The Pinochet Lineage



Ecuador, 1956-59


The Assult, 1986


London, 1998-2000



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The Ambush, September 7th 1986

(A video and interview with Pinochet can be seen below.)

On December 14th 1983 the left-radical group Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodriguez, FPMR, was heard of for the first time. It would later effectively be a militant branch of the Chilean communist party, Partido Comunista de Chile, PCCh. The incident was a bombing of the power system, that caused power outage more or less nationwide.

Los frentistas had named their organization after the liberty hero, lawyer and guerilla Manuel Rodríguez (1785-1818) who is a famous caracter in Chiles fight for liberty from Spanish colonization and has become an idol in guerilla warfare by according to rumour having been a master in disguising himself as a monk, a servant, a pesant and a woman. He is always portrayed dashins away on a horse clad in a cape. That image is in Chile a explanatory, mythological icon as recognizable as Chapling with his hat and cane, Elvis with his duck tail and che Guevara with his beret.

FPMR was fully organized like a common military organization with a board of directors consistion of twelve comandantes og which five were comandantes superiores. Under these comandantes were captains and lieutenants who were jefes de grandes zonas and people who had experience from armed conflict from such areas as som El Salvador and Nicaragua against Anastasio Somoza's (1925-1980) rule there. They were primarily trained in Cuba.[1]

By PCCh 1986 was designated el año decisivo, »the decicive year«. There was a plan in three stages. They would 1) escalate the political-social agitation, 2) kill Pinochet and 3) immediately after start an armed, popular uprision to bring the military regime to a halt. The two last stages should be be carried out in September of 1986.[2]

Weapons for this endeavour came into the country from May to August of 1986 in the town of Carrizal Bajo at the coast in the northern part of the country, some 500-600 kilometers to the North ofSantiago in the region Atacama, III Región. The area was suited in part by having a number of old, abandoned mines that could be used as caches.

For this purpose two companies were founded in 1985 as a cover for the activities, Cultivos Marinos Chungungo Limitada, a company for the cultivation of oysters, and Productos del Mar, a company in the business of seaweed.[3] Thus the activists had everything they needed to the smugling of weapons, fishing boats to sail the weapons from the Cuban cargo vessels to shore, vans with errands to Santiago and so forth.

The weapons came by ship from Cuba – one of them allegedly carried the name Río Najasa,[4] and we talk of three – some sources report of as many as six – shipments.[5] A fishing boat, Chompalhue was used to ship al least the first shipment to shore on May 23rd.[6] Another fishing boat was Astrid Sue that was used at the third shipment.[7] From there the weapons were taken away and distributed to manu small caches, one of which was discovered in March of 2002 in Malloco in the Southwestern part of Santiago and consisted of among others 104 M16-rifles, 33 other automatic rifles, four soviet anti-tank rockets, 400 detonators and 15.000 rounds.[8]

All in all some 80 tons of weapons are assumed to have been shipped in from Cuba; reports are rather identical on this. 53 tons were intercepted by security forces from CNI, Centro Nacional de Información. It happened on August 6th of 1986 in a large scale undertaking involving airplanes, helicopters etc.[9] About a acore of frentistas were arrested. All in all we are talking of some 3115 M16-rifles, 114 soviet RPG-7-anti-tank rockets, 167 Northamerican LOW-anti-tank rockets, 2000 handgrenades and 2 million rounds of ammunition.[10] By the way it is said that it was thanks to USA’s intelligence agencies – not CNI – that the operations were discovered.[11]

The Chilean lawyer and historian, Gonzalo Vial (1930-2009), who was minister of education in the military government from December of 1978 to December of 1979, writes in his biography of Pinochet as a commentary on this:
According to the government weapons for no less than 10 million UDS were intercepted in the year of 1986. [...] CIA’s activities against Allende pale in comparison.[12]
Pinochet's own account for the smuglings of weapons in his autobiography is in the chapter named Desde Cuba Con Amor – that is a play with words from the movie-keen dictator's hand of the Ian Fleming- og James Bond title From Russia With Love. In Pinochet's account the main part of the weapons, ammonition and explosives came from Russia and Bulgaria.[13] As far as the more than 3000 M16-rifles are concerned, they could be traced back to being abandoned weapons from Vietnam in the early 70’s.[14] That these weapons had taken the journey from Vietnam to Chile over such a period of time is by Pinochet a sign of the cooperation in the world wide communism as it was an organization and an infrastructure by far exeeding what the Chilean communist party could have mustered by it self. By the way he in the next chapter, De Russia Con Rencor, »From Russia with contempt« corrects and replaces the word »Russia« with »Soviet Union«, and makes due notice of it writing that he has the greatest admiration for the russian people and its culture and that it cannot be held responsible for the »soviet perversities«.[15]

