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Chile is a country located on the southwestern coast of South America. It is best known in the Anglosphere for being the site of a military dictatorship from 1973 to 1990 under General Augusto Pinochet.


Chile has the oldest archeological evidence of human settlement in America, dated 33,000 BP[1].


The Inca Empire conquered northern Chile but the natives offered a fierce resistance and before the Battle of Maule the Incas decided to not go south of the Maule river. The Inca central town was in the modern capital, Santiago.

Pinochet dictatorship[edit]

In 1970, the Marxist Salvador Allende was elected president of Chile. After his government was implicated in some civil rights abuses, the Chilean legislature passed, on August 22, 1973, a resolution[2] stating that democracy in Chile was about to break down, and inviting the army to throw Allende out, which of course caused an immediate breakdown of democracy. General Augusto Pinochet, with the backing of the United States, promptly took the opportunity, throwing the country into 17 years of military dictatorship with civil and human rights abuses far more grievous than those of his predecessor, as his regime forcibly "disappeared" and tortured many thousands of political dissidents.

Pinochet held two referenda on whether the military dictatorship should continue. The first, in 1980, overhauled the constitution but kept him on as dictator. There were many anomalies; for example, there wasn't an electoral registry, the number of voters was way too high (over 93% of the active population), and in many areas, there were more voters than inhabitants.[3] The second, in 1988, asked whether he should continue as dictator; he was defeated. He then reintroduced elections, being replaced in 1990 by the democratically elected Patricio Aylwin.

See also[edit]