side, boosted by Pinochet's release, the former dictatorship's supporters have become more militant.

London High Court considers moves to release Pinochet

By Richard Tyler, 27 January 2000

A hearing before the High Court in London opened Wednesday to consider moves by Home Secretary Jack Straw to release the former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet.

Human rights groups to mount legal challenge to Pinochet's release by British Home Secretary

By Richard Tyler, 25 January 2000

Human rights groups are to mount a legal challenge against the British Home Secretary, Jack Straw, to prevent him effectively releasing former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Human rights groups attack decision to keep medical evidence secret

Britain poised to release Chilean ex-dictator Pinochet

By Richard Tyler, 20 January 2000

A Chilean jet arrived in Bermuda Wednesday, ready to fly to Britain and bring former dictator Augusto Pinochet back to Santiago. This is the third occasion since Pinochet's detainment 15 months ago that a medically-equipped plane has set out from Chile to retrieve the ex-military strongman. This time, however, Pinochet and his supporters are more confident the British government will give the green light for him to return home. Last week, British Home Secretary Jack Straw said he was “minded” to halt extradition proceedings against Pinochet on medical grounds.

Socialist Party candidate narrowly defeats ex-Pinochet official in Chilean presidential poll

By Mauricio Saavedra, 19 January 2000

Socialist Party (PS) leader Richard Lagos, the candidate for the ruling coalition in Chile, narrowly defeated Joaquin Lavin in the second round run-off of the country's presidential elections on Sunday. Lagos will head a new administration of the Concertacion coalition, which has been in government since 1990 when the former military dictator, Augusto Pinochet, relinquished power.

Examining physician suggests British home secretary misled Parliament in bid to release Pinochet

By Richard Tyler, 18 January 2000

According to the Observer newspaper, British Home Secretary Jack Straw may have misled members of Parliament when he told them that doctors had “unanimously and unequivocally” found former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet unfit to stand trial for torture.

Pinochet can go free, says Britain's Home Secretary

By Chris Marsden, 13 January 2000

Britain's Home Secretary Jack Straw has signalled his intention to halt extradition proceedings against ex-Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet. The 84-year-old Pinochet will then be free to return to Chile.

Washington and the Pinochet coup in Chile

Declassified documents confirm US role in 1973 death of Charles Horman

By Bill Vann, 26 October 1999

More than a quarter century after the execution in Chile of Charles Horman, an American freelance journalist, Washington has released a document admitting that US intelligence agents played a role in his death.

Tensions mounts in Chile after Britain rejects call for Pinochet's immediate release

By Vicky Short, 19 October 1999

The Chilean government responded to the October 8 decision by Bow Street Magistrates Court Judge Ronald Bartle to allow former dictator Augusto Pinochet to be extradited to Spain by once more appealing to the British government to intervene. On October 14, it sent a letter to Home Secretary Jack Straw requesting that the extradition process be halted and Pinochet freed on health grounds. This follows an earlier letter from Chilean President Eduardo Frei to Prime Minister Blair on October 7, the contents of which have not been disclosed.

What the Pinochet affair shows about Britain

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 9 January 1999

When lawyers representing the former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, return to the House of Lords on January 18, seeking to uphold the October 28 High Court verdict granting him "sovereign immunity" from prosecution, they will do so with the backing of substantial layers of the British establishment.

The significance of Pinochet’s arrest and the lessons of the 1973 coup

By Chris Marsden, 5 December 1998

This is the text of a speech given by Chris Marsden, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Britain), to a pubic meeting in Sheffield, England on the arrest of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and its significance.