In Pinochet's own book account is made for how the whole entreprise ultimately was run from Havanna in Cuba by a soviet-cuban general staff.[16]

A part of the preparations was an infiltration of the army. In an article in La Nación by the journalist etc. Miguel Paz on December 17th 2006 – the week after Pinochet's death is describes how one of los rodriguistas - Rodrigo Rodríguez Otero, »Jorge« – worked on the preparations for the ambush.[17] Rodrigo had following the coup escaped to Cuba in 1975 where his family lived close to the head quarter of the Cuban communist party. He studied engineering at Universidad de La Habana.

By FPMR a group was appointed to get intelligence on Pinochet and to find the best way possible to carry out the assassination. Rodrigo who was 23 years old became a member of this group. Initially the went to the library Biblioteca Nacional in Santiago and searched all newspapers in the archives for information on Pinochet's whereabouts and doings. Rodrigo too enrolled at a gym in town where many officers in the army and cadets from Escuela Militar went to exercise. He chatted with them and won their confidence.[18] It even got so far that he got to become a member of a parachute club with them. In this way he got a lot of useful information handy for the planning of the ambush.

The conclusion was that an ambush was proposed from the same mold as the succesfull ambush against the Franco regimes head of government Luis Carrero Blanco (1904-1973) in Spanien in 1973 carried out by the Basque seperatist movement ETA. At that operation a large amount og explosives were dug under a street and at the explosion Carrero Blanco's car was sent over a 5 or 6 story building. Los frentistas bought a house in Vizcachas at the road along the river Maipo strechning from Santiago and Pinochet's weekend residence in El Melocotón and dug a 18 meters long tunnel from the house reaching to beneath the road to place explosives there and thus blast el Tirano – The Tyrant – when he drove by. After the CNI action on August 6th that plan was abandoned the following day.[19] It was partly done in concideration of the high velocity the presidential motorcade moved at.

A new plan was to attack the motorcade in an ambush with firearmks, anti-tank rockets and hand grenades.

The head of this operation was José Valenzuela Levi (1958-1987). He was born in Santiago but raised in the US with his mother. Back in Chile he had gone to the exclusive, english-language upper secondary school Nido de Aguilas. After the coup in 1973 he fled Chile with his family to Eastern Germany where he got military training like he did in Bulgaria and later in Cuba. In 1982 he went to Nicaragus to fight on Sandinist side there. Levi was killed in the CNI action Operación Albania together witn 11 other rodriguistas in June of 1987.

There is accounts of the preparations for the action on an »unofficial History of FPMR« written as a blog on the internettet, Historia No Oficial Del Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez. It is written anonymously but without a doubt contains a lot of true information and accounts on FPMR activity.[20] According to this blog those who should participate in the action were physically trained in Santiago's Parque O'Higgins – Santiago's answer to New York's Central Park – for months to be physically fit on the day. And they even did so simultaneously with the army preparing for the annual parade in the park on September 19th in memory of Chile's declaration of independence on September 18th of 1810. »Ramiro«, Mauricio Hernández Norambuena (b. 1958) was in charge of the excercise. He later – in 2001 – participated in a 53 day kidnapping of Brazilian businessman Washington Olivetto (b. 1952) and is now incarcerated for 30 years in Brazil's most secure prison, Penitenciária Federal de Catanduvas meeting the Supermax standard.

The score of activists to carry out the ambush were only few days in advance told exactly what they had really trained for, what mission they should carry out. Thus for example a Víctor Díaz Caro, »Alonso« (b. 1958) was asked by »Ramiro« on August 28th in the streets of Santiago's metro, what he would think of being in an action with »95 % chance of not getting away alive.« Victor Díaz Caro describes this in an extended text – Relato de nu combatiente – on his participation in the ambush på FPMR’s official home page.[21]

Originally the ambush was planned to happen on Sunday, August 31st of 1986, but the groups waited in vain. The same day Chiles former president from 1958-1964, Jorge Alessandri Rodríguez (1896-1986), died in Santiago, and therefore Pinochet left El Melocotón earlier that expected that day. Jorge Alessandri by the way was the son of Arturo Alessandri Palma (1868-1950), who was president for two or three terms in the 1920's and 1930's, leaving office in September 1924 due to a military takeover that on it's side led to another military takeover leading to the reinstating of Alessandri in March of 1925.

