Talk:Augusto Pinochet/Archive 5

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Should this page be unprotected?

  • Unprotect Augusto Pinochet - See Talk:Augusto Pinochet. Veriverily isn't explaining his objections to text he keeps reverting over and over again. 172 03:59, 10 May 2004 (UTC)
    • The page is already protected. Is this a request for unprotection? --Michael Snow 14:37, 10 May 2004 (UTC)
      • Yes, please unprotect this page. 172 21:17, 10 May 2004 (UTC)
        • Sorry, but in spite of your efforts I don't think the discussion has reached enough of a resolution right now to avoid a resumption of the revert war as soon as the page is unprotected. --Michael Snow 21:54, 10 May 2004 (UTC)
          • Veriverily only chooses to lodge personal attacks against me as long as he manages to censor any facts that he feels might reflect negatively on the U.S. by means of a page protection. There cannot be a discussion unless the page protection is lifted. If we have to wait for Veriverily, the page might as well be protected permanently. 172 22:51, 10 May 2004 (UTC)
          • Refer to the large number of people who have put effort into this article - Ed Poor, Cadr, Cantus, Eloquence - while 172 seeks to sabotage our efforts at working together and impose his own agenda. The Talk pages are available, so one can see 172 is lying. Although I have aired my frustration with 172 several times there, the issues have also been much discussed by me and others (i.e., "only" yeah right). As Cadr said on this very page [1], "Agree with VV. A lot of constructive work was being done on the page; the problems are almost enitrely down to the user he mentions." (in ref to 172) As soon as the protection is off, 172 will continue his activities. -- VV

Unprotect Augusto Pinochet. Cadr and Veriverily refuse to back down one inch, and no one else seems to be paying any attention. Is this page just going to be protected indefinitely? 172 19:05, 16 May 2004 (UTC)

  • See brief discussion below and, for the patient, that at Talk:Augusto Pinochet. It tells a very different story. - VV 22:28, 16 May 2004 (UTC)
  • To summarize, it is 172 who refuses to budge and alter one word of the intro he wrote. All other parties have written several draft intros each to try to accommodate objections and concerns. 172 dismisses these efforts as "partisan bickering" and "bullshit". - VV 22:30, 16 May 2004 (UTC)
    • Veriverily's comments are misleading at best. "All other parties," according to Veriverily, are the users (Cadr, EdPoor, AstroNomer, and himself) voting in the minority in the most recent round of polling. His preferred version does not have a "consensus" behind it. This was really the winning position in the poll: "Yes, it should be asserted, in both the intro paragraph and the CIA role in coup section, and not marked as controversial." 172 02:25, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
      • Consensus had been reached before 172 started trolling; the poll was started afterwards and brought in random buddies of 172. The poll voters he cites consist mostly of users who had no role in editing or contributing to the page and visibly no understanding of the issues and were voting ideologically. Even so, the margin was only 8-5, far from overpowering. Furthermore, one does not vote on whether to be neutral. - VV 06:44, 18 May 2004 (UTC)

I wasn't "brought in" to vote. Nor was I voting "ideologically", rather my vote was determined by my familiarity with the issues. Perhaps instead of attacking anyone who voted differently from him V V should present more compelling arguments AndyL 10:33, 18 May 2004 (UTC)

Who am I attacking? And saying I "should present more compelling arguments" supports my supposition that you were not aware of the talk of these issues, because if so you would have seen the thousands and thousands of words arguing these very points. - VV 23:20, 18 May 2004 (UTC)

I wasn't "brought in" to vote, I wasn't voting "ideologically" and I have made (minor) contributions to the article. Ericd 12:31, 18 May 2004 (UTC)

Regardless of who the poll may have "brought in", I think part of the purpose of listing this page at Wikipedia:Requests for comment, where it has appeared quite regularly for a while, is to "bring in" opinions from members of the community. Regardless of whose "random buddies" they are. Nor do I see why the fact that people have had little or no previous role in contributing to the page disqualifies their opinions, or shows that they have no understanding of the issues.

With that in mind, I don't see anything approaching a consensus for either version.

There is no consensus behind Veriverily's intro? So I am not a liar when I state otherwise? Veriverily stated, "Refer to the large number of people who have put effort into this article - Ed Poor, Cadr, Cantus, Eloquence - while 172 seeks to sabotage our efforts at working together and impose his own agenda. The Talk pages are available, so one can see 172 is lying." Can you ask this user to stop slandering me and giving misleading summaries of developments on the page so as to instill prejudice among other users against my comments? 172 07:05, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

Even assuming that a consensus was ever "reached" (before or after the poll), the debates and revert wars prove that the consensus was never maintained. About the poll specifically, I note that the results as currently presented are heavily refactored, because the poll itself led to a revert war on this talk page. I don't question the validity of any individual user's vote, but I can't see a disputed poll, among a small sampling of Wikipedia users, as a permanently binding determination of consensus.

I do note that AndyL and Ericd were "brought in" (that is, specifically notified by 172 of this discussion) to validate their votes. Not that anybody should object to that, but I do hope that since they are now aware the debate rages on, they might stick around with the discussion to help us move toward a consensus. --Michael Snow 16:39, 18 May 2004 (UTC)

Michael Snow, just to clarify the points I made which you disputed: Bringing in members is one thing, but campaigning specifically for one view does taint the results (you seem aware of this). As for the "no understanding of the issues", I was referring to the fact that some who voted in the poll gave reasons for their vote which showed they were wholly unaware of the ongoing discussion. For instance, giving the GWU link (which has already been cited and rebutted), claiming the US acknowledges that the CIA instigated the coup (which had been specifically contradicted by citing a CIA briefing), and saying that there is "no controversy" over it, when there clearly is. - VV 23:20, 18 May 2004 (UTC)
Veriverily, you know very well that the intro does not refer to the coup as 'U.S.-instigated,' something about which there would really be controversy. The issue here is an intro that refers to U.S. backing, something about which there is no controversy. Your comments are addressing a non-issue. 172 07:09, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
Once again, 172 ignores the fact that "US-backed" is ambiguous and misleading. See the discussion above...Cadr
And (for those who just tuned in) "US-backed" being one of the few things said in the first sentence strongly suggests the US's role was rather significant (merely "wanting it to happen" would not warrant such placement). VV 11:14, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

Another poll

Is the assertion of U.S. backing for the coup misleading or controversial in Augusto Pinochet/intro (succinct version), even in the presence of the footnote?

This is loaded phrasing. I do not consider it misleading, but the simple fact that this discussion is taking place is proof that it is controversial. Eclecticology 17:07, 2004 May 19 (UTC)
Ec, this is asking whether or not the assertion is controversial, as opposed to an undisputable fact, not whether U.S. actions were 'controversial'. 172

[IMO "even in the presence of a footnote" should not be in the question, because some of us do not want a footnote even if we think it goes some way towards clearing up the NPOV issue. Cadr ]


  1. By 172's own definition (see the discussion in section 10) the possible meanings of "backed" include "aided", so the word is misleading. 172 should also note that readers of this article are unlikley to look up every word they read in a dictionary, and should take the context of the word into account (as VV points out in his previous comment). Cadr
    My own definition to "back" (v) is American Heritage's, which is to provide support, assistance, or encouragement for (a contending force). It does not necessarily entail the provision of "aid." Cadr is putting words in my mouth; I said "or" as opposed to "and" when I has written the word "aid" once (very hastily). 172 11:49, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
    The fact that you said "and" instead of "or" is of no significance, as I've pointed out already. If one possible meaning of "US-backed" is "US-supported" or "US-assisted" or "US-aided" (going on 172's earlier, different definition), the word is misleading. (There is no conclusive evidence that the US assisted/aided the actual 1973 coup). Cadr
  2. The US didn't back the coup. Am I missing something here? Why would we say they backed it if they didn't? POV perhaps? Sam [Spade] 12:21, 19 May 2004 (UTC)


  1. I recommend that respondents look up the dictionary definition for backing (n) or to back (v). 172 11:31, 19 May 2004 (UTC) "Backing" does not mean "instigated," "initiated," "orchestrated," "engineered," etc. 172 11:31, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
  2. This entire debate is utter nonsense. The historical record is clear: Nixon and Kissinger wanted Allende out and the CIA went about engineering it by funding the opposition, spreading FUD, and the like. The day of the coup, the American reporter Charles Horman was in Viña del Mar, near the port of Valparaíso, which was a key base for both the Chilean coup plotters and US military and intelligence personnel who were supporting them. He spoke with several US operatives and took notes documenting the role of the United States in overthrowing the Allende government. Several days later he was arrested and executed by the Chilean armed forces. His family believes this was because he (accidently) bore witnesss the US role in the affair. 'Backing'? Yep, I'd call it backing, although perhaps we could debate how active a role the CIA et al played in the coup, but nobody is claiming that the CIA itself bombed La Moneda -- Viajero 16:03, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
    OK, so where is all the evidence for this? (I expect it's all correct, but so far no-one has linked to any hard evidence.) Cadr
    Cadr, this is a poll, not a debate. Please allow other users to chime in. 172 18:17, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
    Erm yes...and this is not an argument ;) Other users are free to chime in, anyway. Cadr
    cf: Missing by Thomas Hauser (1982) ISBN 01400.64532 (Sorry, not everything in the world is online) -- Viajero 19:57, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
    OK, so is there any evidence in it more concrete than the beliefs of a reporter's family? (Again, I would not be at all surprised if it does contain such evidence, but no-one has yet explained what it is, even vaguely.) Cadr
  3. I thought that the U.S. (unofficial but institutional) support for the coup in Chile was widely known and uncontroversial. Are people disputing the facts or the choice of words? Certainly this issue must be in the article. Slrubenstein 15:27, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
    • See the discussion if you want to know what the controversy is. (That is, you should have already.) VV 21:31, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
    • It deals with the wording in this version of the intro, which VeryVerily and Cadr deem "controversial" and "misleading," regardless of the footnote and the definition of 'backing'. 172 15:50, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
      I don't find it particularly misleading with the footnote, but I don't like the footnote for independent reasons (i.e. that it would be far better to replace it with a proper explanation of US involvement, rather than trying to clarify single vague adjective). Cadr
  4. Wik 15:33, May 19, 2004 (UTC)
  5. Hephaestos|§ 15:35, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
  6. Infrogmation 15:48, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
  7. Like Slrubenstein, I'd never thought this was controversial until I saw the argument here. john 16:06, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
  8. Ruhrjung 16:32, 19 May 2004 (UTC) No, it's the other way around. It's an issue of Wikipedia's credibility outside of the US. (Inside the US I recognize that not so few citizens, ignorant of US foreign politics, could deem this issue controversial – I know such people myself.)
    • Yes, yes, more about us dumb ignorant Puritan Americans and how we lack the sophistication and wisdom of you European intellectuals. Now, any substantive counterarguments, perchance? (P.s. You acknowledge "not so few"; see how that connects to NPOV policy?) VV 21:31, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
      • Puritan yes – dumb no, not except for in your rhetoric above. Since I was 17 and started full-time apprenticeship, I admit to have studied the foreign language of the country where I live in any way resembling school. "Intellectual" - just the right accusation to throw at me! Common Americans being more ignorant of their country's foreign politics than the electorates of other democracies, that's a fact. The arguments are very well presented by plenty of others. There is no need to repeat those. I added what I hold for the most important, i.e. that of Wikipedia's credibility (outside of the US). Ruhrjung 17:41, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
        • Supposed credibility over neutrality? Once again, I think you confuse your own personal opinions with those of the "rest of the world" (i.e., not the US). Which electorates of other democracies do you refer to, anyway? India? Nigeria? Oh no, wait, I know which you mean. P.s. I can't make head or tail of the "I admit..." sentence. VV 07:42, 21 May 2004 (UTC)
  9. AndyL 16:36, 19 May 2004 (UTC) Even conservative analysts admit the US was involved in the coup. The only reason for claiming this question hasn't been settled is POV.
  10. Eclecticology 17:07, 2004 May 19 (UTC) Not misleading. Under protest against using polls as a way to establish facts.
  11. Everyking 19:11, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
  12. Hajor 20:18, 19 May 2004 (UTC) Not misleading; certainly not controversial in my neck of the woods. But not particularly happy about voting to establish facts, or about call-outs to footnotes in articles. Uncle Ed's suggestion below would be useful, if only we could get the right quotes (doubtful).
  13. Secretlondon - I had no idea people still disputed this.
    • Welcome to the outside of the box. VV 21:31, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
  14. I wasn't going to vote on this, because I thought the poll question missed the mark. The issue isn't whether a particular wording is misleading, etc., but rather what's the best way to present the subject. I don't like the footnote. I thought the best approach was an in-text summary in the introduction, avoiding the word "backed," even though living with some nuance made for a longer intro. To that end I essayed a revision of the first-created sandbox. I tried to meet Cadr's objection to my initial version. Now, however, I find that VeryVerily has edited it so as to eviscerate any discussion of this issue in the intro.
    It seems, then, that each side has its own sandbox and the two sides continue to talk past each other. With regard to the intro, 172 wants a flat statement of "backed," somewhat qualified in a footnote, while VV wants a mere allusion to what "many believe," with no indication in the intro that they have any factual basis for their beliefs. As between those two extremes (CIA role stated as fact versus CIA role stated as mere unsupported opinion, albeit opinion of "many"), I prefer the former, although the specific wording of the footnote would need some work.
    I still think the footnote is, by its nature, an inelegant solution. It would be better for the text of the intro to state a few key evidentiary points, including the CIA's denial, rather than present the conclusion as an established fact. If other people agree with me, and say so and/or restore key data to the original intro sandbox, then perhaps we have a chance of reaching consensus on that approach. Until then, I'm going to turn my attention to editing the "succinct version" of the intro.
    Finally, on the issue of recruitment: 172 did urge me to vote in this poll. I ignored his urging for the reasons stated above. I have now been "recruited" to vote by VV's edit, not by 172's electioneering. JamesMLane 00:13, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
    • It's your vote, but puzzling reasoning: you're not voting on the question asked in the poll. Anyway, the whole point of the sandbox is to experiment. I gave my reasons (several times) for my edits, which (perhaps ironically) largely come to succintness: the intro does not need to lay out the evidence, that's what the article for. The intro serves to summarize. Fercrissakes, look at the article, nearly half of which is now about the CIA. VV 00:36, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
      • My vote is that the wording being polled is not misleading (the question asked in the poll) but that the wording also isn't good. Sorry if that wasn't clear. I agree that the intro should summarize, not present the whole discussion, but it involves striking a balance between, on the one hand, going into too much detail about the facts, and, on the other hand, simply saying "many believe" with no allusion whatsoever to the facts until later on. I don't think your edit version makes any attempt to strike that balance. Your version isn't a summary, it's a reference. My idea was that something taking up nearly half the article, as you put it, deserves a bit more space in the intro. I tried to put in a few critical points that would, for example, in response to SamSpade's inquiry, show that there are indeed references available, while also noting the CIA's denial and leaving the full elaboration for later in the article. My hope was that we could work out a consensus summary. Perhaps I was unduly optimistic. JamesMLane 02:48, 20 May 2004 (UTC)


