Chile observed a day of mourning on Monday (October 26) for General Rene Schneider, Commander-in-Chief of the Chile Army who was attacked by an assassin on October 22.
Chile observed a day of mourning on Monday (October 26) for General Rene Schneider, Commander-in-Chief of the Chile Army who was attacked by an assassin on October 22. He died on Sunday (October 25).
General Schneider, 57-year-old father of three, was ambushed as he drove t o his office.
According to Santiago police, the killing was carried out by right wing extremists who hoped to prevent the General's Marxist friend, Salvador Allende from being nominated President-Elect.
But on Saturday (October 24) the Chilean Congress overwhelmingly vote for Allende who topped t he polls in Presidential elections on September 4.
After rounding up over 200 suspects, the Police issued a warrant for the arrest of former Army General Roberto Viaux. On Wednesday (October 28) general Viaux was arrested in connection with the murder.
General Viaux was the leader of an Army pay revolt last October. He was forcibly retired.
In Santiago on Monday thousands of citizens lined the streets of the city and the Cathedral was full of family mourners and leaders of Chilean society and politics. General Schneider's body lay in state in the Cathedral watched over by an Honour Guard.
Cardinal Raul Silva Henriques officiated at the Requiem Mass for the General who had been ambushed by gunmen in three cars.
When the funeral service was over, the flag-draped coffin was carried from the Cathedral to the waiting gun carriage. Outside, thousands of shocked people pressed forward as the cortege made its slow way through the streets escorted by members of the Chile Armed Services.
The death of General Schneider in such tragic circumstances made a shock impact on the nation which prides itself on its democratic traditions. There have been few political assassinations in Chile's 152 year history.