Augusto Pinochet

Pinochet Ugarte, Augusto

Augusto Pinochet Ugarte (ougōōs´tō pēnōchā´ ōōgär´tā), 1915–2006, president and dictator of Chile (1973–90). An army general who served as chief of staff (1972–73) and commander of the army (1973), he led the coup that overthrew socialist president Salvador Allende (Sept., 1973). As head of a four-man military junta, he resorted to mass arrests and was responsible for more than 2,000 political assassinations. He also returned many nationalized businesses and farms to private owners. Though condemned for its brutality, his regime is credited with stimulating economic growth. After losing a plebiscite in 1988, he was succeeded (1989) as president by Patricio Aylwin.

Pinochet remained as commander of the army until 1998, when he was made senator for life, a title that brought with it lifelong immunity from criminal prosecution. On a trip to London that year, he was arrested at the request of the Spanish government on charges including terrorism and murder, stemming from his former regime, and held for possible extradition to Spain. In 1999 a British judge ruled that he should be extradited; nonetheless, Pinochet was subsequently released for health reasons and returned to Chile.

In 2000 he was stripped of his immunity from prosecution, and he was later charged with involvement in kidnappings and murders that occurred after the coup. The Chilean supreme court, however, ultimately ruled that he was not healthy enough to stand trial. Pinochet resigned his senate seat in 2002. New investigations began in 2004, leading to charges of kidnapping and murder and, prompted by revelations of Pinochet's secret offshore bank accounts, tax evasion, and this time the supreme court allowed them to proceed. The tax evasion investigation subsequently extended to the other members of his family. Pinochet died in 2006, however, before ever being tried on any charges, and charges were later dropped (2013) against his family members.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Augusto Pinochet: Selected full-text books and articles

The Pinochet Effect: Transnational Justice in the Age of Human Rights By Naomi Roht-Arriaza University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005
A Nation of Enemies: Chile under Pinochet By Pamela Constable; Arturo Valenzuela W. W. Norton, 1991
Nonviolent Revolutions: Civil Resistance in the Late 20th Century By Sharon Erickson Nepstad Oxford University Press, 2011
Librarian's tip: Chap. 5 "Ousting General Pinochet"
Politics in Chile: Democracy, Authoritarianism, and the Search for Development By Lois Hecht Oppenheim Westview Press, 1999 (2nd edition)
Librarian's tip: Part Three "Chile under Military Rule, 1973-1989"
State Terrorism and the United States: From Counterinsurgency to the War on Terrorism By Frederick H. Gareau Clarity Press, 2004
Librarian's tip: "The Pinochet Regime" begins on p. 71
From Civil to Political Religion: The Intersection of Culture, Religion and Politics By Marcela Cristi Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2001
Librarian's tip: Chap. Five "Chile, 1973-1989: A Case Study"
Elections in Chile: The Road toward Redemocratization By César Caviedes Lynne Rienner, 1991
Librarian's tip: Chap. 3 "Depoliticization and Resistance, 1973 to 1988"
Politics, Society, and Democracy: Latin America By Scott Mainwaring; Arturo Valenzuela Westview Press, 1998
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "The Pinochet Regime: A Comparative Analysis with the Franco Regime"
The Struggle for Democracy in Chile By Paul W. Drake; Iván Jaksić University of Nebraska Press, 1995 (Revised edition)
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.