Backing suggests strong support, implying aid, financial, military, what-have-you. Anyone got any references showing anything like that? Sam [Spade] 12:24, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

There is evidence both ways and no consensus, which makes it hard to be both neutral and succinct. In addition, as the discussion above shows, people with different opinions can see different shades of meaning in a term like "backing." Therefore, I think we're stuck with having to go into somewhat more detail about what's known. Two specific points: (1) The heavy emphasis on the CIA could give the misleading impression that the CIA was running a rogue operation; the important issue is the role of the United States in Pinochet's accession, not the role of the CIA, so I've added the Nixon statement. (2) My response to Cadr's edit summary: The CIA has admitted advance knowledge of the coup. From CBS's report on the documents declassified during the Clinton Administration: "The CIA had prior knowledge of the plot that overthrew Allende three years later but denies any direct involvement. CIA spokeswoman Anya Guilsher said, 'We were aware of coup plotting in 1973, but we did not instigate it.'" (CBS News story and, to the same effect, CNN's story) Do we need to insert a citation into the text? That seems a little clunky given that this point, at least, is no longer seriously disputed even by the right-wingers now that the CIA has admitted it. JamesMLane 13:48, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
Secretary Powell evidently agrees. - Hephaestos|§ 16:22, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
That's only the nine-hundredth time (approx) Powell has been cited. He was discussed recently above. To summarize, he doesn't "admit" anything specific, and he wasn't part of the coup anyway, so his opinion is his own. VV 21:39, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
Sorry, didn't see this on the talk page. How about just saying that the CIA has stated/admitted that it planned for a coup, rather than giving it as a plain fact? Cadr
Ah, you've added the cites. Thanks for the compromise :) If you like, I'd have no objection if you removed the actual links to the sources (if you feel these are a bit too in-depth for the intro). All I was really pushing for was an indication that the CIA had admitted to plotting a coup — this just makes the intro sound less POV, since it shows that the assertion of CIA plotting is strongly justified. Cadr

"Backing" is a very broad term. At one extreme it can be direct military involvement; at the other it can be nothing more than a speech expressing agreement with the coup. Anything in between can also be "backing". Eclecticology 17:35, 2004 May 19 (UTC)

Don't be silly

All this talk of settling the editing issues by polling and declaring "winners" is silly. As Michael pointed out (more politely!), that's not what polls are for. Well, I'm telling you that the official policy of this website is NPOV.

If a fact or value (or anything else important) is in dispute in an article, the Wikipedia is not supposed to settle the issue. Rather, it REPORTS WHAT THE VARIOUS SIDES SAY. Sorry for shouting, but some contributors on this page just don't get it.

Including a phrase like "US-backed coup" implies that Wikipedia endorses the view that the coup was backed by the US (whatever that means or entails). Since there is CLEARLY a dispute among us contributors about whether (or how much) the US "backed the coup", the Wikipedia cannot come out and say flatly that the US backed the coup.

Rather, the article must report what various historians and other observers have said. I'd be happy to see something like:

  • All historians, except for a few right-wing wackos, agree that the US backed the coup.

(Okay, wackos is a bit extreme, but you know what I mean: we attribute every point of view (POV) to the advocated of that POV.)

It might be a bit more polished to say:

  • Historians and others disagree over how much support the US gave to Pinochet. Joe Schmoe says the US "backed the coup by supplying arms, intelligence, money, and assurances of friendly future relations." Sam Shady, a known CIA operative, claims that the US had no part in the coup, aside from making public statements amounting to a claim that Allende was destroying the Chilean economy and driving the country toward dictatorship. (Note that these are made-up examples of the kinds of quotations we need to find and put into the article, so that all POV is properly attributed.) --Uncle Ed 14:06, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

Thanks Ed. This exactly the way I see it. Sadly my limited English doesn't allow me to write this kind of balanced prose. Ericd 18:57, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

However, there is an inherent hard-to-solve problem with the NPOV-policy that many times has shown up when it comes to prioritizing things to put in the introductory paragraph and other prominent locations.
--Ruhrjung 17:45, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

Poll results and their significance

Is everyone in agreement that 172 has won (oops, musn't use that word...) the poll? He has been quite active in canvasing voters, but I think it's unlikely that a comparable number of people could be convinced to vote in the other direction, and this is basically a repeat of a previous poll with a similar result. I think we should now decide whether the results of this poll have any implications for the content of the intro, which is doubtful in my opinion. If some of the voters would join in the actual discussion on this page, we might really get somewhere, but so far the pattern has been that only a small number of people have participated in discussion, while a much larger number has voted (and we have no way of knowing how well informed these people are with regard to the preceding dicussion — an important issue). Surely, if Wikipedia is discussion and consensus based, the views of people who have not (yet) entered into discussion are of dubious significance. Let's finish with the poll and get some more people involved in forming a consensus.

(Obviously a lot of the sentiment here comes straight from Ed Poor's post, but my additional suggestion is that we close the poll now, with the results archived as they currently stand.)


The poll is utterly meaningless, which is why I did not even take part. 172 recruited his ideological allies to vote, and they did. (With similar canvassing we could garner votes of our own, but no matter.) There are only one or two users I find it sad to see caring so little about NPOV, but the results change nothing. I already know about Wikipedia's strong political bias and don't need a poll to remind me. As has been pointed out, a similar poll on whether to include Criticisms of Mother Teresa would also probably go the wrong way. And Cadr is quite correct that most of those people have not participated in the discussion; statements such as "I didn't even know this was disputed" indicate, uh..., unawareness of what is going on here. VV 21:21, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
Don't get your hopes up, VV. A similar poll had a binding effect at Talk:Fascism/_archive8#Poll:_Should_the_Soviet_Union_and_other_communist_states_be_listed_as_fascist_regimes_in_this_article? This means you'll have to tone down your personal attacks against me and anyone who disagrees with you, give up your canard assertion that the wording in my intro is misleading, and give up your claims that your version has a 'consensus' behind it. 172 21:47, 19 May 2004 (UTC) this comment was deleted by VeryVerily in reverting 172's deletion of other comments, and restored by Michael Snow
To recap, we the then-editors of this page did reach a delicate consensus before the swarming started (first 172, then his friends). And 172 is the king of personal attacks; just look around. VV 22:53, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
I get mad at being called 172's friend. :-(
He is one of the editors of Wikipedia I find the most damageing. I think VV is shooting himself in the foot.
--Ruhrjung 17:48, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm not saying you're 172's friend. I'm saying his friends started swarming. As an intellectual you should recognize this as the affirming the consequent logical fallacy. I'm aware of your general feelings about 172 and me, although I still don't feel I understand them completely despite our first conversation. VV 20:48, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

I'd rather not get involved in personal disputes, but the idea that Wikipedia has a systematic left-wing bias is silly. There are lots of users who are on the left, and lots on the right. Different pages, and different disputes, might tilt one way or another, but the fact that pretty much everybody seems to feel that Wikipedia is biased against their POV suggests that we've got things about right, at least in terms of the big picture. As to this page as a whole, I'll have to read through the talk archives to see what points have been made, but I've really never seen it seriously disputed before that the US backed the coup. john 21:33, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

Well, if I may say, you seem to have a bit of a left tilt yourself, which may be why things seem "about right" :). The main complaints about systematic "right-wing bias" come from those who want to see Wikipedia look like Mao's Red Book. There are, to be sure, other strains of thought here - though outnumbered sometimes persistent - and lesser articles often reflect the bias of the last to edit them. Still, I feel conservatives "stand out" here, and the more modest even half-apologize for their views (I recall User:Ark30inf's old user page). Anyway, if any good comes of this mess it'll be that a few may learn that their dogmas about the US turn out to not be so straightforward as they thought. VV 22:51, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
I wouldn't deny having something of a left tilt. At the same time, I think it is deeply unfair to say that those who complain of a right tilt want to see Wikipedia look like Mao's Little Red Book, just as it would be unfair to say that those who complain about systematic left-wing bias want Wikipedia to look like Fox News. Probably more unfair, since Fox News is more within the realm of acceptable political beliefs than Maoism. At any rate, I'd add that the left bias (such as it exists) on Wikipedia is a rather intellectual, academic leftism, for the most part, and not very similar to the agitprop of Soviet-style communism. john 00:26, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm merely reporting my observations: people who talk of right-wing bias are often also quite interested in whitewashing Pol Pot and Josef Stalin. I don't doubt there is FOX News influence, but (as you note) FOX News is hardly extreme, and those who make specific accusations of such influence have largely ruined their credibility with me by accusing me of also being a FOX partisan (even the non-"Maoists", which also reflects poorly on them). Yes, "academic" leftism may more predominate here, but that's still a healthy tilt. VV 00:43, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
Sure, but there's also people here who'd like to whitewash Nixon and Pinochet. FOX news certainly is extreme, so far as I can see; I suppose anyone who saw it as mainstream would probably perceive a left-wing bias in any serious political commentary. Being pretty left-wing myself, I've always perceived a right-wing bias to Wikipedia (at least on any issue involving America). I would say that there's very little "academic Xism" on Wikipedia, and a definite majority of underinformed Yism and Zism. Anyway, given that we all perceive different biases, it's probably fair to say that Wikipedia as a whole is fairly neutral, as John points out. Cadr
The point is is that "backed" is a vague word. Everyone thinks the US backed the coup in some sense, but it would be easy to read the intro and get the wrong idea (e.g. that there was direct US military involvement, at one extreme). The footnote helps with this, but I don't like it because the main body of the text should be clear in the first place. Cadr

Voting on POV/NPOV issues isn't very productive in my experience. I think we should continue to work towards a solution that is acceptable to all parties. In my opinion, writing that Pinochet's government was backed by the US is far less ambiguous than the assertion that the coup itself was backed (which is likely correct in virtually all possible interpretations, but still to some extent unproven). Then we can do away with the footnote and discuss the details of the coup in the appropriate section in the article.--Eloquence* 22:09, May 19, 2004 (UTC)

