Hermógenes Pérez de Arce Sept. 1999

For the last twenty years, Hermógenes Pérez de Arce has maintained a regular weekly column in El Mercurio, Chile’s largest daily newspaper. His policy-relevant arguments have been both original and candid, following his personal style. He delights in calling to remembrance certain historical facts and circumstances which are commonly forgotten by Chileans. He is a journalist and college professor, with a first degree in law and a graduate degree in economics. Since the 1998 arrest of former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet in London, he has concentrated on bringing the truth of the Chilean experience to a world which seems to be quite ignorant of what actually transpired in this small country. Thus, he has a well-defined objective (corresponding to his normal journalistic custom) of defending Pinochet before the people of the West, which he believes have been ill-informed by popular media accounts and leftist activists. Deeply motivated by the issue, and convinced that it is more political than judicial, he has vigorously worked to present background information given two concerns. First, he is convinced that the historical record and truth have been altered. Second, he believes that adherence to basic judicial rules has been seriously lacking in the Pinochet case. In sum, Pinochet, who is currently a Chilean Senator, has been subjected to an “undue process”. Accordingly, this term has been used as the title of this small book in his defense.

From right to left, greeting President Augusto Pinochet in Santiago, Chile (c. 1984): Arturo Fontaine, lawyer, journalist, and Director of El Mercurio; Hermógenes Pérez de Arce, lawyer and editorialist for El Mercurio, his wife María Soledad, and Joaquín Villarino, Editor of El Mercurio.

From right to left, greeting President Augusto Pinochet in Santiago, Chile (c. 1984): Arturo Fontaine, lawyer, journalist, and former Director of El Mercurio; Hermógenes Pérez de Arce, lawyer and editorialist for El Mercurio, his wife María Soledad, and Joaquín Villarino, Editor of El Mercurio.

Europe vs. Pinochet: Undue Process

by Hermógenes Pérez de Arce

Book cover

I hope you will order this book and learn about why the Pinochet affair in Europe is a disgrace.

E-Book versions (in Spanish or English): download (US$3.50), CD-ROM (US$8.00), Palm Pilot, Rocket Book or diskette (US$6.95)

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L I N K S:
Links to articles on José Piñera's page

December 1998 Qué Pasa interview with Hermógenes about the sitation in London and his book Article in Liberty February 1999 by John Cobin and Karen Araujo Article in The New American by William Jasper October 1999 1999 Book by Paul Craig Roberts and Karen Araujo

Battle caused by Allende's Unidad Popular 1971Allende with gunman 1972

Marxism and Violence in Chile (1970¾73)

From left to right: Photo 1: Leftists with chains attack en the “March of the empty stew pots” (1972). Photo 2: Allende and his police chief are trained to use a Russian AK 47, a gift from Fidel Castro.

Here are some details and text from the 150 page book


About the author



I. The historical context

II. The military decision

III. The existence of an armed threat

IV. The accusation of genocide

V. Killed in battle

VI. Excesses of the DINA

VII. The drama of the missing

VIII. The question of torture

IX. The accusation of ‘terrorism’

X. Operation condor

XI. The amnesty law


Overcrowded buses in 1972 were the common result of Allende's communist policiesAllende visits a copper mine troubled by communist policy in 1973

Scarcity and malevolence (1970¾73)

From left to right: Photo 1: Crowded and insufficient public transportation. Photo 2: Commercial farmer injured by extremists that wanted to occupy his land.


The request of the Spanish lawyer, Joan Garcés, previously advisor to Salvador Allende, to the investigating magistrate and former socialist Member of the Spanish Parliament, Baltasar Garzón, to open a case against the former President of Chile, Augusto Pinochet, goes against all the rules of due process.

If the accused had been an ordinary citizen of a more or less civilised country, he would have been at once protected by an appeal of habeus corpus in his favour and would have been immediately given his freedom.

The European left, however, has succeeded in depriving Augusto Pinochet of the most fundamental right, guaranteed for almost eight hundred years since the Magna Carta, that of not being illegally arrested.

For six days, Augusto Pinochet was deprived of liberty, as the result of a Spanish request that was not based on even the most minimum legal requirements, as it was eventually recognized by the British Justice, that required a new request.

