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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 December 2006, 22:21 GMT
Chile MPs urge Pinochet monument
Gen Pinochet seen on 25 November at celebrations for his 91st birthday
Poor health meant Gen Pinochet never faced trial over rights abuses
A group of right-wing politicians has proposed erecting three monuments to Chile's former military leader, General Augusto Pinochet, who died this month.

The main monument, for which plans have been put to parliament for approval, would be in the capital, Santiago.

BBC correspondents say the government is unlikely to pass the bill. Thousands died during Gen Pinochet's 17-year rule and he was accused of rights abuses.

But his supporters believe he put Chile on to a path of strong economic growth.

According to the bill presented by politician Ivan Moreira and others, the principal monument to Gen Pinochet would be built outside Chile's presidential palace, La Moneda.

It would stand in the same square as a monument to Salvador Allende, the elected president overthrown in Gen Pinochet's 1973 coup.

The other two monuments proposed would be in the northern city of Iquique and in Gen Pinochet's birthplace, Valparaiso.

Protests

Mr Moreira, a Pinochet loyalist, told reporters that if Mr Allende had a monument to him, then so should Gen Pinochet.

Mourners file past Gen Pinochet's coffin in Santiago
Gen Pinochet's death generated conflicting emotions in Chile

He said Gen Pinochet, who died on 10 December aged 91, had saved Chile from Marxism and was a major figure in the country's history.

As many as 60,000 people are estimated to have filed past his open coffin before his military funeral a week ago.

But at the same time, several thousand anti-Pinochet protesters took part in demonstrations outside the presidential palace.

On Monday, a local council in the Las Condes district of Santiago - where Gen Pinochet lived while in power - approved a proposal for a street, square or public space to be named after him.

Chile's President Michelle Bachelet, who leads the governing centre-left coalition, currently lives in Las Condes.

More than 3,000 people were killed or "disappeared" during Gen Pinochet's rule.




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