The Pinochet Affair

17 November 2005
Cover The Pinochet Affair

The Pinochet Affair
State Terrorism and Global Justice
Roger Burbach
TNI/Zed Books, August 2003
ISBN 1 84277 435 2

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This book tells the epic story of the events that surrounded the dramatic arrest of General Augusto Pinochet in London in October 1998. Beginning his narrative with the violent military coup that Pinochet led on september 11 1973, Roger Burbach discusses what led the dictator to murder thousands of his own people and to authorize acts of international terrorism in Argentina, Italy and Washington DC. He describes the global clash that ultimately took place in Spain, Britain and Chile to bring him to justice, and the impact the Pinochet afair has had around the world as the global human rights community seeks to establish an international regime of justice.

'... provides vivid portraits of many of the leading human rights activists, lawyers and judges who succeeded in ... making the dictator one of the most ignominious figures of contemporary history.' - Isabel Allende

Key points

  • The extraordinary and dramatic story of how General Pinochet of Chile came to justice
  • Explains the wider significance for international human rights law and the principle of universal jurisdiction
  • A modern political history of Chile and the role played by the US in its affairs

About the Author

Roger Burbach

Roger Burbach is a historian and director of research and publications at the Center for the Study of the Americas (CENSA) in Berkeley, California. He is the author of numerous books, including Globalization and Postmodern Politics: Zapatistas versus High Tech Robber Barons (London, Pluto Press, 2001).


Introduction: The First September 11 That Shook the World

  1. The Dictator's Prelude: Allende, Chile and the Coup
    The Chilean Road to Socialism
    The Imperial Adversary
    A Thousand Days of Drama
    The Battle of La Moneda
  2. The Formation of a Dictator
    The Neighborhood Bully
    Pinochet's Infatuation with Strongmen and Authoritarianism
    A Sociopath in Constitutional Drag
    Deceit, Treachery and the "Crucial Day"
  3. Quest for Absolute Power
    Pinochet's "Total War"
    DINA and the Consolidation of State Terrorism
    Eliminating Military Adversaries
  4. Globalization of the Chilean Human Rights Movement
    The Arduous Birth of the Chilean Human Rights Movement
    Internationalizing the Human Rights Struggle
    The United States: Dictators and Double Standards
    U.S. Assault Against the Left
  5. The Bitter Transition, 1990-1998
    Protected Democracy
    Justice Vs. Impunity
    Judicial Change
    The Eve of Pinochet's Departure
  6. The Entrapment of a Dictator
    Judge Baltesar Garzón Takes Center Stage In Spain
    Pinochet and the Iron Lady on the London Stage
    "We Lost Our General"
    The "Londonazo" in Chile
  7. Five Hundred Days in the British Docket
    The House of Lords Vs. the General
    The General's "Rent-a-Mob" in London
    Back to the Spanish Stage
    The Autumn of the Patriarch in London
    The Betrayal of the Politicians
  8. Pinochet's Return and the Reckoning in Chile
    Juan Guzman: The Judge Who Trapped Pinochet
    Lagos' Betrayal
    Pinochet: Hiding Under the Military's Skirts
    The Indictment of the Dictator
    The Hounded Dictator in His Liar
  9. Conclusion: State Terrorism Versus the Globalization of Justice
    State Terrorism and the United States
    The End of the Cold War and Human Rights
    The Pinochet Affair and Advances in Human Rights