Encarta just mentions U.S.-backing in the intro with no footnote, but let's keep the footnote as a gesture of compromise [2]. We don't want an entire sentence or two on U.S. involvement, as this is an intro to a biographical article, not the 1973 coup. Please rewrite the footnote, though, if you want. 172 00:31, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
Typical. Offer nothing and call it a "gesture of compromise". Who is 172 trying to fool? Well, my gesture of compromise is the wording I wrote. VV 00:46, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
No, I didn't write the contents of the footnote. Cadr wrote it (I think- but uncertain) and you can rewrite it. That's pretty significant. 172 00:48, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I didn't write the footnote (at least not originally; might have edited it sometime). Cadr
The footnote's pretty unpopular anyway, since it's an inelegant and not particularly effective solution. Several people who have voted no in the poll have said that they don't like it. It's certainly not the compromise to end all compromises, but you seem unwilling to consider any other compromise proposal. Cadr
Then, by all means, rewrite the footnote. BTW, it's a generous compromise compared to what TDC got when he was overwhelmingly defeated in this poll on Talk:Fascism (nothing). 172 11:46, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
You seem to have paid no attention that Cadr objected that "it's an inelegant and not particularly effective solution". The problems with the poll here have already been enumerated. VV 12:06, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
Most of the people voting in the poll had no previous input to the page, and had not followed the previous discussion. The question was rather narrow, since it did not mention any alternatives to using "US-backed", so people could not object to your intro on grounds of style or clarity. I've explained inumerable times why the footnote is not a good idea, and even people who have voted no in the poll have said that they do not like it. All the poll does is verify that your intro is not especially misleading when the footnote is present; it is not a vote of confidence in your intro on any other grounds (i.e. style, clarity, etc.) If you wish to decide by poll which intro we should have, you need a new question (i.e. is this intro better than that intro?) Cadr
Give it up. If this goes to arbitration, you wouldn't even get the footnote. This will look like a deliberate stalling attempt to everyone else. I mean, the 14 users who voted "no" sure as hell aren't going to turn around and vote for an intro reading, "many people believe the CIA had a role in the coup." Please handle the poll results as honorably as TDC handled them on Talk:Fascism. That'll make things easier on all of us. 172 12:14, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
Eloquence, I, and others have offered to drop mention of the alleged US/CIA role in the coup from the intro entirely, but you have scoffed at this generous compromise. VV 12:18, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
That's not necessarily the intro they'd be asked to vote for, 172. The idea that this poll is all that is required to get your intro into the article is farsical. For a start, it doesn't show that your intro is any good, all it shows is that it's not misleading. This side-steps the main issue — no-one has seriously suggested that the intro is especially misleading with the footnote, but plently have objected to the footnote as a means of avoiding ambiguity (why not just use unambiguous language is the first place?) It may well be the case that a majority of people would find VV's or mine or JamesMLane's intro not to be misleading if a poll were held to find out, and such polls would surely be necessary to give context to your poll. To decide on an intro for the article, we would have to have a poll between several competing intros. You poll is a pathetic attempt to get any kind of positive result in the hope that people will be mislead into believing it is significant. If this goes to arbitration, I expect people there will take as dim a view of your poll question and your canvasing as they have here (complaint has been quite prevalent, even amongst those who voted no). Cadr
I see 172 would rather have another edit war than respond to my arguments. Cadr
Your argument against the succinct version of the intro emphatically lost with 88% voting against it. I'm done hearing you say the same things over and over again. Backing is an indisputable fact and backing means backing! If you insist, we can have arbitration affirm that as well. 172 13:44, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
172, the poll did not ask if the "succinct version" should be used. One might almost as well have a poll about whether a particular intro was correct in using "CIA" rather than "C.I.A.," and then use the poll's approval of the form "CIA" to mean that that version of the intro had to be used. Cadr's interpretation of the vote is much more accurate. Please note my explanatory comment (as one of the "88%" you invoke): "My vote is that the wording being polled is not misleading (the question asked in the poll) but that the wording also isn't good." I believe I'm not the only one who feels that way. We need to continue the discussion, perhaps with yet a third (!) sandbox. The first sandbox, where VV deleted from the intro my citations to the CIA's admitted role, can be reserved for those who don't want anything in the intro that would give the slightest validation to the charges of U.S. culpability. The second sandbox, your "succinct" version, can be reserved for those who want to treat that charge as established fact and don't want anything in the text of the intro that would cast the slightest doubt on their position. The new (third) sandbox) would be for people genuinely interested in finding text that reasonably accommodates all points of view. Then, when each version had gone through some discussions and edits, we could have a comparative poll, eliciting preferences as among the three of them. Your alternative suggestion -- that we treat it as a done deal, archive the talk and move on -- is unrealistic, as we would immediately be back in another round of reverts. JamesMLane 14:29, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
Again, 172 has not responded to my substantive point. As I said, the poll only established that 172's intro was not misleading, which I did not disagree with anyway. It did not establish that his intro has consensus or majority support, which is the key issue. Please respond to this point, 172. Cadr
Well, if you don't think that the new intro is misleading, we're in agreement. Let's move on and start archiving this 138 K talk page. 172 13:58, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
172 is now being deliberately evasive. He knows very well that although I do not find the intro misleading with the footnote, I do not like the footnote (and neither do a lot of other people). I repeat: the poll only established that 172's intro was not misleading, which I did not disagree with anyway. It did not establish that his intro has consensus or majority support, which is the key issue. Please respond to this point, 172. Cadr
as usual, Eloquence has an essential insight. Really, all I'd say we have to do is cite and verify who is saying what. Facts are facts, and opinions are opinions. Lets let them speak for themselves. Nobody is looking to censor anything, are they? Sam [Spade] 22:30, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

I don't see any problem with discussing the details in the appropriate section. At the same time, if it is "likely correct in virtually all possible interpretations" to say that the US backed the coup...well...john 00:26, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

Re that last part: My impression is that Eloquence seems to basically agree with 172's interpretation of the Chile events, but is also aware of 172's obnoxious, recalcitrant, and anti-Wiki behavior, and does recognize the need for NPOV. VV 12:37, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

Personal attacks, revert wars and ideological bias

  • I read quite a bit about Pinochet, Allende and Chile's economy in the 60s and 70s (and not just "opinions" but economic data and scientific analysis). People who say I have "visibly no understanding" and vote "ideologically" just because I happen not to agree with them, are making a productive discussion hard.
    • VV The "no understanding" was in reference to being aware of what we had been talking about on this Talk page.
  • I am not "buddy of 172", random or otherwise, nor was I "brought in" by him. Saying so without verification or proof reflects quite negatively on VeryVerily's way of argumentation in my opinion. If I understood the principles of Wikipedia correctly, everyone knowledgeable can try to contribute to the discussion...
    • VV I did not say this. I said that some were buddies of 172, and they were. You are falling for 172 smear tricks. VV 09:24, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
  • Reverting an article more than two times when the issue is controversial is foolish; Engaging in revert wars shows ideological bias and narrow-mindedness more than anything else. Some people apparently have too much time on their hands (that seems to be true both for VV and 172).
  • I won't return to this article in the near future - personal attacks, revert warring and name-calling are not my idea of cooperating to create an encyclopedia. Marcika 03:44, May 20, 2004 (UTC)

The wrong version!!!!????

I agree with all of the above particulars, if not the conclusion. Sam [Spade] 04:23, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

As now all can see, 172 has adopted a new form of utter sleaze to get his way. VV 14:37, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

I don't know about sleaze, but he certainly hasn't explained why the results of his poll have any implications for the intro to this article. Cadr
It doesn't. But he told Viajero that it did, and gently asked him to "facilitate the process of unprotecting the page and putting up the winning version of the intro". Viajero fell for it (because he wanted to?) and gave 172 his unprotection and new intro. Hence, sleaze. VV 14:52, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
Sure, every version that gets protected is the "wrong version." If you decide to make more and more enemies, you'll be paving the road toward your own banning. Watch out and stop with the personal attacks, for your own sake. 172 15:07, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
 ? The "wrong version" is nothing to do with this. VV's point (I think) was that your intro was put up after the page was unprotected, on the basis of an irrelavent poll. Cadr
A poll that established that there's nothing wrong with the intro. You yourself have now admitted that it's not misleading. I don't know why I'm still talking about this. I'm going to move on and get to more serious work now. 172 16:21, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
It did not establish that there was "nothing wrong" with the intro, it established that it was not misleading. See my comments above and JamesMLane's ("Cadr's interpretation of the vote is much more accurate"; "the poll did not ask if the 'succinct version' should be used") . The poll only established that 172's intro was not misleading, which (with the footnote) we all agreed on anyway. It did not establish that the intro had consensus or majority support, which is the key issue. 172's continuous avoidance of this crucial point (he has failed to respond to it in the discussion above several times, and now down here) is seriously undermining his position. Cadr

"President de facto" or "dictator"?

Which of these is better, "President de facto" or "Dictator"? First, it was written "President de facto" but -afterwards- somebody changed it to "Dictator". Both mean basically the same. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 10:43, 12 December 2006 (UTC).

That's easy. Try editing tha article on Fidel Castro and state that he is (or was?) a dictator. Such statement will be reversed in five (5) minutes at most. The truth is obviously secondary to personal beliefs. AVM 13:34, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

The truth is we must remain impartial recognising both Fidel and Pinochet have detractors and supporters, SqueakBox 23:04, 12 December 2006 (UTC) [ After the ratification of the 1980 constitution, he was the President of Chile. Before, we has just the president of the Junta. You can call it a dictator. Not after 1980, however.

Best to just call it the president of the Junta, SqueakBox 03:10, 13 December 2006 (UTC) ]All major news agencies, AFP , AP (and White House spokesman), Reuters (CNN), call him dictator. Vints 07:32, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

What you mean is all major US news agencies which isnt the same thing at all when we are dealiong with a non US citizen but even if all news agencies everywhere were to call him that we still dont because we are an encyclopedia with a duty to fulfill WP:NPOV and not a news agency, SqueakBox 16:43, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

"all major US news agencies"!? Reuters and AFP are not american news agencies. History books also call him dictator. You need to find a reliable source which explicitly says he was not a dictator.Vints 07:40, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

The status of the Fidel Castro article is irrelevant to whether Pinochet should be described as a "dictator"; that should be taken up at Talk:Fidel Castro. List of military dictators by rank includes Pinochet; Military dictatorship includes Chile (1973-1990); List of dictators includes Pinochet (and Castro, incidentally).. Despite its frequent use as a polemical term, the word "dictator" does in fact have an NPOV definition, which clearly applies to Pinochet and his rule. Kwertii 04:06, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes but wikipedia policy on weasel words is relevant. "Dictator", like "terrorist", needs to be used carefully as in a case like this it will just provoke long and drawn out edit wars, SqueakBox 04:14, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

I have long since noted my objections to the "weasel words" policy in great detail on that policy article's talk page, and many other editors agreed with me. He was not elected; he seized and maintained control through the use of military force; and there was no meaningful opposition permitted under his rule. His word was law. This is a perfectly NPOV instance of a "dictator" - and, as noted, many other Wikipedia articles describe him as such. Even Pinochet's supporters don't generally deny that he was a dictator, they rationalize his actions as being necessary to halt the spread of Communism. Kwertii 04:29, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
If describing someone as a "dictator" is forbidden, then List of dictators and List of military dictators by rank and all of the content of military dictatorship that makes reference to specific countries, among many other articles, need to be deleted in order to be consistent. I don't think you're seriously suggesting that that should be done. Kwertii 04:31, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

I much prefer "He was not elected; he seized and maintained control through the use of military force; and there was no meaningful opposition permitted under his rule. His word was law." to Military dictator as it actually gives readers an idea of his rule (assuming you source it) whereas the oproblem with a word like dictator is that it is very vague and generalised, part of its weasel quality, and I personally would rather not call any modern or controversial politician a dictator on wikipedia, arguing that to an extent the weasel word policy is to prevent edit warring in ana open source encyclopedia, SqueakBox 04:35, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

I can't believe you are seriously arguing that Pinochet was not a dictator. Even his supporters don't argue that point. Point me to one published source where an academic or other authority, even a major news agency, from anywhere in the world, makes the case that Pinochet was not a dictator. Kwertii 04:37, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Or rather, you aren't even arguing that Pinochet wasn't a dictator, since you support including the definition of a dictator attached to Pinochet's name. You are arguing that someone out there might argue that Pinochet was not a dictator, and so we have to accomodate them proactively. As I said, let's see one reputable source that argues that he was not a dictator (in contrast to the mountain of reputable sources, along with his own supporters, who don't dispute that point.) Kwertii 04:41, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Here is a BBC (very leftist public service broadcasting) profile of Pinochet that doesnt mention the word dictator, so this is a reputable source that doesnt argue that he was a dictator. Clearly we dont have to find a source that argues he is not a dictator in order to not call him a dictator, sourcing and citing doesnt work like that and the fact that reliable sources are not all labelling him a dictator is in itself sufficient, SqueakBox 15:55, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

And here are some BBC articles that call him a dictator. With your way of arguing, if we find an article that doesn't explicitly mentions e.g. that he was Army Commander in Chief then we can't write in Wikipedia that he was Army Commander in Chief. Vints 18:32, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Actually I am arguing that we should stick to policy and not use weasel words like dictator. Kwertii implied that everyone is calling him a dictator and I gave that ref to show that this is not true. What I dont need to do is find an article saying he wasnt a dictator, that misunmderstands what sourcing is all about, SqueakBox 18:42, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Firstly, I didn't say "show me a reputable source that does not specifically use the word 'dictator' to describe Pinochet", I said "show me a reputable source that argues (actively) that Pinochet was not a dictator." I am pretty sure you won't find one, as even his supporters don't seriously argue that point.
  • Secondly there is not, and has never been, consensus around the so-called "weasel words" policy; see Wikipedia talk:Avoid weasel words.
  • Thirdly, the "weasel words" policy is not even applicable in this case. As the opening sentence of Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words says, "Weasel words are words or phrases that seemingly support statements without attributing opinions to verifiable sources." There are plenty of reputable and verifiable sources that describe Pinochet as a "dictator" (and none that I have seen that argue that he is not.) Go read Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words again. Kwertii 23:25, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

