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Monday, December 11, 2006

The Life and Death of Augusto Pinochet

His full name is a mouthful, yet flows well off the tongue: Augusto Jose Ramon Pinochet Ugarte. General Pinochet led a military overthrow of democratically elected President Salvador Allende in 1973. In an interesting twist, it was President Allende, who one month earlier, appointed Pinochet as Army Commander in Chief. They were Masonic Brothers in the same Lodge. The day prior to his promotion, the Chilean Parliament voted on a resolution to remove President Allende from office, stating violations of the Constitution as the reason. Allende died before being captured in the coup, and it is unclear whether he committed suicide as an autopsy was not completed until 1990.

Years of deregulation and privatization followed, as Pinochet released his new economic policies. It was his vision to build a Chile of free enterprise and economic growth. Since the late 1980's Chile has seen that economic growth take place. Of course, a military coup is hardly a peaceful take over. Shortly after taking power, a military Junta took control and a blood bath of slaughtering those who opposed the ideas of the new military dictatorship soon followed. Over 2000 deaths are attributed to this political cleansing, and many more fled the country to escape the new regime. In a recent New York Times article on his death, it was stated that 3200 were killed or disappeared and tens of thousands were tortured, detained or exiled.

Prior to his coming into power, Chile had a strong democratic tradition. In fact, many resigned their posts (later to die mysteriously or violently) rather than oppose the democratic system. The United States approved of Pinochet and gave approval and material support to the coup. The exact extent of which is not known.

In 1990, Pinochet relinquished control of Chile over to Patricio Aylwin, the newly elected President. However, his stint as President had it's perks. He was later sworn as Senator-for-Life, which gave him immunity from prosecution. In an odd twist, a trip to see health specialists in the United Kingdom ended in his arrest on an international arrest warrant issued in Spain for human rights violations. In 2002, he resigned as Senator amidst claims that he was not healthy enough to stand trial.

To his own people, he is a figure who inspires strong feelings on all sides. His supporters say he brought about changes for a free market system, economic growth and staved off communism. Those who opposed him say that he disassembled the democratic process, and tortured and persecuted those with differing views.

This past November 25th, on Pinochet's 91st birthday he released a statement: "Today, near the end of my days, I want to say that I harbour no rancour against anybody, that I love my fatherland above all. ... I take political responsibility for everything that was done."

On December 3, 2006, Pinochet had a heart attack and seemed to be recovering, however, his health took a down turn and he passed away 7 days later. His death is surrounded much the same way his life had been: full of controversy. His own government touts his praises, while the White House apologized for his behavior.

Shortly after his death was announced, in Santiago, Chile, police were using tear gas and water cannons to subdue a crowd of over 6000, heading for the Presidential Palace. Along a 10 block stretch, protesters threw rocks, chanted, and sowed a good bit of havoc on the streets.

Pinochet was born November 25, 1915 at 7:30pm in Santiago Chile. The first thing that struck me when looking at his chart was that he has three Grand Trines. Two in water and one in fire. Grand Trines are things that come easy to us, and so we tend not to fully develop that potential in them. Take as an example someone who has a "natural talent" as an artist. They can whip out a master piece in no time flat with little to no effort. Usually these people never feel challenged enough, so the don't truly apply their potential into a segued success. However, the student of art who has "natural talent", yet still has to work on technique and method, will be much more successful. The act of making art is still challenging for them.

His chart shows a man deeply conflicted. Emotional, empathetic and intuitive, yet also rash and with such a high need for self preservation at all costs that even perceived threats, real or imagined, will be removed. Once a rash decision is made, it is stuck to like glue and seen through to the end, with little to no thought of how it effects anyone. I would not doubt that Pinochet had his share of moody emotional outbursts, usually in private, with an overwhelming conflict of the need to over intellectualize emotions and actions. He would become stagnant in this way and simply continue on the existing course if he could not resolve his inner conflict.

Yet, all throughout is the repeating pattern that this was a man who had much emotional and intellectual depth. His primary focus in life was to make order out of chaos, which most likely made him feel right at home in the military, if not in his station as President. There is some speculation as to whether he lead the coup, or went along with it reluctantly. He later claimed that he lead the coup, however, from his chart I would guess that he was reluctant at first. Yet, with his need for order, saw an opportunity to create his own order on a wider scale later on when the coup was successful.

Read the AstroTheme complete analysis of Pinochet's horoscope.

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