Pinochet Tried Defying Defeat, Papers Show –

Pinochet Tried Defying Defeat, Papers Show -

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Newly published American documents indicate that the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet sought to use military force to annul the referendum that ended his brutal rule. The plan was rejected by his fellow generals, the documents say.

The formerly top-secret documents posted by the independent National Security Archive on Friday also show that American officials warned Chilean leaders against violence if Pinochet tried to use force to stay in power.

A feature movie called “No” about the Oct. 5, 1988, referendum is nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign language film on Sunday.

A day before the vote, Pinochet “planned to do whatever was necessary to stay in power,” according to a Defense Intelligence Agency document based on information from a Chilean air force officer.

“Pinochet reportedly told advisers: ‘I’m not leaving, no matter what,’ ” the document said.

The documents also show that United States officials and agencies backed the anti-Pinochet campaign, even though the American government had worked to undermine the government that Pinochet overthrew in a 1973 coup and initially supported his government.

In a last attempt to retain power, the strongman who once compared himself to the greatest Roman emperors asked the members of the military junta to meet in his office in the presidential palace at 1 a.m., according to a Defense Department report.

A C.I.A. informer at the meeting described Pinochet as being “nearly apoplectic” about the results.

Pinochet had a document prepared for other generals to sign and “spoke of using the extraordinary powers to have the armed forces seize the capital,” says one of the reports by the Defense Department. But even his closest allies said no.

Pinochet Tried Defying Defeat, Papers Show –

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