I certainly dont need to provide a source actively saying he isnt a dictator in order to justify not calling him one, as I said before that isnt how sourcing works, one uses sourcing to prove something not to disprove it. The WP:AWW also says "The main problem with weasel words is that they interfere with Wikipedia's neutral point of view." which is where I am coming from with this, it just shows an anti Pinochet viewpoint and that must be avoided at all costs, ie taking sides around a highly contrioversial figure, SqueakBox 23:32, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

You don't seem to grasp what a "weasel word" is. The "weasel word" policy refers to making unsourced statements such as "Many people say that Pinochet is a dictator". The "weasel words" are "many people say...", not "is a dictator." It is meant to encourage people to source the statements that they use, not to prevent people from using unpleasant, yet accurate, descriptions. We already have tons of reputable and verifiable sources that say Pinochet was a dictator. Kwertii 04:33, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

I also dont think we should call Allende a marxist even though this is also true, SqueakBox 22:55, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

That is patently absurd. Kwertii 23:25, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
"Marxist" is not a perjorative term outside the context of right-wing politics. Allende was a self-described Marxist. He was head of the Socialist Party of Chile. I'm not sure at this point if you actually believe this or if you're simply trolling. Kwertii 23:27, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
Its the wikipedia way, avoid contention and make WP:NPOV along with verifiability as the guiiding lights of the project, SqueakBox 23:32, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
"The Wikipedia way" also entails using the talk page to discuss disputes, rather than using it to hide behind policy. So far, you have not responded to any of the points I raised. He was verifiably and in a perfectly NPOV sense of the word a "dictator". Kwertii 04:31, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

There is no doubt he was president, he self appointed himself to that position. It's hard to argue otherwise. I came up with compromise wording:

(November 25 1915December 10 2006) was a general and President of Chile. He led a military junta to power in 1973 through a U.S.-backed[1] coup d'état, deposing the democratically elected president Salvador Allende. In 1974, Pinochet appointed himself president [3][4] and assumed power for 17 years without elections. He implemented economic reforms which his supporters credit with the development of the robust modern Chilean economy[2][3]. Pinochet's government also implemented the anti-dissident campaign called "Operation Condor", during which around 3,000 suspects were murdered and around 30,000 more were tortured. He stepped down from power in 1990, after losing a national plebiscite in 1988. At the time of his death in 2006, Pinochet was facing around 300 criminal charges in Chile for human rights abuses committed under his rule and embezzlement.[citation needed]

I will improve it if some form of consensus is reached.--Pethr 02:46, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Problem is, there were elections, three in fact. They were referendums on his presidency and were held on 1978, 1981, and 1988. There is of course doubt about the fairness of the first two, in which Pinochet won overwhelmingly, but still I don't think it is correct to say there were no elections. The 1981 plebiscite is particularly important because it also approved the current Chilean Constitution. Marmaduque 16:06, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
One reason why I'd rather just call him by the most succinct and accurate English word available to describe what Pinochet was - a "dictator" - than muddling around with "unelected" vs. "elected in rigged elections" vs. whatever other bizarre and indirect way some of our editors would have him described. The Economist, incidentally a pretty far right magazine, has the subheadline "Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, dictator of Chile, died on December 10th, aged 91" in his obituary in the Dec 16th issue. Kwertii 20:53, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
The Economist is FAR-RIGHT??!!! They are centrists for goodness sake. They even supported Kerry in the 2004 US elections. They oppose the right-wing former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi. It SUPPORTS gay marriage, gun control, and the abolition of gay marriage. See The Economist editorial stance. Marmaduque 17:46, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Here in Chile, members of the Communist Party call him a Tyrant (El tirano Pinochet) or a Murderer, right wing supporters call him Former president of the Republic and in the media and those who try to sound neutral just say dictator or former ruler. --Dolichocephalus 20:45, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

I beg to differ. The two most important serios newspapers in Chile, El Mercurio and La Tercera, both refer to him as former president or at least former ruler, but I've yet to see dictator. Marmaduque 17:46, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Could you explain this, this? Look at this one--Dolichocephalus 06:03, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes after 1980 you can, he was never elected, not democratically. He was the president after 1980 only by the definition of president created by himself, but not in the common sense definition of the word, before him or after him. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:21, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

POV tag

If you put the pov tag back on the article this is the place to give your reasons. if you dont give any rerasons here I will remove it as we cant make this article more NPOV unless we know what is POV. It doesnt appear POV but instead balanced to me, SqueakBox 23:35, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

POV editors

Please be familiar with WP:NPOV before editing. I dont particularly like Pinochet but find myself defending him against editors who are filled with hatred towards him and appear not to care about our POV policy but only about putting their own anti Pinochet views in the article, SqueakBox 16:35, 14 December 2006 (UTC)


I'd like to see references on all Pinochet's quotes. I didn't search for every single one of them but I couldn't find those I searched for. I don't think it's appropriete to have unsourced quotes here, not to mention there is Wikiquote for those things!--Pethr 01:37, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Agreed and removed, SqueakBox 01:52, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, I think it's the right thing to do. I would copy it to wikiquotes if it had any sense of credibility but I rather think that someone completely made it up to cast negative light on A.P. Well if the light can be any more negative - Pinochet is one of the creatures where I have really hard time reverting edits which reflect more the bad side. Anyway, it survived too long! We have to be more careful about additions to this article.--Pethr 02:02, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't think they were made up, I recognized a few of them. The quote about Human Rights being a Marxist invention was given in a CNN en Español interview in 90s, for example. They're probably hard to find because they were given in Spanish originally. However, I also agree with their removal. Maybe a link to WikiQuotes should be included instead; I havent checked but I'm sure there will be some quotes of his there. GringoInChile 02:27, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
They seem to be a translated version of a selection of quotes from this page in the Spanish Wikiquote. GringoInChile 02:35, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Great work, It would still be good to source them and then put them on Wikiquotes. I don't understand a word in Spanish, so may be someone else will volunteer. May be it will be pretty easy to find sources to most of them in Spanish language media.--Pethr 02:50, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Hello, I was the editor who added the quotes. They were all from one source: La Nación newspaper. A single reference for every quote was added after the last quote, because I didn't want to clutter the article with "a,b,c,d,e,f,g,,,etc [reference]." I will put them on Wikiquote. It brings a smile to my face to know that some of you thought they were fake. ☆ CieloEstrellado 04:00, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

I didnt think they were fake, just inappropriate to have so many though one or 2 would do no harm, SqueakBox 15:39, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

The grandson

Is Augusto Pinochet Molina, a grandson, not relevant to be included in the See also section? -- Zorro CX 12:16, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

"to save the country from communism"

It does not advance NPOV to present this claim as base fact, particularly when it is done by misrepresenting a source.

  • The cited article does not say that the purpose of Condor was to save the country from communism
  • It does not explain how Condor might have advanced that goal.
  • With regard to what the article says, it is the opinion of one reporter.
  • If people want to learn about Condor and whom it targeted, they can follow the link to its Wikipedia article.

Gazpacho 18:26, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

The problem is that the opening isnt POV, by all means remove this if you replace it with other pro Pinochet POV but we cannot just have lots of criticism anmd no positive stuff as that violates the WP:NPOV which is at the heart of our work. Please address the issue of POV, SqueakBox 19:46, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Condor was only added to the opening lately and if we are incapable of describing it from an NPOV point of view we need to not mention it in the opening, SqueakBox 19:52, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Please stop just adding anti Pinochet material without any balance. That breaks POV, if you want to add lots of negative stuff do a POV check (your responsibility) or it will look like POV pushing, SqueakBox 20:11, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

I have no problem with leaving Condor out of the intro. However, there is no more obligation under WP:NPOV to say that Pinochet had people killed and tortured to save the nation, than there is to say that Hitler killed Jews to save the nation. If Pinochet said it, then quote him. It's far too controversial to present as an uncontested fact. Gazpacho 20:13, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

We would have to be careful to NPOV Hitler too, however unpleasant that may be. This isnt the most pleasant article to work on but we must stick to NPOV. By sticking to NPOV we can create a credible article and what we say in the opening is critical, SqueakBox 20:15, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

"Sticking to NPOV" does not mean presenting controversial claims as if they were uncontroversial. The NPOV policy page and the NPOV tutorial both discuss this in detail. Gazpacho 20:25, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

I second that. "NPOV" does not mean "uncontroversial", and it doesn't mean "avoid unpleasant details" either. We are not writing an encyclopedia for kindergarteners who need to be shielded from unpleasantness. Pinochet is best known for the well-attested Operation Condor, mass killings, and mass torture in most of the world. This is not even particularly controversial. There are plenty of sources on this cited already, and there are plenty more available if you type "augusto pinochet" into Google. The intro needs to reflect this rather than try to whitewash his reputation. As I said before, SqueakBox, present just one reputable source that argues that Pinochet was not a dictator or that his regime did not conduct mass murder and torture. (But you won't find any, because even his staunchest supporters don't argue those points; they try to justify his actions as unpleasant but necessary instead, which the intro does mention, in the interests of NPOV.) Also, you keep referencing other articles as though their content was somehow directly relevant to what we ought to include in this article. If you have an issue with Adolf Hitler, take it up at Talk:Adolf Hitler, not here. Kwertii 21:07, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Why would I wish to take issues about Pinochet to Adolf Hitler? Remeber we are writing an encyclopedia not an isolated article on Pinochet and mentioning other articles is normal practice in wikipedia. NPOV means presenting both sides of the argument and just before my recent edit that clearly was not happening in the opening, it came across as being written by some POV pushing Pinochet haters who are happy to source his every bad act but delete good things said about him. That is the recipe for a POV article, SqueakBox 22:13, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree with SqueakBox. Walton monarchist89 16:20, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

whether or not your agree with the statement that he saved chile from a communist threat, which would presume it was under one, the fact remains that this was an often cited justification and rationale for his actions begining in 1973 (the year the coup d'état took place) and is very notable.Cholga 00:19, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Concentration camps?

The unsourced statement that Pinochet left behind...concentration camps seems to me to be POV, unless a source for it can be obtained. Although it can obviously be proven that Pinochet had detention camps/prisons for political prisoners, the phrase "concentration camps" is specific and pejorative, due to its associations with Nazism and genocide. For all his faults, Pinochet did not commit genocide - his regime executed less than 3,000, and did not single out any specific ethnic group. So it seems to be left-wing POV to deliberately use a phrase with Nazi connotations in relation to Pinochet. If no one comes up with a citation for the statement, I will delete it outright. Walton monarchist89 16:25, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Marmaduque 17:46, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
Sadly, some user seems to think it's OK for them to revert this edit without discussing it on the talk page. I will continue to change "concentration camps" to "prison camps" until they provide explanation and/or a source. Walton monarchist89 18:21, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree too. This article has persistent problems from lefty POV pushers and this appears to be another example. Some people seem unable to aaccept that the rules of sourcing and NPOV also ap[ply here, SqueakBox 18:28, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Actually, plenty of people, such as those involved with the documentary The War on Democracy, have referred to them as "concentration camps". It is not POV. (talk) 13:22, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

What political ideology was he?

Daft question to most probably, but anyone?

Right-wing, anti-communist, SqueakBox 16:13, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Hard to say. Pinochet was a soldier who did not care much for politics right until the coup. He can be considered anti-communist. In the end he was an economic libertarian, but during the economic crisis in 1981 he briefly employed Keynesian economics. His governemnt was definitely authoritarian at first in the sense that it restricted some personal liberties, bu by the end of his government I'd say 1987-1990, there gradually was more free speech and other such liberties. Pinochet manained he supported democracy but that the economic ruin brought about by Allende's government meant that it had to be suspended until the country could recover. So, yes, in the end, he was a right-winger. Marmaduque 17:50, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

The definitive answer would have to come from Spanish-language sources, but what is in English suggests that he was a Chilean nationalist and determined not to have Chile depend entirely on either superpower. It was typical throughout the Cold War for the left to describe any anti-communist leader as a fascist (e.g. Chomsky, The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism). However Pinochet himself didn't come from any ideology of national supremacy akin to Nazism or Italian Fascism, even if he made use of people like Paul Schäfer and Alfredo Stroessner. Gazpacho 18:41, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I recall visiting and taking their political quiz. The chart they use to map your political ideology also had a chart graphing the ideologies of famous people. General Pinochet can be found in the "Fascist" region, but then again John Kerry is in the dead center of the graph, so there may be a margin of error.

Fascist, mass-murderer, tyrant, supported by the know the deal. (talk) 13:24, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

New constitution in 1980

Who approved this new constitution? I don't understand why Pinochet, alleged dictator would allow a new constitution which would threaten his continued control of power. The article doesn't seem to explain this bit well.. --Rebroad 20:24, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

One possibility is that international parties demanded that he demonstrate his intent to restore civilian rule before they would deal with him. Another possibility is that he wasn't lying about his reasons for taking power in the first place.
Also see Gustavo Leigh. Gazpacho 07:00, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Dissolution of Congress in September 1973 after the coup

The congress WAS dissolved in 1973 immediately after the coup. This is history, you can see (National Congress Library) a brief history of the congress, where you can see:

"el 11 de septiembre de 1973, se produce un golpe de estado que significa el quiebre institucional de Chile, estableciéndose una Junta Militar encabezada por el general Augusto Pinochet, quién suspende las garantías individuales contenidas en la Constitución del 25, aún cuando se declara que ésta continua vigente, por otra parte, se disuelve el Congreso Nacional."

