The memoirs of the constitutionalist general Guillermo Pickering V are launched.


As part of the 50th anniversary of the military coup that overthrew the constitutional government of President Salvador Allende, Army General Guillermo Pickering Velásquez’s memoir, entitled “Profession: Soldier,” is presented.

The text was written during the dictatorship by the former officer and was published by the LOM publishing house. Explains how the Chilean military, originally reluctant to coup, was cornered by reality and the conspiracy of soldiers from all branches of the military, until institutional collapse occurred and the doors of the coup they have been left open.

Of particular interest is the account of the General Councils and their collapse, a few weeks before September 11, 1973. Pickering himself resigned from the military in August of that year. After the coup, among others, he suffered the exile of his daughter, who died in Switzerland without being able to return to Chile.

“My only wish is that no one ever has to experience these circumstances. I trust that rationality and sanity will return to the minds of those who intervened in some of the reported events, which I hope will never happen again in Chile,” wrote the former general.

The book will be launched on Tuesday, December 20 at the Faculty of Law of the University of Chile, at 17:00.

prevent civil war

The book makes it clear that there was no civil war because officers loyal to the Constitution and the law resigned from their posts as generals in command of the troops.

In this way, Generals Carlos Prats and Guillermo Pickering prevented the division of the armed forces and the alignment of the Chileans behind the two warring factions, and a sure bloodbath, as was the civil war of 1891, according to the text. .

In this sense, it underlines the act of patriotism, the democratic and republican vocation of General Pickering.

democratic testimony

The other important issue that is reflected in the democratic testimony of the constitutionalist generals is that of making public another version of what happened in 1973 and the story of a story that speaks of another Army, to cling to in the face of the explosions of militarism and anti-democratic extremism…

On the day of the coup, the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Admiral Raúl Montero, opposed the overthrow of the constitutional government, as did the head of the Carabineros, General José Sepúlveda. Similarly, the then army colonel José Ramos resigned the same day.

After 11 September 1973, members of all branches of the Armed Forces and Law Enforcement, both officers and enlisted personnel, suffered acquittals, arrests, torture, imprisonment and even executions.

For example, former FACH lieutenant colonel Ernesto Galaz served five years in prison, until 1978, as did former detective Osvaldo Ahumada. Former FACH general Sergio Poblete, in addition to being imprisoned, was one of eight Chileans deprived of his nationality, and was the only military one. Like them, many former soldiers and policemen had to go into exile.

Among the best known victims are former army commander Carlos Prats, assassinated in 1974 in Buenos Aires by DINA, and former Fach general Alberto Bachelet, father of former president Michelle Bachelet, who died the same year in prison public after suffering unlawful coercion at the hands of his own former comrades-in-arms.

In the year 2000, the program for the recognition of exempted political persons, at the Ministry of the Interior, had recognized as such 105 former officers of the Army, 105 of the Navy, 130 of the FACH, 158 of the Carabineros and 105 of the PDI. Together with former civil servants, there were 1,269 people, with 1,919 applications pending at the time.

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