Chile. In April, the government presented a proposal to change the constitution to remove the articles introduced by former dictator Augusto Pinochet shortly before his departure in 1990 to strengthen the military’s role in Chile’s politics. Among other things, the government wants to abolish the non-elected lifetime senators and the ban on the president to dismiss military commanders.
Despite these restrictions, President Ricardo Lagos succeeded in persuading Air Force Commander Patrício Ríos in October after revealing that he had withheld information from a human rights commission investigating human rights violations during Pinochet’s time in power.
According to Countryaah website, national day of Chile is every September 18. Pinochet himself resigned as senator July 5, three days after the Supreme Court filed a lawsuit against him because he is considered demented. In November, the Supreme Court, with the same justification, also rejected a request for extradition to Argentina, where Pinochet awaits trial for his involvement in the murder of Carlos Prats in Buenos Aires in 1974. Prats was the commander-in-chief of Salvador Allende who overthrew in 1973.
A bribery scandal shook the military during the year. It was in February that a Belgian court opened an investigation into Chile’s purchase of the 25 Mirage Plan in 1994, where bribes of about $ 15 million are said to be involved. The Belgian liaison officer in the affair, General Jacques Lefebvre, committed suicide in 1995 after allegations of corruption. The Chilean Air Force’s own internal investigation was discontinued in 1999.
1970-73 Reforms and destabilization of the United States
The government limited itself to the implementation of simple reforms: Its most important steps were: Nationalization of the copper industry, state control of the country’s 300 largest companies, land reform with the dissolution of all estates over 80 hectares, a large-scale housing program, social system expansion and sharp increases in real wages. The battle was directed at the big monopolies power and against the lowland violence in the villages where, before 1970, 2.7% of the population owned 70% of the land. In addition, a number of local power agencies, or people’s powers as it was called in Chile, were developed: farmer councils, consumer committees, industry councils, factory committees, etc. were created. The reforms were initiated immediately after the formation of the Unidad Popular government, and as early as March 1971 the municipal elections showed that voter membership in UP had increased by around 13%. The process initiated led to the mobilization of workers, peasants and slum dwellers, which often went far beyond the framework set by the government. But at the same time, the right wing started its countermeasures against government policy.
From mid-1972, Chilean politics revolved around the outcome of the class struggle between the increasingly strong civilian offensive and the left. UP did not agree on the strategy at this stage. Outside the UP, the left-wing revolutionary movement – MIR – had also grown with a not insignificant force. Together with the left wing of the Socialist Party, the Christian Left and MAPU, MIR stood for a line that went on to continue the bourgeoisie with the bourgeoisie and did not slow down or give in to the right wing’s pressure. Among other things. a number of «uncontrolled» factory occupations, land acquisitions, housing occupations etc. took place.
The Communist Party and the Socialist Party represented by Allende gradually settled on a course aimed at consolidating what the government had already won and trying to split the right wing by entering into agreements with the Christian Democrats and moderate military people. But while the divide grew on the left, all parts of the right wing consolidated, and Allende and UP failed to bring any proper wedge into the bourgeois camp. One of the problems UP faced was the reaction in the Chilean petty bourgeoisie, which was a large number group in low-industrial Chile. All reforms and nationalizations were aimed at the big monopolies and were of immediate benefit to small traders. But the petty bourgeois political reaction was a loud protest against Allende. Therefore, a broad anti-monopoly alliance was never created that went beyond the labor movement itself. The Christian Democrats who represented these layers also went so far in their political alliance with the right wing that the leader of the party, Eduardo Frei – the president who was to revolutionize freedom in the 1960’s – eventually supported Pinochet’s coup.