A new date was set, namely the following Sunday, September 7th 1986 that finally ended up being the day for the execution of Operación Siglo XX, »Operation Twentiety Centuty«. The venue was still as planned a place called El Mirador, about halfways on the 50-60 kilometer route betwween El Melocotón and Santiago.

In connection to the estate at El Melocotón the following by the way can be said:

Al lot of explanations on Pinochet's fortune and more that 100 secret bank accounts in foreign banks have been launched. Drug trafficing, kickbacks from arms deals, 9 tons of gold deposited at the British bank HSBC's branch in Hong Kong and a lot more that has far from all been proven factual. In a book on the Pinochet family, La familia – Historia Privada de los Pinochet, published in 2009, the focus is almost solely on real estate deals as the source of the fortune. Some of them suspect. In the chapter in the book on these issues, Pasión Inmobiliaria, »Passion For Real Estate«, is written:
... the most scandalous of the familys real estate deals was the buying of El Melocotón. In 1981 Pinochet secretly aquired the estate. As the president of the republic he issued a decree that the Ministry of Public Works should buy the lots at the base of the mountains at Cajón de Maipo. Six months later a similar document was issued, that the ministry should sell these lots at one tenths of the initial value.[22]
It is furthermore told that the original owners of the nine lots were forced to sell before it came to expropriation of the properties. In six months a large building was raised on the lot. The house like most og Pinochet's houses featured a large, private library – he was very well-read and had large collections of books and for instance always bought books on his trips to London in the 1990's.

According to the book an expert in law in 2002 estimated the property at a value of 654 million pesos which at the exchange rates at the time equalled some 3.6 millions UDS.[23]

Vial in his biography on Pinochet writes that FPMR from January of 1986 until the ambush on Pinochet already had killed 3 and injured 79 in other actions.[24]

It is reported how los rodriguistas with anxiety though with defiance of death passed time having a table tennis tournament, listening to music and rehearing Salvador Allende's last, radio transmitted speech from September 11th 1973. One passage from this final speech being quoted a number of times is:
Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail. Go forward knowing that, sooner rather than later, the great avenues will open again and free men will walk through them to construct a better society. [25]
The 19 frentistas were split into four groups.

One group had as it's task using a Peugeot van pulling a caravan to block the road in front of the motorcade. This group was called Contención y Choque, »Blocking and Shock«. In this group was the above mentioned »Jorge«.

Two groups were designated to firing at the cars, Grupo de Asalto No 1 and Grupo de Asalto No 2. In the latter group was the above mentioned »Ramiro« and also »Rodrigo«, who does not figure in Pinochet's book. It is also said in the unofficial FPMR blog that he simply was never identified.

Finally the group Grupo de Retaguardia that by means of a Toyota Hilux should block behind the motorcade so that the cars could not escape in that direction.

The four groups are in some books and texts called Grupo 501, Grupo 502, Grupo 503, and Grupo 504. They were armed with submashine guns, anti-tank rockets and hand grenades.

Gonzalo Vial – being the only skilled historian to depict the ambush – has Pinochet sitting in the rearmost of the two armoured Mercedes Benz’s in the motorcade of two motorcycles and five cars.[26] Pinochet himself and all others has him sitting in the front car.[27] In and by itself an insignificant piece of trivia but nevertheless a flagrant discrepancy making it a classical text book example in historical source criticism and therefore it is mentioned here. Pinochet actually was present as it happened etc., etc.

Similarily: Pinochet has his own grandson, Rodrigo Pinochet (b. 1976) being nine years old at the time of the event.[27b] Vial has him being ten years old.[27c] In this case Vial is actually correct, as Rodrigo García Pinochet was born on January 7th 1976 and thus was more that ten and a half years old on the day of the ambush. These may seem very trivial and unimportant discrepancies but are all the more able to demonstrate the problems facing anyone trying to depict what happened in the past.

