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By Mark Ensalaco

"When the military comes out, it really is to kill."—Augusto Pinochet

Following his bloody September 1973 coup d'état that overthrew President Salvador Allende, Augusto Pinochet, commander-in-chief of the Chilean militia and nationwide Police, grew to become head of an army junta that may rule Chile for the subsequent seventeen years. The violent repression utilized by the Pinochet regime to keep up energy and remodel the country's political profile and financial system has acquired much less realization than the Argentine army dictatorship, even if the Pinochet regime persevered two times as long.

In this first research of Chile lower than Pinochet, Mark Ensalaco keeps that Pinochet used to be complicit within the "enforced disappearance" of hundreds of thousands of Chileans and an unknown variety of international nationals. Ensalaco spent 5 years in Chile investigating the impression of Pinochet's rule and interviewing individuals of the reality fee created to enquire the human rights violations below Pinochet. The political aim of human rights businesses, Ensalaco contends, is to deliver enough strain to undergo on violent regimes to urge them to finish regulations of repression. besides the fact that, those efforts are critically restricted by way of the disparities of strength among human rights organisations and regimes reason on ruthlessly taking away dissent.

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So when the military high command ordered troops into action on September 11 it had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to employ many of its weapons and tactics. Transcripts of the recorded VHF radio communications between senior officers on the day of the coup reveal the attitudes and emotions of career soldiers engaged in a one-sided battle - deep antipathy, even hatred, toward officials of the besieged government. 3 Army General Augusto Pinochet directed operations on September 11 from his position at the army communications center at Pefialolcn on the outskirts of the capital.

Pinochet shrewdly dissolved the agency when it had outlived its purpose, but tremendous harm had been caused. The human toll had been horrific, and the societal effects - in terms of the physical and psychological scars resulting from the calculated practice of repression -linger. The harm is aggravated by the high command's continuing refusal to acknowledge the human rights violations, or even to disclose the fate and whereabouts of thousands of its victims. The armed forces' victory was achieved at a tremendous cost.

September 11 had been made a national holiday, on par with the Day of the Glories of the Army celebrated on September 19. P In 1969, the commander of San tiago' s Tacna regimen t ordered his troops in to the streets to protest the low wages and poor living conditions of the troops. This isolated rebellion was eerily suggestive of the actions that would take place four years later, but they did little more than anger President Eduardo Frei, then in his final year in office. The pronunciamento of September 11 changed all that, and no one benefited more from this than the armed forces commander-in-chief, General Augusto Pinochet.

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