Chilean ambassador resigns after praising Pinochet

File photo from September 1973 after Gen Pinochet seized power in a coup Gen Pinochet seized power on 11 September 1973

Related Stories

Chile's ambassador to Argentina has resigned after making favourable comments about the military rule of Gen Augusto Pinochet.

Ambassador Miguel Otero caused uproar last weekend when he told an Argentine newspaper that most Chileans had not suffered under the military.

He also said that had President Salvador Allende not been overthrown in 1973, Chile would today be like Cuba.

Some 3,000 political opponents died during the 1973-1990 military rule.

In his interview with Argentine newspaper Clarin, Mr Otero, 79, said most Chileans had felt relieved after the army took power.

He also said he believed most human rights abuses were not official policies, but rather that there had been people who abused their authority and committed excesses.

His comments provoked demands in Chile and Argentina for him to step down.

Mr Otero apologised on Monday "to all those who suffered under whatever dictatorship, to all those whose human rights have been violated. I offer my sincere apologies as they are right to feel offended".

On Tuesday, after a heated debate, the foreign relations committee of the Chamber of Deputies voted by six votes to five to ask President Sebastian Pinera to sack him.

Mr Otero, who said he would not step down while he enjoyed the president's support, offered his resignation the same day.

The former ambassador is a prominent member of the centre-right National Renewal Party, as is President Pinera.

Mr Pinera, who took office in March, was the first conservative elected president since Chile's return to democracy 20 years ago.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Latin America & Caribbean stories



Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.