Rodrigo Pinochet is the son of Pinochet's oldest child, the daughter Lucía Pinochet Hiriart (b. 1943). As of 2009 she is in the city council in the wealthy part og Santiago Vitacura. Rodrigo García Pinochet has written a number og books on politics, The Riggs Case against his grandfather and on the ambush on September 7th 1986. In 2009 he ran for congress as an independent candidate in a constituency in the most wealthy part of Santiago, but failed to be elected.

Pinochet in his autobiography makes it clear that his recollection of the the events that day are supported by testimony from el terrorista Juan Moreno Avila, »Sacha« who was captured as the first a couple of weeks after the assasination.

Anyhow, the motorcade that left El Melocotón in the evening of Sunday headed for Santiago was spearheaden by two carabiñeros on motorcycles.

As the next vehicle in the motorcade was a Chevrolet Opala with four carabiñeros inside.

The next car was the grey, armoured Mercedes Benz with corporal Oscar Carvajal Nuñez being the driver, commander Pedro Arrieta Gurruchaga and Pinochet and his grandson on the backseat.

The third car was a grey Ford LTD with plainclothes army personel.

The fourth car was a beige, armoured Mercedes almost identical to the one Pinochet was in. It also had dark, bulletproof windows. A doctor, Domingo Videla Troncoso, was in this car. As of 2009 he is a doctor at Hospital Militar de Santiago where by the way Pinochet died in 2006. in 1996 the hospital opened up to treating civilians without any connection to the army.

The rearmost car was yet another Ford LTD carrying uniformed soldiers from the army.

The order of the cars by the way was due to security conciderations altered from time to time the presidential motorcade was on the move.

About a quarter to seven the motorcade reached El Mirador and Grupo 501 moved the Peugeot hauling the caravan trailer across the road and blocked the road. Fire was opened on the two motorcyclists who were not hit. one could continue; the other went off the road and got minor injuries.

The Opala was immediately hit by a anti-tank rocket. It caught fire and »exploded like in a movie«.[28] Corporal Pablo Silva Pizarro in this car died. The three others were severely wounded.

Pinochet's Mercedes was hit by 24 rounds of caliber 5,56 millimeter, 4 rounds of caliber 7,62 millimeter and three North American M-72 LAW anti-tank rockets that did NOT detonate. This 66 millimeter weapon weighs about 2½ kilograms. Below on this page is a video clip showing the firing, impact and effect of this weapon, that is when it detonates.

The grey Ford LTD carrying the plainclothes soldiers from the army was hit by 13 rounds and caught fire. Corporal Cardenio Hernández Cubillos and sergeant Gerardo Rebolledo Cisterna from this car died.

The other armoured Mercedes was hit by various shots without being damages to any much of an extend and it was able to go on without any problems.

The rearmost Ford LDT was hit by 12 rounds and an anti-tank rocket. Corporal Roberto Rosales Martínez and sergeant Miguel Guerroro Guzmán from this car were killed.

»Alonso« writes in his account of the attack on FPMR's home page that he and the other rodriguistas were:
 ... warriors by the people armed not only with guns but with a revolutionary consciousness ...[29]
A pretty good testimony on their marxist-revolutionary thinking.

The two Mercedes's were able to turn around, pass the Grupo 504's blockade consisting of a blue Toyota Hilux pesonel carrier and drive the 30 kilometers back to El Melocotón.

Several writers on the incident – Pinochet too – point to the young chauffeur in Pinochet's car, corporal Oscar Carvajal Nuñez, for his excellent driving away from the scene of the ambush. With dazzling manoeuvres, quick reflexes and coldbloodedness he drove up a slope round the blocking Hilux. The other Mercedes followed suit.

Los rodriguistas left the scene at high velocity and put rotating lights on the cars to imitate CNI cars in this kind of situation.[30]

Immediately on arrival at El Melocotón Pinochet made some phone calls to various people in the armed forces to make sure the ambush was not carried out by people from army ranks. Santiago was put in a state of siege for three months.

