Pinochet is dying... again.
December 3, 2006 8:43 AM   Subscribe

Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet is in serious condition but stable after heart attack. Just last week he celebrated his 91th birthday and said that he accepted 'political responsibility' for what happened during his dictatorship. Also, before the heart attack he was under house arrest for the disappearance of two persons and being investigated because of tax evasion. -- The popular reaction in Chile has been similar to other occasions: some celebrate; some are sad, but most just want an undivided Chile.
posted by Memo (35 comments total)
huh. I thought he was well dead already.
good riddance when he goes.
posted by Busithoth at 9:00 AM on December 3, 2006

Accepting 'political responsibility' means never having to say you're sorry. Hope he goes painfully.

In a related story, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:10 AM on December 3, 2006

1: "Don't say anything about the dead unless it's good."
2: "Well, he's dead."
1: "Good."
posted by Richard Daly at 9:18 AM on December 3, 2006

I used to have a bottle of champagne in the freezer for when he died, but at some point it felt petty and I opened it for new years or something.
Fuck him, even celebrating his death is too good for him.
In other news: hey look, another chileno.
posted by signal at 9:26 AM on December 3, 2006

Accepting 'political responsibility'

He didn't have an option to refuse it to begin with. I hope he survives andexperience the substance of suffering, as he as far as I know caused it rather then allieviate it.
posted by elpapacito at 9:31 AM on December 3, 2006

I hope he's in stunning amounts of pain.

I think I will have to take up signal's idea, though. Champagne will be gotten tomorrow and chilled in waiting for the bastard's death.
posted by kalimac at 9:32 AM on December 3, 2006

I hope he's in stunning amounts of pain.

I understand the sentiment, but the problem is that somebody like Pinochet never had to answer for his many crimes against humanity. a painful death in old age is very little, what he deserved was a Nuremberg trial

this is a bit like hoping that Osama's kidneys fail -- the point is that he has to be caught. waiting for such criminals to die a natural death is a bit, you know, self defeating
posted by matteo at 9:47 AM on December 3, 2006

Yeah, the real pity is that he's dying in a hospital bed instead of a prison one.
posted by signal at 9:55 AM on December 3, 2006

91th? It feels like you just dislocated my brain.

signal, with champagne, to retain the best flavor, you should chill it just a few hours before serving.

As for Pinochet, it looks like a slow, painful death is his only punishment. I bet he doesn't learn anything from it. 'Course, we'll never know either way.
posted by fenriq at 9:56 AM on December 3, 2006

And that he'll probably be buried in some military cemetary where we won't even have the chance to shit on his grave.
posted by signal at 9:56 AM on December 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

91th? It feels like you just dislocated my brain.
Oops. 91st?
posted by Memo at 10:05 AM on December 3, 2006

Background and a detailed timeline of Pinochet's crimes.
posted by mediareport at 10:20 AM on December 3, 2006

Electrical voltage to his feeble genitalia. Appropriate.
posted by carmina at 10:23 AM on December 3, 2006

Watch your step to hell, Gus.
posted by jonmc at 10:45 AM on December 3, 2006

Die you bastard, DIE.
posted by scody at 11:05 AM on December 3, 2006

He started out malingering to avoid facing the music, didn't he? And now reality has caught up and he's the weak old man he wanted everyone to believe he was.
posted by veggieboy at 11:32 AM on December 3, 2006

My grandparents lived Chile during the Allende years, the coup, and the first part of Pinochet's long and ugly rule. September 11, for us, was always the day Pinochet came to power, and it seems strange that for most people in the world, the date has come to signify an entirely different attrocity. My mother left shortly before the junta, for college in the US; it was good timing, because, like many young people in Santiago at the time, she was a regular attendant at communist rallies.

It was a crazy time to be in Chile, and I've heard stories about it all my life. Things were already pretty unstable in the couple of years before Pinochet, thanks to the tumultous transition to communism, which brought hyperinflation, rationing, and shortages. My grandmother had to buy coal, gasoline, and food staples on the black market, because they were simply not available otherwise. Women protested the sky-rocketing food prices by banging on pots and pans in the street. The same pot banging demonstrations were later used to protest against Pinochet and the disappearence of family members-- resulting in brutal police crack-downs. Things were crazy under both governments; but under Allende you could at least speak up about it.

During the Pinochet years, a number of family friends ran afoul of the government and became desaparecidos. There was usually a lingering uncertainty about the people who disappeared: you always hoped that they knew they were in trouble, and had simply fled the country, as many people did, unable to explain or say goodbye because of the risk and the hurry. You hoped that they were in Argentina or Bolivia and not in some secret mass grave in the countryside.

