Pinocheques were three cheques of total US$3,000,000 paid in mid-1989 by the Chilean army to Augusto Pinochet, Jr., the son of Augusto Pinochet for the purchase of bankrupt "Valmoval", a small rifle company in 1987.
Pinochet's son was not under the rifle company's owner and no reason could be found for the payment.
The payment was investigated 1990 by a parliamentary investigative committee chaired by Jorge Schaulson.
On 19 December 1990 Pinochet[which?] stormed into the army headquarters and placed the 57,000 member force in alert, in what the general called a "ejercicio de enlace" (Spanish for Link exercise) and asked for an end to the investigation. Similar pressure was applied in May 1993 again with boinazo (Spanish for Putsch with the beret).
The Chilean justice system continued to investigate the payment, but in 1994 as the Chilean Supreme court had to make a decision, the President of Chile Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle asked them to stop the case for reasons of state.
The disclosure of the Riggs Bank accounts reignited in 2005 the case against General Pinochet in Chile. Judge Manuel Valderrama investigated whether the three purchase checks for Valmoval wound up in Pinochet's secret accounts, but in 2010 the suit was discontinued without results.
The armed forces' ejercicio de enlace-standoff was the worst crisis of the (then) 3-year-old coalition government of President Patricio Aylwin.
- Article Mi historia personal del boinazo in La Nación (Chile) on 17 December 2006 by Alberto Luengo, retrieved on 27 May 2011
- About the situation in the "Moneda" during the boinazo, see Article (interview) in the newspaper La Segunda (Chile) “Infidencias” de ex presidente del CDE: Pactos, gestiones y fracasos del caso Pinocheques on 19 June 2009, in Spanish language
- Article Frei descartó presiones militares para cerrar el caso de los "pinocheques" in cooperativa.cl on 27 May 2011, retrieved on 27 May 2011, in Spanish language
- Article Sobreseen caso “Pinocheques”, retrieved on 27 May 2011, in Spanish Language
- Transcription of article in the Chilean Online newspaper El Mostrador about the scandal
- Article in The Seattle Times, 18 July 1993, Case Is Testing Chile's Fledgling Democracy – New Government Takes On Pinochet, by Katherine Ellison
- Waiting for Cincinnatus: the role of Pinochet in post-authoritarian Chile by Gregory Weeks in Third World Quarterly, Vol 21, No 5, pp 725–738, 2000