Goodbye to Pinochet

Pinochet has died. Chile seems fairly conflicted on whether to be happy or sad. Many many many people are happy--he WAS a bad guy. However, many many many people remember the overthrown president, Salvador Allende, as a bad guy (He was the first democratically elected Socialism revolutionary president in the world, aka Communist).

Some facts on the dead man:

Pinochet introduced a new constitution allowing him to remain as president until 1989.

The new constitution also entrenches the military's domination of the government and allows Pinochet to restrict freedom of association and speech and to arrest or exile any citizen, with no rights of appeal except to Pinochet himself.

He ordered many of the purges that saw more than 3,000 supporters of the Allende regime killed, thousands more tortured, and many thousands more again forced into exile.

The military government dissolved Congress, suspended the constitution and opposition parties were outlawed. Shortly after came a night-time curfew and strict limits on the media.

From a UN report: the UN Committee against torture affirmed that military rule from 1973 to 1990 had been characterized by gross human rights violations, such as extra judicial executions; executions following trials without due process; mass arrests of people held in concentration camps in extremely harsh conditions - many of whom ''disappeared''; widespread torture and ill-treatment; and imprisonment for such crimes as challenging the coup or belonging to certain political groups. The report stated that the repressive methods used against political detainees by the previous government had included torture and ill-treatment.

Sounds like a bad guy to me...

**Incidentally, the coup actually happened on September 11th...poor September 11th. Something REALLY good needs to happen on that day.



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