(im working on a translation)

Specifically, under the decree number 27 dated september 21 1973 (published officially september 24 1973), the congress was dissolved.

Only one more thing: According to, "[...]In modern usage, the term "dictator" is generally used to describe a leader who holds an extraordinary amount of personal power, especially the power to make laws without effective restraint by a legislative assembly[...]". —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:55, 4 January 2007 (UTC).

  • I agree with Pethr. Also, if we go according to, "[...]In modern usage, the term "dictator" is generally used to describe a leader who holds an extraordinary amount of personal power, especially the power to make laws without effective restraint by a legislative assembly[...]". In that case then he was NOT a dictator, since he DID NOT hold ANY power to make laws, because that power was radicated into the Military Junta, of which he was not a member. Granted, he could influence the outcome of the Junta's resolutions, he held extraordinary amount of personal power, etc, etc, but then that would not agree with the definition. I don't see a point in making an edit war over this AGAIN. Mel Romero 04:10, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
  • The dissolution of the congress must be mentioned in the article because is not a minor fact under the regime on Mr. Pinochet. Why edit war?
I agree on this one. Usually it goes like this: 1) Find credible source preferably at least one in English 2) write paragraph about your subject in appropriate section of the article 3) if it is important enough mention it in article summary/introduction. Thank you.--Pethr 04:46, 4 January 2007 (UTC)



sssh... could you please tone your voice down?--CSTAR 19:33, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Dictator is a POV term, due to its negative connotations. As you say, the most accurate term for Pinochet is 'President of the Military Junta' as this was his official title, and he also held the rank of General in the Chilean armed forces. Calling him 'President' signifies that he was the de facto head of state of Chile, but I agree that 'President of the Military Junta' is more accurate. Although it may be true that many people consider him a 'dictator', this doesn't mean that the article can reject the point of view of his supporters. The fact is that the word 'dictator' is, in modern English usage, usually used as a pejorative label by a leader's political opponents. See the discussion at Joseph Stalin for further dispute on the use of the term. (Not that I'm comparing Pinochet to Stalin - they were opposites - but in both cases, the term 'dictator' is subjective.) Walton monarchist89 09:33, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

So the BBC, ABC, the AP and Reuters are Pinochet Opponets and POV pushers? They call him a dictator when announcing his death. Its not POV its the prevailing assessment, its not favorable or neglagable its the truth. Calling Jack the Ripper a murderer is not a POV, just because the word murderer has a bad connotation since most people view murder negatively. Calling George W Bush a Conservative is not POV either, even though many people find the term conservative to be perjorative as many people would find the word communist perjorative. Calling Jane Doe, who works for the IRS a tax collector is not POV, EVERYONE HATES THEM!, but its still descriptive, accurate and an honest potrayal of her profession. An article that mentions someone that "came to power" "wasnt elected" though a "coup detat" who had a "regime" rather than an administration and was sought to be tried for "human rights violations" and is reported as a dictator by the overwealming total of the world media should at least mention the word dictator or this prevailing opinion, it is notable-even if we dont say PINOCHET WAS A DICTATOR which is by no means a strech, it should definatly say PINOCHET IS WIDELY REGARDED AS A DICTATOR BY THE WORLD MEDIA AND PUBLIC ALLTHOUGH THIS IS CONTROVERSIAL AMOUNSGT SOME and lets put this silly discussion to a rest. this is embarassing for an encyclopediaqrc2006/email 23:01, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Calling him President reflects the truth. Calling him dictator is whta is taking sides, besides it is a weasel word andf should be avoided everywhere other than dictator on wikipedia, SqueakBox 00:16, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

The main problems with "dictator" are:

  • It's not very informative, because it means different things in different contexts. We can't just label someone and expect readers to understand what the person did to earn that label. The current intro explains: he came to power in a coup, made himself president, ruled without elections, and had people killed. That's more informative than label.
  • While some instances are easy, others are widely questioned, and allowing the term in the easy cases would encourage people to fight over the others. Examples of questionable cases: Chavez, Mugabe, leaders of communist China, Fujimori, Musharraf, Ali Khamenei, etc., etc. The only stable way to resolve the question of dictatorship is to let the readers answer it themselves.

Gazpacho 00:47, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

I think it goes without saying, that I'm with SqueakBox and Gazpacho on this one. Wikipedia doesn't call anyone names but rather carefully describes what happened letting every individual reader to make his own mind. Fabrication of ready-to-consume opinions is domain of mass media (POV). There'd be no reason of having Wikipedia if we were unable to enforce WP:NPOV, it's core policy.--Pethr 01:08, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

calling him president is truth!!!!??? cite that! what truth, when was he elected? what party was he a member of? what percentage of the vote did he receieve. in this case dictator is not a point of view. its the truth, no one denies he was a dictator besides pinochets cronies. the word president is inaccurate, false, and misleading. if it cant say dictator is shouldnt say president, thats taking the pinochetistas' side its a point of view. Pinochet and the word dictator and the term "PINOCHET DICTATORSHIP" go hand in hand, they are always mentioned together. i dont care about ahmadinejad or chavez or mugabe, this is about this article. it should at least be mentioned. someone with no knowledge of the subject wrongfully think he was never a dictator, and that he was elected. this is a place or learning, all viewpoints need to be included. especially an overwealming position such as him being a dictator. A dictator is an asshole who seizes power and doesnt let go and rules with an iron fist and silences the opposition with violance and fear. hows that for a definition?qrc2006/email 03:41, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

wikipedia cannot take a point of view on whether or not he is a dictator, the reader must, if it is a point of view as you say, why is the only point of view being used is that of his so-called presidency?qrc2006/email 03:42, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

pinochet tortured and killed and had my family beaten and raped! hes an asshole, but thats my point of view. he IS a former dictator. thats neautral, he simply is, look up dictator in the dictionary, or in the wiktionary for crying outloud, you know exactly what it means!!

this one is pure logic if the chile coup article says "General Augusto Pinochet exploited the situation to seize total power and establish an anti-communist military dictatorship which lasted until 1990." why is it that during a dictatorship, the dictatorships leader isnt called a dictator?

iran venezuela and zibabwe all have functioning assemblies so does cuba, pinochet dissolved this, his rule was autocratic, how bout that autocratic leader, instead of dictator?


Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte (Valparaíso, Chile, 25 de noviembre de 1915 - Santiago, Chile, 10 de diciembre de 2006) fue un militar y dictador chileno.

Augusto Jose Ramon Pinochet Ugarte (Valaprais, Chile, 25, November, 1915 - Santiago, Chile 10, December 2006) was a military-person and Chilean dictator.

there is no such debate there.

Spanish wikipedia is different. Here the consensus is to remove the word. Why ignore that? SqueakBox 04:21, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Chile was governed by military junta not just by Pinochet
  • 1980 plebiscite (however disputatious) gave some legal framework to Pinochet's presidency
  • President doesn't necessarily need to be elected (can be appointed or assume power illigaly)
  • Everyone can judge for himself since facts about his presidency are included.--Pethr 04:35, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

it was not govered my the junta, just as the army is not goverened by liuetenants or colornels its goverened by the generals and highest ranking officer. what legal framework, if Dictator is hard to define, calling this a presidency and using the word president is making the definition of president hard to define by your bastardizing of it. pinochet was not appointed. he took power, people who do coups are dictators, why cant you see that? people cant judge whether or not he is a dictator since those arguements are being excluded.

Perhaps because we dont want many bios to be a point of feuding between pro and anti brigades all because of a charged word like dictator. A President is one who presides, not one who has been democratically elected, SqueakBox 05:05, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

presides over what? is my dad the president of my house since he presides over my family? was margaret thatcher president since she presided over england is chancellor angela merkel president of germany? is god president of the universe since he presides over everything, should i add that to the god article, God: Former, Current and Future president of the universe and all people since he presides over us.

Well a murderer is someone who kills people. pinochet killed people can we call him that? can we use the word genocide? or man? lets just call him an antity as not to be POV about whether he was a living thing or not.

1 a : a person granted absolute emergency power; especially : one appointed by the senate of ancient Rome b : one holding complete autocratic control c : one ruling absolutely and often oppressively

from Mirriam webster

1. a person exercising absolute power, esp. a ruler who has absolute, unrestricted control in a government without hereditary succession.

Jacket image of the Compact Oxford English Dictionary


 • noun a ruler with total power over a country. 

from oxford


My 2 cents
Although dictator does have a negative connotation, it is accurate in this case. President is also accurate, and both should be used.

(JoeCarson 12:59, 6 January 2007 (UTC))

There's no way back, once you start such labeling. Mark him "dictator" and his supporters will come and replace it with "benevolent dictator" since, in their view, he governed for the benefit of people rather of himself. Isn't it more balanced to describe how he came to power, what he did wrong and why he thought it was right thing to do? Important facts are presented in the article, they're are not explanatory enough?--Pethr 18:15, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Exactly. We want an informative, educational article not a controversial one nad certainly not one that takes sides (the good encyclopedia writer may hate Pinochet or love him but neither would show up in the article itself. That is WP:NPOV, SqueakBox 19:06, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

All that matters is that president and dictator are both accurate terms to describe Pinochet. "Pinochet was benevolent" is a normative statement. A comparison between Pinochet and other dictators would be appropriate, and most readers may judge him relatively benevolent. However, the editor clearly should not include that adjective in his description.

(JoeCarson 20:04, 6 January 2007 (UTC))

These arguments over definitions and which one should apply are exactly why the word "dictator" is taboo in English Wikipedia. User:172 can tell you more about the background if you really want to know. Gazpacho 20:56, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Newspapers of record

By refusing to use the word dictator to describe Mr Pinochet, describing him instead as General and President, WP does take an unusual position vis-a-vis at least three newspapers who reported on Pinochet's death. Other examples abound. The editors of WP apparently then have decided, on their own, to sanitize Pinochet's image in the guise of neutrality, when most papers of record have actually referred to him as dicator (In the 4th example, Pinochet is not referred to as president in the Obit)

Gen Augusto Pinochet Ugarte dies at age of 91; brutal dictator repressed and reshaped Chile for nearly two decades and became notorious symbol of human rights abuse and corruption; he seized power in bloody military coup in 1973 that toppled Marxist government of Pres Salvador Allende
Thousands of Chileans have taken to the streets in demonstrations following the death last night of Augusto Pinochet, 91, the Chilean dictator who ruled his country with an iron fist from 1973 to 1990.
  • El Mercurio This article doen't refer to him as dictator, but does not use the title "Presidente", only general to refer to him. Note that El Mercurio was supportive of Pinochet and the Coup against Allende.
  • Folha de Sao Paulo The largest circulation daily in Latin America:
Após uma cerimônia de funeral abalada por discursos de defesa do golpe militar no Chile, proferidos por familiares do ditador Augusto Pinochet (morto no último domingo, 10), os restos mortais do general foram cremados na noite desta terça-feira (12) no cemitério Parque del Mar, na cidade costeira de Concón, segundo funcionários locais. Após a cremação em Concón, 130 km ao noroeste de Santiago, uma comitiva militar de oito automóveis levou as cinzas do ditador. —The preceding

unsigned comment was added by CSTAR (talkcontribs) 06:49, 7 January 2007 (UTC).