In a declassified intelligence document from November 1986, declassified July 2000, from Directorate of Intelligence, an umbrella organisation for all US intelligence organisations, is said on the murder on Carasco that:
Paramilitary forces associated with the Chilean security forces probably are responsible for the killings.[31]
But: In 2007 14 former CNI agents were convicted for these murders 21 years earlier.[32]

Pinochet also saw to that he soon appeared on the nationwide, state TV channel TVN, where with his hand wrapped in after some superficial scratches from broken glass, the only injury he got apart from a slightly wounded knee. The clip can be seen below in this page. With his caracteristic high picthed, fragile voice he totally composed explained about the attack and showed his damaged Mercedes Benz in front of the camera. The 70 year old Pinochet appears collected and very little affected by what had happened. In a psychology report made during his detention in London fron 1998 to 2000 – it is represented on this site – there is reference to the fact that this man really was capable of handling extreme stress. He flew to Santiago with a helicopter on Monday morning and met as usual for the days work in La Moneda in Santiago at 9 in the morning, exchanged formal remarks with his chief of staff and asked about HIS wellbeing. Nevertheless Vial writes that Pinochet following the assassination attempt valued family life and his private hours more.[33]

FPMR's board of directors saw the TV broadcast with Pinochet at a meeting in Las Condes, a wealthy part of Santiago. Most of them knew nothing in advance about the attack at all or for that matter that it had taken place, or that an attack was to take place. The preparations had been kept secret even within their own organization to minimize the risc of infiltration.[34]

All the while Cuba's leader, Fidel Castro, was in Beograd in Yugoslavia where he got the news of the failed assassination. According to sources close to Castro the following day he was:
... obsesed with the thought of killing. He repeated it again and again without halt. It was something that was spoken of quite a lot in Cuban intelligence circles.[35]
Pinochet's comments in his autobiography on the failed attempt on his life are the comments of a soldier. He has som considerations with regard to the terrain. He ridicules los frentistas for after more than a year of preparation and such superior firepower to have failed the mission's objective by a wide margin. He also comments on the choice of the North American LAW anti-tank rockets in stead of Soviet RPG-7's.

All things taken into consideration, Pinochet writes, no one in the motorcade ought to have survived, but everyone and everything anihilated. He writes, that »en términos tecnicos, frios y objectivos« – »i technical terms, cold and objective«, is should be attributed to the imcompetence of the gunners.[36] Also for not trying to hit the Mercedes from ahead because the radiator etc. makes such a car least armoured there.

Furthermore he attacks his opponents in this Guerra Irregular, »Irregular Was«, which is running as a red thread through his autobiography for fighting cowardishly. This without even comtemplating on the methods of his own organization in the conflict.

On Valenzuela Levi and other members of FPMR he writes that they had »capitalistic tastes, communist training«, and that they ...
... had nothing to do with »the people« – the common populace – and it's worries, it's needs, it's conviction, it's joys and sorrows. Nevertheless they were ready to kill in the name of this people.[37]
On the way to El Melocotón Pinochet purportedly saw in the window of the car Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro, »Our Lady of Perpetual Help«, one of the Holy Virgin's maby titles. Pinochet writes that he himself was inclined to attribute it to the strong emotion after having survived and especially after the grandchild had survived. But, he adds: He was supported in the experience by others who had experienced the same.[38]

A memorial for the five dead soldiers was built and is still at the roadside on the site where the ambush took place.

In the »uofficial FPMR history« there is time for self-examination and examination into the causes of the failed ambush. It is said that is was a mistake to start out shooting at the motorcade with the M16's and then the anti-tank rockets; it should have been in the reverse order. From more sides comes a harsh critique of the decision to use tne North American LAW's instead of the soviet RPG-7's. Alledgedly it was a last-minute decicion from above, and the men, who should carry out the ambush thus were not accustomed to there 66 millimeter LAW's; they had trained with the RPG7's. The North American LAW's – though a newer construction – were for example more demanding with regard to maintainance. The question is raised whether the M72 LAW's were fired at a too short distance (a minimum of 10 meters is required) and therefore did not detonate when hitting Pinochet's car.[39]

Juan Moreno Avila, »Sacha«, was arrested on October 21st. It is not specified wether or not he was tortured. Anyhow four other frentistas were arrested shortly after in Parque O’Higgins, while working out due to the interrogation of him. Other arrests followed. But a lot of the participants in the ambush and in the organization behind succeeded in getting out of the country across the border to Argentina, carefully dressed as dauntless students. To show his nerve »Rodrigo« managed to get a totally unaware carabiñero at the border to pose for a photography with Héctor Maturana Urzúa, »Javier«. The Photo is shown below on this page. Los Rodriguistas were distributed to the various countries of Eastern Block, and many of them passes Moscow and ended up as participants in the conflict in Nicaragua.[40]

