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Fascinating Photos Show Life in Chile in 1988, Year of the Plebiscite and Pinochet’s downfall

Augusto Pinochet, Chile’s de facto leader at the time, held the 1988 National Plebiscite to determine whether to extend his rule for the next eight years through 1996. With nearly 56% of the vote, the “No” side ended Pinochet’s fifteen-and-a-half years in power. As a result of pressure from the international community, big business, and the dictatorship’s unease with Pinochet’s extended rule, the dictatorship respected the results. In 1990, Chileans elected a civilian government, and Gen Pinochet was ousted.

According to declassified documents, Gen Pinochet was furious after the 5 October referendum results were confirmed and summoned the military government to his office to overturn the results. General Pinochet made the same request to other generals, and they also refused. The military ruler accepted he had to relinquish power.

The photos taken by Marcelo Montecino show what life was like in Chile in 1988.

#14 Andre Jarlan en La Victoria. Andre Jarlan was killed while reading his bible by a Carabinero bullet, Santiago, 1988

#19 Clotario Blest, human rights activist and the founder of the Chilean labor movement, Santiago, 1988

Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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