Public Opinion, Democracy, and the Armed Forces: Chile before the 1973 Military Coup
The 1973 military coup in Chile was one of the most violent in Latin America. In an environment of high political polarization and poor economic indicators, the Chilean Armed Forces overthrew President Salvador Allende. There is extensive literature discussing the political and institutional causes of the military coup without much reference to the characteristics of public opinion. Based on surveys conducted in 1972 and 1973, we evaluated support for a military government and the Armed Forces’ image in a context of high political upheaval. We found that months before the military coup, about 25% supported a military government and the Armed Forces also had broad popular support, being perceived as reliable and politically neutral actors. Although there is some consensus on the insurrectionary character of the Armed Forces before the military coup, we conclude that this image was far from being reflected in public opinion.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Mario Herrera, Mauricio Morales
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