Fernando Torres Silva, Judge Advocate General in the Chilean army and a close legal advisor to Pinochet during the military regime, headed the investigation of the ambush as of the arm trafficing to Carrizal Bajo. He was also known under the moniker el Fiscal de Hierro, »The iron Prosecutor«, and was later prosecuted for some of his brutal doings under Pinochet. He by the way made a bad name for himself in the late 1990's by going to Madrid and having a meeting with Spanish judge Manuel García Castellón (b. 1952) concerning Spanish judicial proceedings towards Pinochet. This unintendedly had the effect of being on Torres's side a recognition of Spanish jurisdiction with regard to Pinochet; an error that Torres later admitted.

As far as CNI's investigation as a whole is concerned, they don't get much credit from Gonzalo Vial. For example he writes:
CNI, to tell the truth, was an organization characterized byt it's terror and circus, by wickedness and incompetence. It's »strong men«, the mid-level managers lived extravagant lives whti alchohol and hight life in restaurants and at Santiago's parties – a lot of them, though not all, were into prostitution and drugs ...[41]
As far as FPMR's position on the militant left is concerned, a declassified CIA-document dated October 1st 1986, declassified in July of 2000 as a concequence of the case against Pinochet in London, reads:
This Pascal Allende (b. 1945) is Salvador Allendes's nephew, son of his daughter. He was cofounder of MIR in 1965 and lives as of 2009 in Cuba and supposedly works at the state run tourist bureau in Havanna after many years there.

A number of activists were imprisoned and sentenced to death. However, these death penalties were never executed. In the penetentiary in the street General Mackenna in Santiago 24 members of FPMR, PCCh and a communist youth movement worked for 18 months digging a tunnel out of prison. In a very well organized effort dubbed Operación Éxito, »Operation Exit« involving a lot of Gyro Gearloose-type of inventions like at walkman altered for radio communication in the tunnel at 60 meter tunnel was dug below surface, leading out of prison. On the night after January 29th 1990 the jail break became reality. The 24, who had worked on the tunnel crept out first. Thereafter other prisoners were free to use the tunnel. 25 did. Out of all together 49 escaped prisoners only 9 were caught.[43]

A CIA document of January 31st 1990, declassified in July of 2000, reads:
Víctor Díaz Caro is the one who in this chapter is referred to as »Alonso«.

The jail break happened only six weeks before Pinochet resigned as head of state and Patricio Aylwin (b. 1918) took over as democratically elected president.

In the danish press the coverage of the ambush immediately after a César Bunster Ariztía (b. 1958) was the big name from FPMR as he was also he most wanted in Fernando Torres Silva's investigation.[45] César Bunster was the son of Álvaro Bunster, who had been the ambassador of Chile in the UK under Salvador Allende's UP-government in the early 1970's. César Bunster is a sociologist graduated from Birmingham in 1982. He was the only one who in the preparations for the ambush operated under his real name, and he arranged the rental of an appartment and some cars among them a Toyota Landcruiser for use in the ambush. However he was never caught though he never left Chile much at that. He took his half brothers identity and thus lived as Pablo Enrique Miriel Ariztía. However, when that half brother died in Sweden in 2004, where he had lived all along, César Bunster had to reveal his real identity. With his half brothers identity he had lived in Chile in part as one of the nations leading translators between spanish and english. Also as an interpreter; in 2000 he ironically worked as an interpreter for Lord Lamont (b. 1942), when he was in Chile to lobby for the release of Pinochet during his capture in London. By 2009 César Bunster ran for mayor in Puente Alto, a populous municipality just to the East of Santiago. He did so for the coalition Juntos Podemos Más, a coalition of left wing parties, among them the communist party, PCCh.[46]

From practicly all sides the failed ambush is assessed a both tactical and strategical own goal for both the FPMR and the PCCh. In part it led to the break-up of FPMR and PCCh. In a CIA document of July 22nd 1987, declassified in Juni of 2000, is said of one of their informants – his name is blackened in the published version:
In part it lead to the PCCh being totally and utterly cut off from any participation in the democratic opposition, for example by the cristian democrats, Partido Demócrata Cristiano, PDC.[48] A Spanish, socialist author, whom Pinochet quotes in his biography, writes about exactly this aspect.[49] There was in those years moves towards a normalization of political conditions in the country, and the process leading to this state of political life was an arm wrestle with Pinochet on the exact constitutioinal line in this regard. Any connection to FPMR and PCCh was therefore totally unwanted for people and organizations that seriously wanted influence in this proces.