Additionally, senator Pinochet was arrested in a surprise night time intrusion, moments after painful surgery, and was left unjustifiably for hours deprived of painkillers and suffering intense pain.

Even if this irregular procedure was later corrected, there remains a complete lack of justification for submitting Augusto Pinochet to trial. Nobody has ever presented even a single proof that he committed any of the crimes he has been accused of.

One of those crimes did not occur at all. It simply did not happen in Chile: that is, genocide. The obvious falsity of some of the accusations, designed to give the impression that such kind of crimes were perpetrated, like the persecution of Jews, has provoked the indignant rebuttal of Chileans of Jewish origin. The accusation of persecution against the Mapuche minority has been also contradicted by the public and collective appreciation expressed to the then President Pinochet, at the end of his mandate, by the most renowned representatives of the Mapuches.

Moreover, the Agreement on genocide, on which the accusation is based, explicitly states that the competent court is that of the place where the crime was committed.

He is being charged as committing ‘genocide’ for having supposedly persecuted a political group, whereas this crime is defined as the persecution of “a national, ethnic, racial or religious group”, and not a political group. In fact, such groups were explicitly excluded from the Agreement on genocide, at the request of the Soviet Union. In other words, the legal aberration has been committed of applying the criminal law by analogy, a procedure which was repudiated by ancient doctrine and supported by theorists throughout history.

Besides that, in Pinochet’s case Spanish procedural law and the treaty on terrorism had to be applied retroactively, if he were to be accused, against all legal precedents and traditions.

The defence of the present Senator, Augusto Pinochet, before the High Court and the House of Lords in London, was based on his immunity as diplomat and former Head of State. No attempt was made to counter the accusations of the Garcés-Garzón twosome. But these accusations, as one of the Law Lords surprisingly confirmed, were treated as an important background, with no reference to the fact that the whole thing was simply a question of unproved suppositions and nothing more. So the rejection of his right to habeas corpus , was in the end based precisely on these suppositions, and the accused was not given the opportunity to defend himself against the corresponding charges.

Moreover, the decisive vote in the House of Lords was that of a judge involved personally, as was his wife, in an organisation, Amnesty International, which was dedicated to opposing the liberty of Augusto Pinochet and was one of the complainants. This Law Lord was both judge and accuser and he concealed this fact. The long arm of the truth, however, did not let him escape.

Augusto Pinochet has been denigrated the world over as having committed numerous crimes and other actions which he did not commit.

And he is being accused of many crimes that have already been subject to judgement and sentenced in Chile.

Specifically, the following basic human rights of Augusto Pinochet have been violated by both British and Spanish “justice”, with the complicity of the governments of both countries:

1) Not to be deprived of liberty without a legal warrant for arrest.

2) Not to be considered guilty of accusations without hearing a defence in due process of law.

3) Not to receive inhuman and degrading treatment.

4) Not to be judged by other court than the designated by law.

5) Not to be judged by ex post facto laws, that is, laws established after the commission of the crime: “nullum crimen, nulla poena, sine lege previae”, as was established by the Romans.

6) Not to be judged for acts which are not legally described as a crime.

7) Not respecting his right to honour.

8)Not to be judged for crimes over which judgement has already been passed.

The writer, Joseph Levine said, parodying Lincoln: “you can trick everybody all the time, as long as you have a big enough budget”. The European left has a big budget and has invested it in the character assassination of Augusto Pinochet.

This book, based on provable fact, is an attempt at a defence against the unjust accusations which have been made against him. It is dedicated to all those who prefer truth, but particularly to those morally upright and intellectually honest persons, of all ideological persuasions, who hesitate to condemn a person simply on the basis of the accusations of his adversaries, without having given him the opportunity to defend himself.

Hermógenes Pérez de Arce,

Santiago, Chile

December 26, 1998


The best arguments for proving the lack of substance in the Garcés/Garzón demand are given by Spanish justice, itself. We read in El Mercurio of Santiago on November 21, 1998, the following:

“In the judicial decree published yesterday, the judge of the Audiencia Nacional of Madrid, Ismael Moreno decided to file the accusation (against Fidel Castro), on learning that the incidents described did not correspond to the crimes imputed (genocide, terrorism and torture).

In his decision, Moreno indicated that the Cuban regime could not be accused of genocide since, although in the accusation they speak of 18,000 assassinations with reference to the carrying out of the death penalty on the island, there was no existence ‘of intention to destroy completely or partially any group’, and, therefore, for legal purposes, there has been no crime that can be typified as genocide committed.

