Monday, December 11, 2006

Pinochet death sparks riots in Chile

Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte - 1915~2006

Chile’s former dictator, Augusto Pinochet, died this weekend triggering violence on the streets of Santiago and saturation coverage on many news channels [CNN]. More than 6,000 demonstrators gathered to celebrate the dictators death, breaking open bottles of Champagne. But within hours the gathering broke into violence as riot police moved against the swelling crowds. Pinochet had been in frail health for years and was under house arrest in the capital last Sunday when he suffered a heart attack; his wife, Lucia Hiriart, and a number of his children took him to Santiago Military Hospital. Pinochet underwent angioplasty to boost blood flow to his heart. But soon after, his lungs began to fill with fluid, and he suffered heart failure. Pinochet who rose to power following a U.S.-backed coup, was accused of torturing and killing thousands of people during his 1973-1990 regime.

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