There are two little sculptures on a shelf in my grandparent's living room. The man who made them was a communist who carved cowboys out of wood, characters from American westerns with expressive, exaggerated features. One of the carvings is short and fat with a sherif's star pinned to his chest, and one is tall and gangly with suspenders and chaps. No one knows what happened to the sculpter. He was a friend of a friend who was there one day and gone the next. I don't even know his name, but I can never look at those cowboys without thinking about what happened to him.
posted by bookish at 11:47 AM on December 3, 2006 [2 favorites]

...he celebrated his 91th birthday...

For quite a few years, we had a street sign here in town demarcating the intersection of Brazos $ 2th street. Sadly, by the time I'd gotten there with a camera, it had been corrected.

You know, one of the only benefits I can see to the current "War on Terror" is that it caused the State Dept. et al to take their eyes off the ball in regards to central & south America. We've got a domino effect of democracy & populism sweeping the region, & it's a refreshing thing to see.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:59 AM on December 3, 2006

I lived in Chile for a little over five years, and moved there in the late 80's, during Pinochet's last year as president (before he stepped down and appointed himself general and the position was succedded by Frey). Sept 11th in Santiago was a crazy, crazy place to be. Being an American, I was told to stay indoors during the holiday. In hindsight, it's shocking how many Chileans I knew as a kid (friends' parents, usually) who actually supported Pinochet regardless of his horrendous crimes against humanity. Mind you, these well usually well-to-do folks who benefitted enormously from Pinochet's economic expansion of Chile. But it was like they completely turned a blind eye to the crimes, which was un-fucking believable to me.

True story: my mom had lunch with Pinochet once. As you can imagine, our household became a volitale one that week, especially since I dated a girl who had relatives who had dissapeared in the 80's. When I brought up the litany of Pinchote's crimes to her as a reason why she shouldn't meet him, she thought I was making it up, as her rich friends conveniently didn't clue her in on such, and my mother has never been one to be politically 'informed'. The stupid American indeed. These moments could make for some brutal therapy sessions: "Did your mother not pay attention to you as a child?" "No, it's not that ... she had lunch with Pinochet." "Jesus."
posted by tiger yang at 12:42 PM on December 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

Please, take Kissinger with you this time.
posted by mkultra at 12:50 PM on December 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

Please keep in mind that Pinochet has a long history of rushing to the hospital whenever he's arraigned on new charges, which he was last week for the "Caravana de la Muerte". (link in Spanish)
posted by signal at 12:59 PM on December 3, 2006

He's "ill" is he? Is the fucker going on trial again?
posted by Artw at 1:36 PM on December 3, 2006

Let's hope Thatcher decides to follow pretty quickly.
posted by afx237vi at 1:45 PM on December 3, 2006

I second afx235vi. The only good fascist is a very dead fascist.
posted by Jimbob at 1:52 PM on December 3, 2006

We had a party when D'Aubuisson died.

Imagine we'll do the same for Pinochet.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 3:16 PM on December 3, 2006

Totally off topic, but why is it that the worst people seem to have cool names. Atrocities aside, 'Pinochet' is a fun word to say, as is 'Janjaweed'. (which always struck me as being an excellent name for pot.)

Fuckers don't deserve such excellent names. So henceforth Pinochet will be called 'pinchy' (lowercase) and the Janjaweed will be known as the Weedies.
posted by quin at 5:08 PM on December 3, 2006

posted by Frankieist at 5:13 PM on December 3, 2006

posted by stammer at 5:48 PM on December 3, 2006

quin -- to continue the riff, 'pinchy' isn't far from 'pinche', which is roughly Mexican Spanish for fuck/fucking. Absolutely perfect, as far as I'm concerned.
posted by kalimac at 6:26 PM on December 3, 2006

God speed Generalisimo.

and by God speed I mean, hurry up and send this fucker to hell
posted by Pollomacho at 7:25 PM on December 3, 2006

I remember when franco died the national lampoon ran the headline in their news page "Franco dies! Goes to hell!!"
I wonder if pinochet believes in hell.
posted by Iron Rat at 7:26 PM on December 3, 2006

Pinche cabron. Vaya con el diablo.

And, verily, may Kissinger follow you swiftly.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:40 PM on December 3, 2006

I wonder if pinochet believes in hell... no worry, he most likely bought an indulgence and joined some arcane order.
remissio, donatio, condonatio.
posted by hortense at 10:05 PM on December 3, 2006

He's dead.
posted by bshort at 10:01 AM on December 10, 2006

Rest In Hell.
posted by Sara Anne at 1:17 PM on December 11, 2006

« Older Oh, I wish we had the image tag again...   |   underwater forest logging with robots Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments