|First Lady of Chile|
11 September 1973 – 11 March 1990
|Preceded by||Hortensia Bussi|
|Succeeded by||Leonor Oyarzún|
|Born||María Lucía Hiriart Rodríguez
December 10, 1922
Augusto Pinochet (1943–2006; his death)
Hiriart was born into a wealthy family on 10 December 1922 in Antofagasta to Osvaldo Hiriart Corvalán, a lawyer and former Radical Party senator and former Interior Minister of president Juan Antonio Ríos; and Lucía Rodríguez Auda de Hiriart, of French descent. She is a direct descendant of Dominique Joseph Garat. Hiriart married Chilean army general Augusto Pinochet Ugarte on January 30, 1943. They had five children: three daughters (Inés Lucía, María Verónica, Jacqueline Marie) and two sons (Augusto Osvaldo and Marco Antonio).
In 2005 Hiriart was sued by the Chilean Internal Revenue Service ("Servicio de Impuestos Internos") over tax evasion totaling US$2.35 million and was arrested with son Marco Antonio a few months later. In October 2007, she was arrested again in the frame of the Riggs case, along with Pinochet's five children and 17 other persons (including two generals, one of his ex-lawyer and his ex-secretary) on charges of embezzlement and use of false passports. They are accused of having illegally transferred $27m (£13.2m) to foreign bank accounts during Pinochet's rule.
Hiriart was under investigation for allegedly selling various community properties totaling millions of dollars. Along with these allegations, Hiriart is accused of using funds from her NGO, CEMA Chile. During Pinochet's time under house arrest in London, two separate transfers were made away from Chile to herself, in 1998 and 1999. Each transfer was totaled to be $50,000. According to her prosecutors, the money was used to pay for Pinochet's living expenses.
In August 2016, Hiriart was sued by two lawmakers from Chile, Hugo Gutierrez and Karol Cariola, for misuse of public assets owned by CEMA Chile. The two lawmakers, from the Communist Party, along with the Relatives of Disappeared Detainees Group (AFDD). The two groups filed suit against Hiriart for misappropriation of public assets, tax fraud, and embezzlement. CEMA Chile is accused of more than 30 properties for more than $18 million. During the investigation Hiriart resigned following a news report from November 2015 stating that she used sales and rentals of public lands from CEMA Chile for her own benefit.
- Pinochet family arrested in Chile, BBC, 4 October 2007 (English)
- Cobertura Especial: Detienen a familia y principales colaboradores de Pinochet, La Tercera, 4 October 2007 (Spanish)
- Franklin, Jonathan (2016-08-19). "Pinochet's widow under investigation on suspicion of swindling millions". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
- "Communist lawmakers file suit against Pinochet widow for fraud". Fox News Latino. 2016-08-22. Retrieved 2016-11-17.