One of Latin America's most infamous dictators has passed on.
SANTIAGO, Chile - Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who terrorized his opponents for 17 years after taking power in a bloody coup, died Sunday, putting an end to a decade of intensifying efforts to bring him to trial for human rights abuses blamed on his regime. He was 91.
Supporters saw Pinochet as a Cold War hero for overthrowing democratically elected President Salvador Allende at a time when the U.S. was working to destabilize his Marxist government and keep Chile from exporting communism in Latin America.
But the world soon reacted in horror as Santiago's main soccer stadium filled with political prisoners to be tortured, shot, disappeared or forced into exile.
We can all debate whether toppling Saddam was the right thing to do. But at least a good number of the people he oppressed will get to see him hang, which is more than can be said for the people of Chile. It's sad to see that Pinochet got off scot free.
"That's the thing: Maybe he'll be up and down this season, but when he's up, is there another center in the league quite like him? He protects the rim, passes out of double teams, has great hands around the basket, up-fakes on his jump-hooks, rebounds in traffic, even has a motor that keeps going and going (unlike a stiff like Eddy Curry). I'm not sure what's missing here. This is stunning. This is startling. There's almost no precedent for it. Just what the Lakers needed: More obscenely good luck. Meanwhile, I have to watch Al Jefferson whip jump-hooks off the front of the rim for the third straight season. I will now pour scalding hot water down my pants." -Bill Simmons on Andrew Bynum (11/08/06)
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