Chile. In the first round of the December 11 presidential election, the ruling Socialist and Christian Democratic Alliance candidate Michelle Bachelet from the Socialist Party won 46% of the vote. This means that a second, decisive election round between her and her closest rival, the conservative Sebastián Piñera, who got just over 25% of the vote, must be held. The date is postponed to January 15, 2006. The 54-year-old doctor and former Defense Minister Bachelet are considered controversial in Chile, a strictly Catholic country with a near-past dictatorship. In addition to being a single mother and pronounced agnostic, her father, an aviation general, was tortured to death during the military dictatorship of the 1970s. According to countryaah, Santiago is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Chile. Bachelet himself was imprisoned, tortured and then lived in exile for five years. But the Concertación partial alliance, which has ruled Chile since democracy was introduced in 1990, is still popular in terms of opinion; outgoing President Ricardo Lagos Escobar is supported by a full 70%.
The days before his 90th birthday in November, former dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested for the fourth time in seven years and placed under house arrest. tax fraud. A couple of weeks later he was deprived of his legal immunity by a court of appeal in Santiago, which allows for a lawsuit against him in a human rights case from the first year of the military dictatorship in the 1970s, the so-called Operation Colombo when 119 people disappeared and executed.
1997 Return for Concertación
The government coalition retained its majority in the December 97 parliamentary elections, but lost ground to the right wing. It got 50.6% of the vote against 56.1% of the votes in the municipal elections in 96. The right wing got 39% against 35% in 96.
After handing over his post as commander-in-chief of the armed forces to General Ricardo Izurieta on March 11, 1998, General Pinochet resigned his post in the Senate – despite widespread protests. During the ex-dictator’s first meeting in the Senate, several senators carried images of people who had disappeared during the dictatorship. A senator hung a banner out of his window, which read: “Access prohibited for murderers”.
President Frei made a motion for a referendum to abolish the post of lifetime senators – including Pinochet’s post – but the proposal was voted down in the Senate by the right wing, Pinochet and 7 other designated senators. Frei instead proposed a popular assessment. At the same time, 21 senators submitted a document stating that the article in the constitution granting ex-presidents the right to a seat in the Senate for life cannot be applied to Pinochet, as he has never been elected.
On September 11, 1998, it was 25 years since Pinochet took power. The military had put the capital in an iron grip, yet a major demonstration was held against Pinochet.
The arrest of Pinochet in the United Kingdom in October 1998 shook the political process in Chile. The arrest was a consequence of Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón asking Britain to extradite him for prosecution in Spain. In Chile, both the government and the opposition agreed on the demand for the former dictator to be returned to Chile. But while the extreme right blamed the government for making this claim too weak, the Concertación was characterized by internal tensions as the alliance was forced to defend the ex-dictator on the grounds of national sovereignty. The court decisions in London were accompanied in Santiago de Chile by often violent demonstrations – either for or against the dictator’s detention.
In November 1998, Mirella Pérez was named Chile’s first female general after climbing through the entire hierarchy of the Carabineros police force. In Chile, women make up only 32% of the economically active part of the population.
Clashes between mapuche Indians and forest owners in southern Chile in October 1999 led a group of 200 armed police assisted by helicopters to launch a siege of the village of Temucuicui. It prompted the government to publish a plan according to which the mapuche people should have 275 million. US $ for the construction of roads, technical agricultural support, scholarships, the creation of bilingual schools and debt reduction in the state agricultural agency. Still, the leaders of the mapuchs believed that it was a collection of old unfulfilled promises, now presented as something new. Unlike the constitution of other Latin American countries, the Chilean constitution does not pay special attention to the country’s indigenous population.
In January 2000, the socialist Ricardo Lagos won the presidential election as candidate for the Concertación coalition, but the election was very narrow, leaving the new government with narrow legislative options. The right wing won a significant moral victory, gaining 49% of the vote. It declared that it would “cooperate critically” with the newly elected president.
In March 2000, Pinochet returned to Chile after the British judiciary ruled that his “ill health” was an impediment to extradition to prosecution in Spain. One week later, the Chilean parliament passed a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the immunity of former presidents. But in May, a judicial appeals court decided to call on Parliament to deprive Pinochet of his immunity. Two weeks later, representatives of the state (including the military) and civil society formed a human rights committee aimed at tracing the remains of the 3,000 missing Chileans under the dictatorship. In August, the Supreme Court ruled that Pinochet had lost his immunity. At the same time, the courts investigated over 70 cases in which Pinochet was charged with murder, torture and abduction during his 17 years in power.
In July 2001, however, another Chilean court rescinded the charges against Pinochet on the grounds that he was not “mentally capable” of conducting a lawsuit.