In a declassified memorandum from Directorate of Intelligence from August 1987, declassified in July 2000, is written on the immediate political reactions to the failed assassination the previous year:
The military and several conservative groups quickly rallied behind Pinochet, who responded to the assassination attempt by reimposing the state of siege and cracking down on the moderate opposition. He also reiterated his determination not to change "one word" of the constitution – including its provisions allowing him to run for reelection in a presidential plebicite.
... the moderate opposition remains divided over how to respond to Pinochet's recent initiatives but has gained greater credibility since mid-1986 by persistingly denouncing Communist violence and refusing to cooperate with the PCCh and other far left groups in antiregime activities. In short, the Chilean political scene remains as complex as ever, and political activity is bound to accelerate as the time approaches – by the end of 1988 as the latest – for a final decision on whether Pinochet will be neminated for the presidential plebiscite or another formula will be used to select the next chief of state. [50]
On the greater strategical situation, as it was believed to have been seen from Moscow and Havanna, is written in an Intelligence Assessment also from Directorate of Intelligence the month later, in September 1987 under the headline »Soviet and Cuban support to Chilean opposition«:
Both the USSR and Cuba consider the Chilean Communist Party (PCCh), for many years the Latin American Communist party closest to Moscow, to be the most important Chilean leftist opposition party. They are seeking to position the party to emerge as the dominant group within the sucessor government.
The USSR, Cuba, and their allies have together or individually provided guidance, funding, training, and other assistance not only to the PCCh but also variously to the PCCh's terrorist allly, the Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front; the Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR); and the Almeyda faction of the Chilean Socialist Party.
Soviet and Cuban aproaches to revolution in Chile vary. Moscow's most imortant objective is to guarantee that the PCCh will someday govern Chile – as the immediate successor to Pinochet, if possible. [...] Soviet, academic literature makes it clear that Moscow is, in fact, hostile to the radical MIR for pursuing policies that undermined Salvador Allende's presidency.
Havanna, by contrast, is primarily concerned that Pinochet be driven out of office and works with a range og parties to achieve his objective.[51]
This passage is rendered here in part to display the extend and caracter of Soviet and Cuban involvement in Chile and in part to display how unrealistic the perceptions in Moscow and Havanna were concerning their possibilities were, as this intelligence report must be seen as having a fairly realistic assessment of the thoughts in Moscow and Havanna.

Pinochet, in his autobiography, writes in conclusion about the whole incident:
We were gratefull to God to have come out of this treacherous crime alive. History would shortly after pass its judgement on soviet communism with the fall of the Berlin Wall that finally led to the lowering of the flag with its hammer and sickle from the communist party's building in the Kremlin.

And great was the joy when years later the crisis led to the breakdown of the Soviet Union

[1]  Vial, Gonzalo, Pinochet. La Biografía. 2002, p. 535

[2]  Vial, Gonzalo, Pinochet. La Biografía. 2002, p. 534-535

[3]  El “Año Decisivo”, La Nacion, December 31st, 2006

[4]  Vial, Gonzalo, Pinochet. La Biografía. 2002, p. 538

[5]  Vial, Gonzalo, Pinochet. La Biografía. 2002, p. 538

[6]  El “Año Decisivo”, La Nacion, December 31st, 2006

[7]  Pinochet, Augusto, El Camino Recorrido, t 3, vol ii, p. 56

[8]  Vial, Gonzalo, Pinochet. La Biografía. 2002, p. 539

[9]  El “Año Decisivo”, La Nacion, December 31st, 2006

[10]  Vial, Gonzalo, Pinochet. La Biografía. 2002, p. 539

[11]  El “Año Decisivo”, La Nacion, December 31st, 2006

[12]  Vial, Gonzalo, Pinochet. La Biografía. 2002, p. 540

[13]  Pinochet, Augusto El Camino Recorrido, t 3, vol ii, p. 53

[14]  Pinochet, Augusto El Camino Recorrido, t 3, vol ii, p. 58

[15]  Pinochet, Augusto, El Camino Recorrido, t 3, vol ii, p. 63

[16]  Pinochet, Augusto El Camino Recorrido, t 3, vol ii, p. 57 og 63

[17]  El “Año Decisivo”, La Nación, December 31st, 2006

[18]  El hombre al que llamaban Tarzán, La Nación, December 17th, 2006

[19]  El “Año Decisivo”, La Nación, December 31st, 2006

[20]  Historia No Oficial Del Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez,, visited July 2009