Yeah forgot to sign, sorry. That was quick. --CSTAR 06:50, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
That's the difference between mass media and Wikipedia. Add BBC to the not-calling-names side of the list.[5]--Pethr 07:08, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Is that really true? How about here [6]?--CSTAR 07:11, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, Wikipedia does seek to be more inclusive of views than major newspapers (and certainly more than the New York Times). Gazpacho 10:08, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

If we interpret Wikipedia policy strictly, particularly no WP:OR, WP:RS, there is a basis for the exact opposite claim, that it is to say, that it shouldn't be more inclusive and should stickto what's in major publications worldwise. Particularly this clause:
It introduces an analysis or synthesis of established facts, ideas, opinions, or arguments in a way that builds a particular case favored by the editor, without attributing that analysis or synthesis to a reputable source;
Notice that I produced three examples from major newspapers; It's not clear what you mean by certainly more than the New York Times but there is a truly overwhelming number of papers and journals that refer to Pinochet as a dictator.
At the very least, the article should note Pinochet's claim to fame in the very first sentence: A chilean general who siezed power in Chile in a Coup d'état against Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973.
--CSTAR 18:08, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
You argument would be helpful if there were any facts omitted from this article but there are not or at least nobody argues about that. Media has it's own agenda and often it's more suitable for them to categorize rather than discribe what happened. Once more, facts are presented in the article. May be some scholar/academic paper or scientific research on the subject would make the case. May be some sentence about world media calling him dictator but i don't think it will help the article to be any better. The article describes who he was even without words charged with undesirable conotations.--Pethr 19:08, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Pethr, it seems to me that whether or media has its own agenda or does not, is irrelevant as per WP:RS and WP:OR. I think the discussion really should center around these wikipeida policy/guidelines. --CSTAR 19:20, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
If we do that we must forget about inserting the weasel word dictator, SqueakBox 19:29, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Why is dictator a weasel word? We could say "Pinochet was a chilean male who wore dark glasses in public appearances early in his career". True statement. No words there that anybody could call "weasel".--CSTAR 19:38, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
See WP:Weasel words for an explanation of my choice of word, SqueakBox 19:42, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it follows from that guideline page that use of dictator is a weasel word. As is illustrated by the above links, the description dictator for Pinochet was certainly not invented here.
At the very least, what should come out of this discussion is how the defining first sentence of a person's WP article is formulated. For example Perry Smith clearly states why he was a notable person. Pinochet wasn't a notable person because he was a general or a president.--CSTAR 20:13, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I dont agree. I think being a President and also in the military are exactly what made him notable certainly until his arrest, and then his arrest on human rights charges was a third notable factor so I would mention that in the opening sentence before adding the word dictator. For me dictator conjures up Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin and its not a term I would particularly connect with any modern figure. We state clearly he wasnt democratically elected which IMO is sufficient, SqueakBox 20:30, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Imagine you asked someone (a student say) to describe Pinochet in a sentence. "He was a president of Chile and a general". Without stating that he was also responsible for the 193 coup d'etat, I would consider that a failing response, wouldn't you? I had thought the first sentence should answer the question of an individual's most notable characteristic. It seems to me that by failing to do this in this instance, you are establishing a different criterion from what is standard throughout most of Wikipedia.
Yes, it's clear we disagree. --CSTAR 21:15, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Oh come on, that is fully dealt with in the second sentence, which is again sufficient and currently given much more weight than his arrest in the UK and subsequent legal problenms in Chile so we are not neglecting this in any way, SqueakBox 21:40, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

"Oh come on" is not an argument, it is instead is a not very-subtle putdown of an interlocutor. This is an extremely important topic: the first sentence of any WIkipedia article. I'm sorry, you seem to act as the you owned this article, and refuse to discuss substantive issues of policy and guideline with regard to its structure and formulation. Further discussion seems to be pointless. --CSTAR 22:09, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Gazpacho. While Pinochet certainly fits most people's definition of a 'dictator', it is still coherently possible to argue that he was not (owing to the plebiscite, collective rule by the military junta etc.), and it is never the job of Wikipedia to make judgements. Fundamentally, it's always better to use the official title - for a similar situation check out the debate on Talk:North Korea as to the validity of the term "Democratic People's Republic of Korea". NPOV is the major principle to follow here. Walton monarchist89 17:56, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I was involved in a similar debate re Kim Jong-il a year or more back, sounds like it hasnt died down there either, and as in every bio or similar I oppose the use of the word dictator, SqueakBox 19:30, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
It's not a question of what one can argue coherently; that view is very close (if not indistinguishable from) original research. The responsability of WP editors is to accurately report what reliable sources actually say on the matter, not to introduce arguable "nuanced" positions. --CSTAR 19:16, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

No, by doing what you say we just report what his opponenets want and that is not acceptable given WP:NPOV, SqueakBox 21:42, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

no we report referanceable truth, he was a dictator, simple as that. and the junta did not govern, he did, the fact that a king has knights or that a prime minister has a parlament doesnt mean they are not king or president, the same is true that just because pinochet had subordinate does not mean he was not an autocrat. the generally undertood definition of president in modern times is that of an elected oficial, nothing else. "Someone who presides" is simply literal and technical, and too general. that definiton of president does not make sense here, because it is a broad generalization of anyone who is president of a commitee, club, political party, or nation. but the most frequent sense if i say someone is president-everyone first assumes, of where (where as in what country), if it is another type of presiding person, you say president... of the Model UN club, the University of California, etc. no news sources say he wasnt a dictator. the only people who say he wasnt a dictator are his cronies. and as for the whole benevolant debate, which you have imagined, that would be point of view, dictator is not. he was one by definition. every president/prime minister/chancelor in the world is elected by direct or indirect vote, was apointed by an elected body or line of succession during the 20th century. furthermore, you say calling him dictator is taking a side, why are you taking sides. this is wikipedia all points of view deserve mention, especially i would think a so widely held opinion. i mean wow the NY Times, BBC, CNN, TVchile, etc sure have some balls to be reporting their opinions, instead of news. the fact is this is not an opinion. and if you consider it to be, you still have to stop blocking it because all points-of-view should be included. i think it also deserves mention within the article that some sectors of chilean society regard him with very high esteem, a "benevolent dictator" as you put it. he's a cult personality for sure. he's also hated by many chileans, that also doesnt not appear in the article. DICTATOR DICTATOR, DICTAOR DICTATOR. look it up in the dictionary, and tell me why this is an opinion. does mirriam webster and oxford and all have opinions on what a dictator is now? get a grip with reality. wikipedia writing polycy should overide the weasol word ruling you seem to have. i think this should be brought up to a wider debate. and furthermore, you seem to be the only one reverting this. not people who think he is not a dictator, who cannot come up with any citations. but it should be mentioned if some people think that "plebicite" gave him legal standing.

Why WikiProject France?!?

I doubt very much that this article should be included in the France WikiProject; there's hardly any relevant connection apart from his surname. I propose that the tag be removed. GringoInChile 17:38, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

No idea what it was doing here but it has been removed, SqueakBox 17:40, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Maybr he does belong there, he is of Breton heritage, a region in France. Direct heritage actually. Just as im sure Madonna appears in the Italian wikiporject due to her ItalianAmerican heritage, it should be up to th France wikiproject if he is included not us.

Arhuement over the term dictator

Regardless if the word dictator is a weasal word i think it merritt includsion that there is an ongoing debate in Chile between the left and the right as into whether Pinochet was a dictator or president with the right (UDI RN) and with the left (Concertacion, Communist Party, Humanist Party) particularly the right saying he was never dictator and saying he was a legitimate president and the left saying that in modern times only presidents that are directly elected in free elections are presidents in the modern sense and that pinochet was a dictator. that last part was said by the head of the socialist party in an interview with TVChile.

I agree, in fact that's a perfect summary of my solution to the earlier debate. Rather than labelling him an unquestioned 'dictator', he should be described as 'President of the Military Junta', and it should also be said that there is a debate between his supporters and opponents over whether or not he was a dictator. As you say, sources can be provided for both sides. Walton monarchist89 12:23, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
i agree completelty, all points of view should be included since this is wikipediaCholga 23:54, 6 June 2007 (UTC)


I think that the word "dictatorship" is very lacking in this article, i means who's ever heard of a coup d'etat that led to military rule which is not considered a "dictatorship" someone, a student for example may type in "Chilean Dictatorship" or "Pinochet Dictatorship" , the notable period where no presidents where elected nor did the congress convened between 1979 and 1990 when before 1979 and after 1990 things where handled much differantly, might be confused.

Well, if you have trouble finding examples, try reading about the Government Junta of Chile (1925), it may enlighten you. Mel Romero 02:10, 24 January 2007 (UTC)


Use of the word president should be removed from the first sentance, since Pinochet was a very differant president from Allende and his predicessors and Aylwin and his successors, before and after his rule presidents where elected in direct free elections Pinochet was not, in this way the article may wrongly imply to readers that Allende or OHiggens or Bachelet or Aylwin had the same kind of administration. Allende was a directly elected president, so was Aylwin, Pinochet was not and the differance should be codified in this article, especially in the uninformative opening. President is not enough, self-proclaimed president is better but needs elaboration, this article doesnt read well.

Pinochet was a Chilean general who seized power from Democratically elected Salvador Allende in 1979 in a US-backed military coup detat and was elected President of the Military Junta of Chile and estableshed himself as president after a plebicite in 1986 which is regarded as undemocratic, his regime is widely critized for human rights violations and is described as brutal by the media. In 1990 a second plebicite failed to extend his leadership into 1998 and fresh elecetons where held whom installed Patricio Aylwin with what is known in Chile as, "the return to democracy"

Okay hows that for a new introduction? Any comments? Corrections? Feedback?qrc2006/email 02:08, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

He was president of Chile and therefore this information must not be deleted. Comparing him to Allenede is completely irrelevant to this. Your introm is highly anti Pinochet and we cannot have that here because of WP:NPOV and just fairness and not taking sides, SqueakBox 02:21, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
he was not president of chile, he was president of a military junta after a coup d'etat and dont you forget it. I didnt compare him to allende, i compared him to his predicessor AND succesor, it doesnt matter who they were, but that they came to power much differantly. im not taking a side. what side? the only side im on is that of making this a better article, which says the truth, the whole truth, the verifiable truth, and where ALL points of view are included. and it is not irrelevant sir.
I agree with SqueakBox. The proposed intro also violates WP:WEASEL in using phrases such as "is regarded as undemocratic" (by who exactly?). Walton monarchist89 12:24, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Who exactly? hmm, the United Nations, the people of chile. the wording can be changed to "Widescale fraud was alleged" by no means were they widely welcomed as free elections. helf finding sources?
This is an incredible discussion. I wonder why people like QRC2006 try so hard to pass myths as history. Let's see, where to start? From previous contributions to this discussion I can see that by "democratically elected" there seems to be a consensus that an election must have taken place in some form for the elected person to be regarded as "validly elected". If so, the majority of the Presidents (or Supreme Directors) that ruled Chile before 1830 would not qualify (including O'Higgins, who was never elected by the way). Now, if by "election" we want to understand a "fair and free and representative" election, then none of the heads of state of Chile before 1920 would qualify, since study after study has proven that the buying and selling of votes and governmental intervention was the norm in those times, while more than 2 thirds of the population was simply disenfranchised (something not at all unusual in most of the world at the time either.) More to the point, if the election of 1980 was "regarded as undemocratic" (not by the UN, and definitely not by the people of Chile as a whole) then all the results from that vote would be spurious, and hence all subsequent actions stemming from that vote, totally void and null. Right? well, if we were to follow that argument that you seem to propound, then neither Aylwin nor any of the successors (including Bachelet) would be legal, since they are the legal defenders of the 1980 Constitution, and the 1980 election is the one that approved that constitution (still in place by the way), and Pinochet's election was just one of the "transitory articles" included in the text. Well, we could follow on and on... but I think you get my point. You cannot have your cake and eat it too, and that's definitely what you're trying to do with the recent Chilean history by swallowing whole all the anti-Pinochet propaganda. The man was no saint, but this is suppposed to be a balanced account of his actions, not political POVs. Mel Romero 02:03, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I completely agree with Mel Romero, who has expressed my point much more clearly than I could have done. Fundamentally, it's not the job of Wikipedia to make a judgement as to how "good" Pinochet was, or whether or not he was a "dictator" - both of these are subjective judgements which violate WP:NPOV. Walton monarchist89 13:55, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

how is citing the overwealimg body of mass media who all call him dictator a NPOV issue. also the very definition of the word. and the fact that he came to power very differantly from his predecessor and successor who were both elected by popular vote. he was not, that election by popular vote is the method of gaining the presidency of chile in modern times.

