Chile 1970 Salvador Allende, a Marxist, is elected to the presidency and begins a series of radical social reform.
1973 Gen. Augusto Pinochet mounts a CIA
backed coup, overthrows Allende and begins a brutal dictatorship. At the same time, JosĂŠ Zalaquett heads the Human Rights Department of the Committee for Peace in Chile that provided legal assistance to thousands of political prisoners and their families.
1975â€“1986 Zalaquett is imprisoned for his
human rights work and subsequently sent into exile in 1976. During this time he serves on the Executive Committee of Amnesty International. In 1986, he is allowed to return.
Gen. Pinochet loses a referendum on whether he should remain in power.
Christian Democrat Patricio Aylwin is elected president and the transition to democracy begins with the implementation of 54 constitutional reforms.
Gen. Pinochet steps down as head of state but remains commander-in-chief of the army. Zalaquett is appointed to serve on the National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation which investigated human rights violations by the military-backed regime.
Pinochet returns to Chile after being arrested in Britain for human rights abuses on a universal jurisdiction principle.