General Rene Schneider Chereau was the Commander-in-chief of the Chilean Army at the time of the 1970 Chilean presidential election, when he was assassinated during a botched kidnapping attempt. His murder virtually assured Salvador Allende's eventual overthrow and death in a coup shortly thereafter. He also coined the doctrine of military-political mutual exclusivity that became known as the Schneider Doctrine.
In 1970, the prospect of Salvador Allende winning the Chilean presidency was highly controversial, particularly within the Chilean military, because of his Marxist ideology. Schneider had expressed firm opposition to the idea of preventing Allende's inauguration by means of a coup d'etat; as a constitutionalist, he wished to preserve the military's apolitical history.
After the 1970 Chilean presidential election, a plot to kidnap Schneider was developed. "Neutralizing" Schneider became a key prerequisite for a military coup; he opposed any intervention by the armed forces to block Allende's constitutional election. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) supplied a group of Chilean officers led by General Camilo Valenzuela with "sterile" weapons for the operation which was to be blamed on Allende supporters and prompt a military takeover.
CIA, Cable Transmissions on Coup Plotting, October 18, 1970
Why has he got away with it? - Edited extract from The Trial of Henry Kissinger, by Christopher Hitchens, in the The Guardian
Why the law wants a word with Kissinger - Sidney Magazine 2002
Kissinger and Chile - Frontpage Magazine
The murder of Rene Schneider
First Coup Attempt
Freedom of Information Page
Documents on Chile
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