It is technically correct to include both president and dictator in the intro. (JoeCarson 01:07, 16 February 2007 (UTC))

Removed links

If you find any of the following links necessary please discuss them here before readding them to the article. Please see WP:EL and WP:MOS-L. Also please remember that many of them are duplicates, some of them are in refs already (or should be in refs or nowhere) and one of them isn't link at all.:)--Pethr 04:55, 10 January 2007 (UTC)


The current opening sentence reads like this:

'Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte[4] (November 25, 1915-December 10, 2006) was a general and President of Chile. Pinochet led a military junta to power in 1973, through a coup d'état, deposing the democratically-elected Socialist President Salvador Allende and establishing a military government. In 1974, Pinochet appointed himself President and remained in power until 1990.[5][6]

Stating that Chile was under siege by communist subversives, Pinochet implemented a series of security operations, with support from the United States and other South American military governments, in which (according to the Rettig Report) around 3,000 suspected or known dissidents and leftists were killed, and (according to the Valech Report) around 30,000 more were tortured.[7][8] He later implemented economic reforms which his supporters credit with the development of the robust modern Chilean economy and his opponents identify with large increases in unemployment, poverty and decline in real wages, with little effect on longterm economic performance.[9][10][11]

At the time of his death in 2006, around 300 criminal charges in Chile were still pending against Pinochet for human rights abuses and embezzlement during his rule.[12] Pinochet remains a polarizing figure in many parts of the world, dividing people who condemn him for human rights abuses and for taking power from a democratically elected government, from those who credit him with stabilizing Chile and preventing a Communist takeover.[13][14]

Undoubtedly this needs to be cleaned up, to eliminate all POVs and falsehoods. I would like to point out just the most blatant ones to pave the way to a common ground:

a) Pinochet led a military junta to power in 1973, through a coup d'état. All credible sources agree that Pinochet (notwithstanding his own memoirs) was not a leader of the coup. If there were any real leaders, they were Admiral Merino and General Leigh. He was just forced to join the conspiracy two days before it happened, under threat of being superseded and pushed aside.
b) In 1974, Pinochet appointed himself President. That is not so. He was appointed by the Military Junta as a whole, under a joint decree. True, he participated of the junta, and true he may have forced the issue, but from that to appointing himself, there's a long way.
c) Stating that Chile was under siege by communist subversives, Pinochet implemented a series of security operations, with support from the United States and other South American military governments, in which (according to the Rettig Report) around 3,000 suspected or known dissidents and leftists were killed, and (according to the Valech Report) around 30,000 more were tortured. This definitely needs to be rewriten. It is mixing the events of the Condor Plan (supported by the US) with the internal crack-down on leftists within Chile (who was home-brew). This is disinformation at its best.
d) He later implemented economic reforms which his supporters credit with the development of the robust modern Chilean economy and his opponents identify with large increases in unemployment, poverty and decline in real wages, with little effect on longterm economic performance. Again, the man was no saint, but the supporters and opponents points of view on a technical matter is really irrelevant. What it should point out is the point of view of the international economic studies (of a technical nature) on the topic. On those studies, the consensus is that the present Chilean Economy is a direct result of the measures implemented during his tenure, and that overall, his economic management was sound. Mel Romero 02:31, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I'd encourage you to go on and write some draft here on the talk page of a) and b). However I think that c) and d) is sourced pretty well - Condor Plan was implemented in the Chile with some int. involvement and economic success is disputed. Please remember that you need good sources, otherwise others won't approve intro change.--Pethr 02:51, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
To User: Pethr. I think you missed the correction that I was trying to make in relation with point 3 (it was badly written anyway, so no surprise there.) I am NOT saying that there were no killings or tortures during the military government, or that the same happened under the Condor plan. What I am saying is that (at least for Chile) the figures indicated in the text are representative of the internal represion of leftist parties by the military, NOT to be confused with the people who suffered under Condor Plan, who in Chile were in the range of maybe 500. There is a need to be precise and separate both figures, because while Condor plan most certainly (though not conclusively) was supported by the US, the internal repression may have been condoned but was not supported. You may think this a moot point, but the objectives of both repressions were quite different. Condor plan was primarily an effort to stop leftist parties for undermining the status quo in Latin America, while Chile's internal repression was aimed at securing the military government AND expunging leftist ideologies from the country. One point that most everyone who handles this article seems willing to highlight is probably the single most controversial one: whether there was or not US support for the 1973 coup. As someone pointed out before, there's abundant information on how the US tried to bring down Allende and failed, but not a single document has emerged so far to even indicate that the 1973 coup had US (or foreign) support prior to its happening. That is why these differences must be kept in sight. On the economy I am sorry to be totally in disagreement with you. The only ones who dispute the economic success do so on political terms and not on technical ones. The best proof is that after 18 years of democratic governments (former opposition to Pinochet) his economic model continues to function virtually intact. Mel Romero 05:22, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Mel for elaborating more on this. As far as I know, internal crack down on leftish activists etc. was indeed part of Operation Condor. I've never read anything drawing line between those two. Condor was plan that was executed in some Latin American countries sometimes with international cooperation involved. This needs to be sourced well. I think that cited reports somewhat support my view but I don't want to study that right now. U.S. involvement is different matter. There is great doubt about U.S. involvement in the coup and this information has been repeatedly removed from article because of this. On the other hand there is evidence that U.S. contributed at least technically to the OC. There was also onetime payment to the Chilean chief of inteligence service which was downplayed as mistake and there are other things like Kissinger's (DOS/WH) approval of OC while slightly warning about human rights abuses at the same time. I agree that the U.S. role is sometimes exagerated but not in this case. The U.S. are implicated only when they should be. I don't know much about Chilean economic policy but please be careful with this. Generally I agree with you but there is a little more to all of it.--Pethr 22:14, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
I entirely agree with Mel Romero's points. This article is on a very controversial topic, and he should try to keep the introduction as POV-free and factual as possible. I propose the following:

Augusto José Ramón Pinochet Ugarte (25 November 191510 December 2006) was a general and President of Chile.

In 1973, Pinochet particioated in a coup d'état that deposed the democratically-elected Socialist President Salvador Allende and established a military junta. In 1974, the junta appointed Pinochet president by a joint decree. He remained in power until 1990.

Stating that Chile was under siege by communist subversives, Pinochet implemented a series of security operations in which (according to the Rettig Report) around 3,000 suspected or known dissidents and leftists were killed, and (according to the Valech Report) around 30,000 more were tortured. He later implemented economic reforms which are credited with the recovery from the hyperinflation which came during Allende's presidency and the development of the robust modern Chilean economy, although this is disputed by his opponents.

At the time of his death in 2006, around 300 criminal charges in Chile were still pending against Pinochet for alleged human rights abuses and embezzlement during his rule. Pinochet remains a polarizing figure in many parts of the world, dividing people who condemn him for human rights abuses and for taking power from a democratically elected government, from those who credit him with stabilizing Chile and preventing a Communist takeover.

Alright, now 5 questions:
1-why does it justify Pinochet in every bad action? (or reports such as Valech or Rettig recieve the bias treatment: "according to...", almost questionning the reports, when no one in Chile has ever dared questioning any of them seriously).
2-why are bad actions minimized to basic footnotes? (the rigg bank scandal, for example).
3-why is the united states not mentioned?, they provided much aid through the CIA.
4-what is this myth about the "communist takeover", the cold ended more than a decade ago, there is huge evidence that clearly shows that Allende at no point of his goverment ever planned any take over, with "Plan Z" now widely being regarded as a forgery (the document itself is just one page long).
5-pinochet was president?, its nice to see wikipedia siding with every pinochet supporter out there (nazis included), when it was all too clear that although the constitution he created, for the elections he rigged, sayd "president", he was a dictator.
The answer of course its as simple as that the article is not NPOV. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 16:55, 19 March 2007 (UTC).
Au contraire. What you are trying to do is give this article a pro-Allende and anti-Pinochet bias. The article is very neutral as it is. I will answer your objections one by one:
1. The only way to be NPOV is to write "according to" when we refer to any source, including the Valech and Rettig reports. It is a flat-out lie that nobody has questions the report, I can name more than a few people of the top of my head (of course, you'll dismiss them as crazy Nazi pinochetists). That people think the Valech and Rettig reports are not the complete truth means Wikipedia must, because of its NPOV policy, add "according to" when refering to the reports.
2. What you call "bad actions" are not minimized; there is ample coverage of the financial scandals and allegations throughout the article, including the introduction. Overexpanding on these "bad actions" is giving the article an anti-Pinochet bias.
3. The United States is mentioned extensively, even more so in the individual articles on the coup. What you are trying to do again is to give the article your own bias against Pinochet. I must point out the coup would've occured with or without CIA complicity given the widespread anger against Allende's policies.
4. The "myth" about the communist takeover is a legitimate point of view that many Chileans adhere to, including myself. Given the terrorist acts of far left groups such as the MIR, the declarations of the Socialist Party conventions which called for an armed struggle, the support by Castro for a takeover, the supprot by many left-wingers for a coup is good proof to me. One of the most important Chilean historians today, Gonzalo Vial, has compared the text of Plan Z (which is not one page long at all, more like 10 pages) to be most likely authentic, given that its strategies are very similar to the plans for a takeover by the Socialist Party, the MAPU, and the MIR.
5. Yes, Pinochet was a Chilean president whether you like it or not. The current government recognizes him as such, as we will go down in history as such. Wikipedia MUST be NPOV, so if we call Fidel Castro president we must call Pinochet president. Castro has never been democratically elected either. There is also no proof whatsoever that the 1980 plebiscite was rigged except for "nobody could support a dictator like Pinochet, he couldn't possibly have won, so it must be rigged". The polling agency CEP took surveys in the late 1980's where people were asked how they had voted in the 1980 plebiscite. The majority said they voted for the "Yes" option, and the survey results were very close to the official results of the plebiscite. Marmaduque 19:13, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Pinochet was president and he wasn't. The definition of president for Allende and his predecessors followed a pattern and definition. Pinochet did not come to power the same way, so that definition of president does not apply to him. Pinochet was president under the definition of president between 1974 and 1990 which only he held the title too. Then a third type came after 1990, very similar to pre 1973, which follows the legitimate understanding and definition of a president in a democracy as did the pre 1973 definition. The Pinochet definition of president was in fact a euphanism for dictator but he was in charge and called it what he wanted to. I think we can all agree on this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:18, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Economic Policy

It's bad style to continue writing Chicago Boys when the government, Pinochet, etc. could also be used. Also, the language of this section was heavily biased against Pinochet and misleading. We should avoid POV terms and phrases like "devastated" and "horrible economic policy" for example. Also, economic indicators and benchmarks mean nothing out of context. Understanding the economy of Chile before Pinochet is a prerequisite for understanding it under Pinochet. (JoeCarson 13:49, 2 February 2007 (UTC))

This is especially true, because of the ongoing controversy over the propriety of Pinochet's CIA-backed coup rests to a great degree on the economic performance of Allende's socialism vs. Pinochet's reforms. Cuba's health system is a similar benchmark, with fans and foes making contradictory claims. (See Healthcare in Cuba). --Uncle Ed 11:26, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

NPOV introduction?

In reading the introduction, I get the feeling that this article is very POV. Phrases like "saving Chile from the hands of international communism" and "communist subversives" could be considered subversive. I get the feeling that these are perhaps quotes and should be indicated as such. Due to the activity around this article, I have not added the {{NPOV}} tag. Should someone? 04:48, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree, that part of the intro sounds POV. We could just qualify it with, "Pinochet and his supporters believed Chile was under siege..."
(JoeCarson 14:26, 2 March 2007 (UTC))
In case you guys didn't notice someone rewrote the entire article in a specifically POV way. I've reverted it. - DNewhall 21:38, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
No, I did not notice that. Thanks for pointing it out.— 22:28, 3 March 2007 (UTC) (same as


Why wasn't this article included in the category of neo-Nazis? I read in the book "Is fascism dead of alive?" that Pinochet explicitly praised Hitler and Mein Kampf and other neo-fascist leaders like Le Pen are also fans of Pinochet.

He may have expressed praise for Hitler (I've never heard that) but his policies were quite different from the Nazis and other fascist groups.JoeCarson 14:06, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

not really, he killed and tortured many people, on a smaller scale and not jews/gypsies/gays/etc but just as brutal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:09, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

While I don't find it hard to believe that Pinochet would praise Hitler, the claim will require a source. No matter how much Pinochet disgusted me, we can't just take your word for it. So go on, give us a source, THEN we'll see what we can do about the "Neo Nazi" thing. 14:29, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Pinochet's Legacy

Not much credit is given to Pinochet on the economic level. The Economist which is no friend of Pinochet's has said that he was a brutal dictator but that many of his policies helped Chile's economy. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Opinion on Pinochet's economic policies is split. Many think that he helped the Chilean economy by making it business-friendly and efficient but many others think he hurt it by helping widen the divide between rich and poor and causing unemployment. - DNewhall 04:12, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
His reforms greatly benefited the élite of Chile and those whom they did business with, that's rather undisputed, but whether it trickled very far down is another story.

