Pinochet’s treason

Shortly after the centre of Santiago had been frightened around midday on 11 September 1973 by the bombing of the presidential palace, the palace was stormed by the army under the leadership of the highest commander, Augusto Pinochet Uriarte. In the short but violent clash that ensued, president Salvador Allende took his own life. The dream of a peaceful revolution was finished; a nightmare was to begin.

General Pinochet committed treason with his attack on the palace. On 23 August, scarcely eighteen days before the coup, the president had appointed him as the highest commander of the Chilean armed forces in gratitude for proven loyalty to the regime. He had been in military service since he was fifteen, and at each promotion he had sworn loyalty to the democracy and to the laws of his country.

On that day of 11 September, Pinochet committed a triple act of treason: to his president Salvador Allende and to his political superiors, to the democracy and the Chilean people he had promised unconditional loyalty to, and to the laws he had sworn to respect. Immediately after seizing power he showed his true nature, that of merciless oppressor, of cunning tyrant.

During his bloody dictatorship, under the pretext of freeing Chile from the Marxist yoke, he carried out a merciless crusade against his own people. After he was forced to resign by the provoked people, seventeen years after his coup, the official report from the National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation showed he had had 33,221 people arrested, had tortured 27,255 of them, had murdered 2095 Chileans and ‘got rid of’ 1,102 people. His regime was responsible for almost one million Chileans fleeing their country for fear of political persecution.