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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 December 2006, 11:47 GMT
Pinochet death: Chilean views
Opponents of former Chilean President General Augusto Pinochet, who died on Sunday, have been celebrating, while supporters are in mourning.

Here, readers from Chile explain the conflicting emotions in their country and give their own reaction to General Pinochet's death.

EVELYN BACHMANN, INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER, 28, SANTIAGO, CHILE

Evelyn Bachmann
Evelyn Bachmann queued for five hours to pay her respects
I am a supporter of General Augusto Pinochet.

Half the country, like me, is in mourning for the passing of a very great man.

Before Pinochet came to power, our economy was one of the worst in Latin America. Now we're one of the most prosperous countries in the region.

My parents were forced to move away because the situation here was so bad before Pinochet. There were no jobs, no food, and no prospects for anyone.

People had to queue for hours and sometimes even days for the most basic household necessities.

They moved back when I was one year old because things were just beginning to improve.

I am an Industrial Engineer, I am educated and have a nice life. If it wasn't for General Pinochet, this would certainly not be the case. I probably wouldn't even live in this country.

People who lost family members will never agree with me, I understand that

I know he made mistakes. Of course there were problems, but overall, I view the situation in terms of the positive changes he made to our country.

People on either side of the divide will never agree on this issue.

Obviously people who lost family members will never agree with me, of course I understand that. I think it depends how each person was affected by his regime. I view it in terms of our economy.

I queued for five hours to pay my respects to General Pinochet. We all have him to thank for a booming economy, a vastly improved quality of life and a health care system that simply didn't exist before. That is his legacy.

CARLOS PEREIRA, ECONOMIST, 29, SANTIAGO, CHILE

Carlos Pereira
Carlos Pereira says there are many ways to interpret Pinochet's regime

The death of Augusto Pinochet is a very important landmark in the history of our country.

I believe it will force us to re-evaluate our identity. We have to work out who we really are now that this huge character is gone.

Pinochet was an expression of our national and historical identity.

Sometimes he showed strength and optimism, he was always trying to improve things and be the best, but all too often, he was violent, cruel and quick to disregard his fellow people.

I sometimes wonder if the people that hate him so much are afraid. Pinochet embodied all that is both good and evil in mankind. I wonder if people fear that everyone has the ability to be like him.

There are many ways to interpret Pinochet's regime and the way he ruled our country.

He represented the best and worst of us
Chile was economically unstable before he came to power. There are no longer doubts about the economic status of our country. Now we are a great country, a leader in our region. This is solely because of him.

He gave many poor people the power to own their own homes or to send their kids to university, improving their lives forever.

Today, some people are celebrating, some people are crying, all of them for deeply profound reasons.

His legacy is both constructive and destructive. He represented the best of us but also the worst of us.

CARLA TRUJILLO, STUDENT, 22, CHILOE, CHILE

Carla Trujillo
Carla believes Pinochet's legacy is one of corruption, fear and greed

Augusto Pinochet's legacy is one of corruption, fear and greed.

With the help of the United States, he placed himself in power and for over a decade, he destroyed the Chilean spirit. He blocked free speech and democracy.

My parents, especially my dad, lost friends during his dictatorship. He doesn't talk about it much, but his life was greatly affected by this man. He, and all the people of Chile, lived in fear.

I was in shock when I heard he had passed away. Although I knew of his ill health, he seemed to be a figure that would never die.

Chile is in a good place right now but I don't believe it is because of him.

He murdered over 3000 people, he was responsible for the torture of many more and he emotionally tortured the nation for many years.

He murdered over 3000 people, he was responsible for the torture of many more and he emotionally tortured the nation for many years
I was worried what the reaction in Chile would be. Our country is so divided on this issue, some people are so supportive of him.

The repercussions of his dictatorship are evident in the polarised reactions of the Chilean people to the news of his death.

The people that support him were positively affected by him, I cannot speak for them. People are entitled to their own opinions but it is important that people do not get carried away with their emotions.

I hope his death will actually reunite people. His passing may finally close this chapter of our history and open a new one, one in which he is not forgotten but people can move on and begin again.






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