Home > Uncategorized > Another Victim Of Our Pal Pinochet

Another Victim Of Our Pal Pinochet

One of the more sordid amongst a long list of sordid affairs that we were involved with is our relationship with  Augusto Pinochet and his Operation Condor.  It seems as if we can add yet another victim to the murderous thug that we put into power, supported, protected and assisted in his assassinations, torture, kidnapping and suppression of democracy.   The Washington Post reports:

In Chile, Case Resurrects Ghost of Bloody Pinochet Dictatorship

It all started nearly three decades ago with anonymous phone calls from someone who wanted to send a warning: Former president Eduardo Frei Montalva, undergoing surgery at the Santa María Clinic here, was being slowly poisoned.

So when Frei died in January 1982, his children did not believe the pathologists who listed the cause as septic shock from stomach hernia surgery. Frei, at 71, was not only robust but also had become the most prominent opponent of Augusto Pinochet’s bloody dictatorship.

“That’s why we had always doubted and thought that something else had happened,” Carmen Frei, one of the former president’s seven children, said in an interview Tuesday.

Their suspicions were confirmed Monday in a case that has shocked Chileans. Frei was killed, Judge Alejandro Madrid said, and he blamed figures linked to Pinochet.

Chile is holding a presidential election Sunday in which Frei’s eldest son, Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, is the ruling party’s candidate, but the campaign is being overshadowed by disclosures from a long investigation that reads like a political thriller.

If one is even slightly conversant on the details of the coup that we backed that put Pinochet in power, the reign of terror and assassinations that followed and the brutal dictatorship that passed as an acceptable government to us, then all talk about the United States spreading democracy and being champions of human and civil rights is a sick joke.   Of course, Pinochet was just one amongst many murderous dictators that we either directly put into power or facilitated their accension.  A Google of Operation Condor will yield a plethora of data that shows that we have only paid lip service to justice and democratic ideals.

The case serves as a startling reminder that while Chile is now democratic and dynamic, it is still haunted by the strongman with the sunglasses and heavy gray cape. After overthrowing Salvador Allende in 1973, Pinochet ruled Chile over a 17-year span in which thousands were slain, disappeared, tortured or exiled. In 2006, 16 years after leaving office, he died, having escaped prosecution.

The United States was the reason he came to power, stayed in power and spread terror across the globe.  A couple of very good books on Pinochet are “The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents” by John Dinges and “The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability” by Peter Kornbluh.  You will read that we provided Chile with their own September 11 horror, the coup against their democratically elected president.  Our involvement with Pinochet is one of the lowest of many lows in our nation’s history.  And of course, we have learned little from it.

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