Genocide in Chile

Topics: Augusto Pinochet, Chile, Salvador Allende Pages: 5 (1524 words) Published: October 27, 2009
ChileFrom 1973 - 1977, there was genocide in Chile. The targets were people who believed in the communist government system. The start of it all began on September 11th, 1973 when Chilean commander in chief, Augusto Pinochet Ugarte commanded the Chilean army and police force to overthrow the current president Salvador Allende. The main reason for the overthrow was because of Allende's economic plan. With it, inflation was rising 1% every day. The only reason the coup was successful at overthrowing the government was because America backed them. With Pinochet in power, his army removed everyone who they deemed the remotest rick to his new military junta. He is accused of devising the worst concentration camp regime since Hitler's grand plan. By the end of 1973, more than 250,000 Chileans were detained in these prisons.

The genocide in Chile began a few years after the 1970 election. The election though, was a contributor to the genocide about to happen in a few years. At the end of the three way election, Salvador Allende had the most votes, but not majority. Even though more than 2/3 of the voters opposed him, he was still expected to win. So, it was up to congress to choose the winner, and of course they didn't listen to the people and chose Allende because he had the most votes. U.S president at the time, Richard Nixon, feared that Allende might convert Chile into a bastion of Marxism. So, without informing our ambassador to Chile at the time, he encouraged the CIA to prevent Allende's inauguration. One plan called for the United States to bribe the Christian Democratic legislators into voting for Jorge Alessandri, the man who had placed second in the 1970 election. Alessandri had promised that if elected, he would resign, allowing the outgoing president, Eduardo Frei, to seek office again. Frei, fearing that Allende's followers might rebel if their candidate did not take office, refused. Now with Allende president, the economy of Chile collapsed.

Allende's economic policies were some of the worst in history. He increased people's wages while freezing prices. This caused massive inflation. When his followers, in contravention of existing laws, seized farm and urban land in addition to factories, both agricultural and industrial productivity plummeted. After the U.S.-owned copper mines were nationalized, without compensation, the United States reduced its economic assistance while trying to prevent Chile from borrowing money from international banks. Allende, however, easily found other nations willing to lend him funds. By 1973, inflation in Chile was rising 1% every day. Meanwhile, strikes and even more seizures of property and factories paralyzed the economy. The opposition could do nothing: Allende's party possessed enough congressional seats to prevent his impeachment. Still, the collapse of the economy, a surge in violence, including assassinations, the armed resistance to the military's attempts to disarm worker groups, an abortive naval mutiny supported by an Allende ally, and the threat of creating armed militias convinced the normally apolitical military to rebel on September 11, 1973.

On September 11, 1973, Chilean Army Commander in Chief Augusto Pinochet along with his American backed coup rebelled against Allende. They invaded the capital and Pinochet ended up killing Allende with his own hands. The following day, many of Allende's top men were also executed. In the six weeks that followed the coup approximately 1,500 civilians were killed, and around 250,000 were detained it prisons. Even foreigners visiting the country were brought into these prisons and killed. The main group that Pinochet targeted was people who were against his way of government. But, the communists that were enslaved in these camps got a special treatment. There were forced to march nude and sing military songs. He thought that by putting them into prisons, it would set them on the "right path". During his seventeen-year...

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2."Chile." Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. Ed. Dinah L. Shelton. Gale Cengage, 2005. 2006. 24 Oct, 20093.CBC News. "Augusto Pinochet: Timeline." 11 Dec. 2006. Web. 25 Oct. 2009. .
4.Minster, Christopher. "Biography of Augusto Pinochet." Web. 25 Oct. 2009.
5.Constable, Pamela, and Arturo Valenzuela. A Nation of Enemies Chile Under Pinochet. Boston: W. W. Norton & Company, 1993. Print.
6.Munoz, Heraldo. The Dictator 's Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet. New York: Basic Books, 2008. Print.
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