Pinochet and the Soviet Union

Did Chile sever relations with the U.S.S.R., or did the U.S.S.R. sever relations with Chile? 23:44, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

The USSR broke relations with Chile (as also did Cuba and the Eastern Block countries) before the end of September 1973. Probably, given more time, the break would have been initiated by the military government, but that is not certain since the military mantained diplomatic relations with China. --Mel Romero 06:16, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

k, thanks. Josh 22:11, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

economics section POV tag

I've added a POV tag to this section. This section should foremostly be a summary of material that is to be presented in Chile_under_Pinochet#Economy__and_Free_Market_reforms. What and when policies were enacted, some economic indicators, and some rudimentary discussion of how these policies were recieved, that is what to be added in this article. The current discussion on poverty, which I left in, is one-sided (doesn't even have page numbers), and probably more suitable for the main article. Intangible2.0 03:28, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Diactator Pinochet

Personally, I don't mind 'dictator' being added to the opening sentence (since AP was a dictator). However, Wikpedia clearly (in other dictator bio articles) chooses not to use the word. Why is this article being made the exception? What makes the Chilean example more prominant then other examples (of dictatorship)? Please, remove the 'word' OR add it to all the others. There can be no double-standard. GoodDay 23:19, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

I've brought my concerns to WPBPG, to see what the Project calls for. GoodDay 17:22, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
The vast consenus of the global and chilean media and the very definition of the word dictator make Pinochet a dictator, this point of view should be espressed in the article. All articles don't have to follow the same rules. IMHO i.e. Hugo Chávez is not a dictator, but i strongly believe it should be mentioned that some people chose to label him as such and why. All points of view should be included in wikipedia. Now having said that if those articles do not use the D word and this one does i am going to cite Wikipedia:Ignore all rules as rationale. 01:02, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Most pointedly Adolf Hitler doesn't have the 'D-word', if any bio article should (have the D-word) it's that one. GoodDay 15:47, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
I disagree, Adolf Hitler was elected in generally free elections.Cholga 18:35, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
He was ELECTED freely, but mantained his hold on power with dictatorial methods.
So that says to me that the Hitler article would most neutrally state, A.H. was a democratically elected president of Germany who later extended his rule through dictatorial methods or somthing such as that. But that is better decided by those interested in the AH article not here. This should be case by case and IMHO all people considered dictators should me mentioned as being so framed, by whom, when, and for what purpose. All persons widely considered dictators by the media and public opinion should also be duly noted, Internationally independant witnesses clearly have determined Pinochet was a dictator. It should be very clear, because President is an oversimplification. He did not become president in the same manner as his predecessor nor sucessor, so stating president is misleading. The definition of presidents before him and the new definition of presidents after him should be clarified from the type of President he was. That would be the most neutral. Sure there was one plebisite, who's ever heard of a president who is elected by one prebisite which is internationally critizied as being undemocratic. Even if most people chose him, they may have done so under fear or their votes may have been bought or scared into. The common layperson definition of president does not conform with Pinochet's acctions and therefore should be clarified in the opening statments that his rule was disimuilar to this. Not mentioning his regime as a dictatorship, even if this is reported as the opinion of an overwealming majority and not the neutral observation of wikipedia editors is necessisary because in this manner readers are not conditioned into thinking he was a freeley elected leader in the common perception of what a president and president of chile is/are/does. Does that make sense?CholgatalK! 00:27, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
AMEN!. Excuse me by me awful english, but I'm chilean and I can say that Augusto Pichochet Hiriart was a DICTATOR. He and his goverment violated human rights. --Lady Kya (talk) 13:35, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
All rulers should be introduced with their official titles. The article can subsequently add how they got into power and cite sources that proclaim him/her a "dictator" or whatever other unofficial title. I doubt your claim that "internationnaly independent witnesses" have proclaimed him a dictator, such claims are invariably made by leftist, leftist sympathizers, or people who just repeat what leftists have said without actually researching the matter on their own. Pinochet won two referendums. While the first admittedly did not allow for political campaigning, the second did and they results have never been challenged with actual evidence. The argument always seems to be "Pinochet couldn't possibly have won the election so me must have commited fraud." Also remember that the Chilean Chamber of Deputies, which represents the Chilean people, actualled called for the coup in 1973. So it would definitely be POV to immediately state Pinochet was a dictator. If you must, state that some consider him a dictator in the article or better yet the reader decide whether Pinochet was a dictator. Marmaduque 01:49, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Can you find a reliable source that says he was not a dictator? I've checked Microsoft Encarta, Columbia Encyclopedia, Britannica, and other encyclopedias and they all say he was a dictator, established a dictatorship, or something similiar. Wikipedia should not be any different than other real encyclopedias. Vints 13:08, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
A source which argues that Pinochet isn't a dictator is almost by definition an opinion piece and will not really serve as a "reliable source", therefore you are asking for something impossible. I can tell you that many very reliable sources DO NOT call Pinochet a dictator. See El Mercurio for example, the Chilean newspaper of record and much more reliable in this case then international encyclopedias. Check any neutral history book made in Chile, they will never refer to Pinochet as a dictator. Neutral Chilean sources are much better than international sources and much more suited to make this kind of judgements. Wikipedia should NOT strive to be exactly like Britannica or others, that is EXACTLY what makes Wikipedia unique. "Dictator" is a very loaded term that should NOT be used in any article unless it was the official title of a ruler. Let the reader decide for him or herself whether someone is a dictator. Marmaduque 21:12, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

They are many NPOV sources from a variety of supports which qualifies Pinochet as a dictator. They are no guidelines in Wikipedia prohibiting the use of this term. Henceforth, calling the examples of other articles only show that such arguments may be raised for any dictator, as all of them still find their supporters. However, if the distinction between a democracy and a dictatorship is to keep some sense in Wikipedia as in the real world, then I don't see how we can do without it. Tazmaniacs 12:00, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

To Marmaduque's argument that "dictator is a very loaded term that should NOT be used in any article unless it was the official title of a ruler", well, that is your argument and is not supported by any Wikipedia guidelines. Bring it to discuss in such a place; in the time being, "terrorist" is also a loaded term, but we correctly use it without problems for Hamas or Red Brigades. Tazmaniacs 12:02, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
The Wikipedia policy of NPOV supports my argument that these kind of loaded terms should not be used. Regarding terrorists, while it is admittedly a loaded term, is different because there are official lists of terrorist groups published by the United States and European governments. There is no such "list of dictators" compiled by an official source, and the Chilean government certainly does not call Pinochet a dictator but rather his official title of President and General of the Army. And if we are going to agree to label Pinochet a dictator, I demand that Fidel Castro, Adolf Hitler, Hugo Chávez, Francisco Franco, Carlos Ibáñez, Jorge Videla, Alberto Fujimori, Juan Velasco Alvarado, Pervez Musharraf, Bernardo O'Higgins, Alfredo Stroessner, Humberto de Alencar Castello Branco, Fulgencio Batista, Mao Zedong, Islom Karimov, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Idi Amin, Jean-Bédel Bokassa, Mobutu Sese Seko, Omar Bongo, Gnassingbé Eyadéma, Saddam Hussein, Mengistu Haile Mariam, etc., also be referred to as dictators in their article's introduction. It's only fair. Marmaduque 20:46, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
NPOV policy does not prohibit the distinction between a democracy & a dictatorship. His official title most certainly was President & General of the Army (after being head of the military junta), but he is also considered by scholarly sources and main-stream press, worldwide, as a dictator. If your only argument to not stating that Pinochet was a dictator, as supported by WP:RS, is that such a fact is not stated for other famous dictators, well you might start trying to find another line of argumentation. Please do add that Castro, Hitler, Franco, Videla, Zedong, etc. were dictators, including RS of course. Again, there is no policy excluding the term of "Dictator" from Wikipedia. Tazmaniacs 15:52, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Given the inherently POV nature of the word "dictator", why not opt for the simplest solution and let the reader dice whether Pinochet is a dictator? This is the solution most in line with Wikipedia's policy! Marmaduque 00:26, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Several Wikipedia bios already have the word "dictator" in the lead. With your way of arguing one could say, either remove all the occurances of the term on Wikipedia or add it to this article. Vints 06:46, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually, MOST of the biographies of dictators in Wikipedia don't use the word dictator. Just see the articles I mentioned above. The easiest solution is to delete that word from the small handful of articles that use it. Marmaduque 20:36, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
In the absence of any guidelines concerning the use of the term "dictator" in Wikipedia, you are not entitled to decide on yourself whether it is, or not, appropriate to use this word in Wikipedia. Since Pinochet is refered to as a dictator by historians, the BBC, CNN, the International Federation of Human Rights, La Nacion and El Pais, Wikipedia should call him what he is. It is not to the "reader to decide" if he was, or not, a dictator, since this is not a subjective appreciation, but an objective fact. A dictatorship is different from a democracy (thanks Captain Obvious!). Tazmaniacs 15:01, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

I have never stated a dictatorship is the same as a democracy. Wikipedia does have a NPOV policy and we should adhere to it as much as possible. That includes not using the word dictator unless that was the ruler's official title. The reader of the article can come to his own conclusions based on unbiased information. Why is that so difficult to understand? Why do you insist on imposing your own viewpoint on Pinochet? Dictator is an extremely loaded term and there will be conflicts in many other talk pages about whether to label someone as a dictator. Was O'Higgins a dictator? How about Mohammed Reza Pahlavi? Ayatollah Khamenei? Mikhail Gorbachov? Hugo Chávez? "Dictator" is almost always a subjective term. And I insist, why not opt for the simplest solution and let the reader decide? (BTW, La Nacion is the government newspaper, very biased it its reporting and far from a reliable source. It is very revealing that the two most respected newspapers in Chile, El Mercurio and La Tercera do NOT label Pinochet a dictator). Marmaduque 17:20, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

NPOV policy does not includes censorship of the word "dictator". Tazmaniacs 20:45, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
It has in every other article on Wikipedia about dictators, see Fidel Castro. Torturous Devastating Cudgel 20:49, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
So? There is no Wikipedia guideline censoring the use of this term. Tazmaniacs 20:50, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
For a long time, it was a word to avoid ... but tell me, if I were to change my mind, would you argue the same thing over on the Castro article? Just curious. Torturous Devastating Cudgel 20:56, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
TDC is right, in Wikipedia dictator is a word usually avoided. But Tazmaniacs does not seem to understand the huge edit fights that will occur if we decide to label people dictators. I mentioned a few examples above already. Is it worth the trouble when the simplest and most NPOV choice is not to go around calling people dictators? Let the readers form their own opinions! Marmaduque 23:20, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
First, the discussion here concerns Pinochet, not other dictators — and to satisfy your curiosity, TDC, yes, I would support calling Castro a dictator. The reason is simple: this issue is not a subjective one of "letting the reader form his opinion", as being a dictator is not subjected to different opinions. It is an objective fact, which can be measured according to various standards agreed upon by all political scientists. One can not at the same time, as Marmaduque does, argue that he recognizes the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship, and claim that the perception of what constitutes a dictatorship and what doesn't is something subjective. Suspending the Constitution, withholding reliable elections, establishing a military junta, detaining (and murdering) people without judgment is certainly not something you encounter in the United States or in West Germany. That's all the differences between a democracy and a dictatorship. It is not a left-right matter, as they are dictatorship which claims themselves socialists (Castro and "real socialism") and others that claim themselves anti-Communists. Tazmaniacs 16:05, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

You are ignoring the point. This article cannot be unique: if we label Pinochet a dictator, we must also label other dictators as such. And there WILL be huge edit fights that will never be resolved. Dictator is not an objective label. Was Abraham Lincoln, for example, a dictator for suspending habeas corpus? How about Bernardo O'Higgins, who exiled people who disagreed with him and never allowed free and fair elections? All of the 19th century Chilean presidents participated in large-scale electoral fraud and intervention and detained oponents. Will all of them be called dictators as well? Allende himself was accused by the Supreme Court, the Chamber of Deputies, and the Comptroller General of violating and ignoring the Constitution, he committed fraud in the 1973 parliamentary elections, and allowed his followers to attack, torture, and even kill his opponents. Sounds dictatorial to me. Detaining people without judgement was widespread in Chile before Pinochet, and even torture was occasionally committed by supposedly "democratic" authorities. The distinction between democracy and dictatorship is not as clear cut as you think it is, and label Pinochet a dictator will not only violate NPOV rules but create numerous, never-ending arguments in other talk pages. Marmaduque 17:50, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

I am not ignoring your argument. The simple fact is, if you want to discuss about the use of "dictator" in Wikipedia, the Talk page of Pinochet is not the place. A debate elsewhere has been lifted, and no consensus has been reached. Thus, there is no reason not to use the word, especially where it is appropriate, which includes this page. If you want to label other dictators as such, I fully agree with you — but this is not the place to argue about Bernardo O'Higgins, Abraham Lincoln or Salvador Allende. Nor about Fidel Castro, Mao or whoever you can think of. Tazmaniacs 19:53, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
I wonder about single use account which, over and over, delete exactly the same part of the lead. Maybe the user(s) should think about taking an account, it would be more helpful. Thank you, Tazmaniacs 19:56, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps one of those IPs could've been me forgetting to log in. I apologize for that. My point basically is that "dictator" is an extremely loaded term with very negative connotations, almost inherently POV, and that will create a very biased shadow over the rest of the article. In absence of a policy on the word, considering the NPOV rules and the fact that other loaded terms are mostly avoided, I think the label "dictator" should be completely avoided until a definitive Wikipedia policy is created. I agree, this is not the place to argue about the abovementioned potential dictators, but all I'm saying is that this article cannot be the exception, that other dictators will also need to be labeled as such if we decide to call Pinochet a dictator, and that the result will be never-ending discussions and edit fights. All of this can be easily avoided by letting the reader decide whether to consider someone a dictator. It's the simplest and most NPOV decision. Marmaduque 20:31, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Again and again, a dictatorship is not a subjective fact to let the reader decide upon, but an objective fact which can be ascertained, and, in the relevant case here, is ascertained by a number of sources. The "label 'dictator'" will be censored on Wikipedia if you succeed in having the majority of Wikipedians accept to issue such a policy. As of now, it is not the case. CQFD. Tazmaniacs 11:57, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
I disagree. Dictator is a subjective word, which is why articles like List of dictators have been deleted. I have given numerous examples above of rulers that do not neatly fit into the category of dictator. Wikipedia has censored NPOV terms such as terrorist. Dictator is equally NPOV and, unless it's an official title, it should not be used. Marmaduque 22:13, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. I consider George Bush a dictator, because he operates beyond any checks & balances, but Wikipedia isn't the place to call him one. It is a colorful word that doesn't belong here. Wikipedia is where we post facts that show that Bush and Pinochet were bad guys. I support Marmaduque in purging the word from this article, and not out of any feeling of love for the old bastard Pinochet. xod 00:21, 29 October 2007 (UTC)