It should be understood that there was also no crime of terrorism as ‘governments cannot be terrorists, since terrorism means the subversion of the established order’.

At the same time, it rejects the claim that the events included in the accusation can be described as crimes of torture, since the beatings or mistreatment by the use of electric shocks, described in the accusation, could be considered as ‘degrading treatment’, but not as torture.

Finally, Moreno emphasised that in this case it is necessary ‘to exercise the most elementary prudence’, given the significance of the opening of an investigation in the Audiencia Nacional against an active Head of State.”

All these arguments, if only partially the last, also serve to file the Garcés/Garzón demand against Augusto Pinochet.

But this would not be “politically correct”: Augusto Pinochet is not left-wing.

The accusation against him is not a legal question. It is political vengeance against the person who destroyed the Marxist myth. The left will never be able to pardon him for having been the first to overthrow a communist regime; for having defeated the guerrillas and the terrorism of the extreme left and pacified his country; for having founded a free and prosperous economy and given to his fellow citizens a government with guaranteed freedoms and a stable democracy, giving up power to his successor in exemplary free elections, under the slogan “Mission Accomplished”.

The Chile Pinochet received was a country in ruins, in anarchy, divided, backward and poor. The country he bequeathed is cited everywhere as an example of prosperity, progress and social stability. And it is this historical testament which the left is trying to destroy, by destroying its principal architect through a tricked up case.

But, despite this “illegitimate accusation”, and perhaps because of it, in the long run, nothing will be able to silence the truth. The real figure of Augusto Pinochet as statesman, the consistency of his achievements, the enormous difference in magnitude between the virtues of his accomplishments and any errors or defects which may have occurred, will in the end be recognised.

The victim of this dirty trick will occupy the historical role which corresponds to him, as a precursor in an era which has seen one after the other of the leftist myths evaporate in thin air and the consecration, first in Chile and later in the whole world, of the most important political, economic and social changes of the second half of the twentieth century.


Demostration against Allende's government in 1972Demonstration in 1973 over one dead and over 500 detaineesDesperation in bread lines in 1973

Provisions no; Violence yes (1970¾73)

From left to right: Photo 1: Line to buy kerosene. Photo 2: Funeral for a police officer murdered by a leftist extremist. Photo 3: Socialist bureaucrat forces open a business that was closed protesting against Allende's policies. Foto 5: Sleeping in the "tails" (lines) in order to buy something.

Consumers exasperated under Allende's communist policies in 1973Killings of important people under Allende's regime mourned over in 1972Ties made with the USSR and other communist groups in 1973

The housewife's common hassle (1970¾73)

Photos 1 and 2: Women dispute the claim that a supermarket has run out of supplies.

Marxist groups threaten war or predict it is inevitable in 1973Extremist (leftist) groups attack police in 1973Strudent uprising in 1973

More street violence under Allende (1970¾73)

Photos of violence and politicians predicting civil war in Chile.

State repression and hunger in 1973Marxist violence in 1973Rationing anounced by Allende's minister in 1973

Violence, severe hunger, and rationing announced under Allende's policies (1970¾73)

Photos of hungry people holding a sign asking for food, leftist violence, and the announcement of a public food rationing plan.

Photocopy of a document (no date) found in the secret Soviet archives by Vladimir Bukovsky, a scientist who spent many years in the Gulag and was freed via a prisoner exchange for chief Chilean communist Luis Corvalán in 1976. The document was delivered to Hermógenes Pérez de Arce in Santiago on November 11, 1999 by Vladimir Bukovsky. The translation of the letter is:

Photocopy of a document (no date) found in the secret Soviet archives by Vladimir Bukovsky, a scientist who spent many years in the Gulag and was freed via a prisoner exchange for chief Chilean communist Luis Corvalán in 1976. The document was delivered to Hermógenes Pérez de Arce in Santiago on November 11, 1999 by Vladimir Bukovsky. The translation of the letter is: "I hereby authorize the execution of another 6,600 persons in Krasnoyarsk. [signed] Josef Stalin". The literal translation of the word "execution" would be "first category", which was a term used in giving kill orders to the firing squad of the Communist Party at that time.