[21]  Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez – Relato de un combatiente,, visited July 2009

[22]  Farfán, Claudia og Vega, Fernando, La familia – Historia privada de los Pinochet, 2009, p. 143

[23]  Farfán, Claudia og Vega, Fernando, La familia – Historia privada de los Pinochet, 2009, p. 144

[24]  Vial, Gonzalo, Pinochet. La Biografía. 2002, p. 542

[25]  Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez – Relato de un combatiente,, visited July 2009

[26]  Vial, Gonzalo, Pinochet. La Biografía. 2002, p. 542

[27]  Pinochet, Augusto, El Camino Recorrido, t 3, vol ii, p. 68+70

[27b]  Pinochet, Augusto, El Camino Recorrido, t 3, vol ii, p. 68

[27c]  Vial, Gonzalo, Pinochet. La Biografía. 2002, p. 542

[28]  Vial, Gonzalo, Pinochet. La Biografía. 2002, p. 543

[29]  Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez Relato de un combatiente,, visited July 2009

[30]  Historia No Oficial Del Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez,, visited July 2009

[31]  FPMR ATTEMPTS ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT PINOCHET, Chile Declassification Project,, visited July 2009

[32]  Condenan a 14 ex agentes de la CNI por crimen de José Carrasco Tapia, El Mercurio, 28/12 2007

[33]  Vial, Gonzalo, Pinochet. La Biografía. 2002, p. 545

[34]  Historia No Oficial Del Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez,, visited July 2009

[35]  Historia No Oficial Del Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez,, visited July 2009

[36]  Pinochet, Augusto, El Camino Recorrido, t 3, vol ii, p. 71

[37]  Pinochet, Augusto, El Camino Recorrido, t 3, vol ii, p. 66

[38]  Vial, Gonzalo, Pinochet. La Biografía. 2002, p. 544-545

[39]  Historia No Oficial Del Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez,, visited July 2009

[40]  Historia No Oficial Del Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez,, visited July 2009

[41]  Vial, Gonzalo, Pinochet. La Biografía. 2002, p. 548

[42]  Chile Declassification Project,, visited July 2009

[43]  Political Prisoners Tunnel to Freedom from Chile Jail, Los Angeles Times, 30/1 1990 og Historia No Oficial Del Frente Patriótico Manuel Rodríguez,, visited July 2009

[44]  Chile Declassification Project,, visited July 2009

[45]  Klapjagt i Chile, Politiken, September 11th, 1986

[46]  César Bunster, el frentista del atentado a Pinochet, postula a alcalde de Puente Alto, El Mercurío, 31/7 2008 og, visited July 2009 and, visited July 2009

[47]  Chile Declassification Project,, visited July 2009

[48]  El “Año Decisivo”, La Nación, December 31st, 2006

[49]  Pinochet, Augusto, El Camino Recorrido, t 3, vol ii, p. 64

[50]  Chile Declassification Project,, visited July 2009

[51]  Chile Declassification Project,, visited July 2009

[52]  Pinochet, Augusto, El Camino Recorrido, t 3, vol ii 3, p. 74


Atentado al Presidente Pinochet

This undated TV-clip published on Youtube contains mentioning of the trafficing of weapons to Carrizal Bajo, reenactments of the ambush and a display of the cars in the presidential motorcade after the ambush:

TVN-broadcast, September 7th 1986

This undated TV-clip published on Youtube contains exerpts from the interview with Pinochet on the national, nationwide TVN in the evening after the ambush September 7th 1986:

M-72 LAW

This video clip published on Youtube shows the firing, impact and effect of an M-72 LAW, the kind of weapon that failed decisively in the ambush against Pinochet:

»The Audacious photo of Maturana Urzúa«

La audaz foto de Maturana Urzúa – This is the photo referred to in the text, that »Rodrigo« took of »Javier« with a carabiñero, minutes before entering Argentina: