CHRONOLOGY OF KEY EVENTS
1970 - Salvador Allende becomes world's first democratically elected Socialist president and embarks on an extensive programme of nationalisations and radical social reform.
1973 - September 11 - Gen Augusto Pinochet ousts Allende in CIA-sponsored coup and proceeds to establish a brutal dictatorship.
1988 - Gen Pinochet loses a referendum on whether he should remain in power.
1989-90 - Christian Democrat Patricio Aylwin, the head of the Concertación, a center-left coalition, wins presidential election; Gen Pinochet steps down in 1990 as head of state but remains commander-in-chief of the army.
1994-95 - Eduardo Frei succeeds Aylwin as president and begins to reduce the military's influence in government.
1998 - Gen Pinochet retires from the army and is made senator for life but is arrested in the UK at the request of Spain on charges of torture and crimes against humanity.
1999 - The Law Lords (equivalent to a Supreme Court) decides that Gen. Pinochet can be judged for crimes against humanity in a country which is not Chile, establishing a ground-breaking precedent for global human rights legislation.
2000 - March - British Home Secretary Jack Straw decides that Gen Pinochet is not mentally fit to be put on trial and allows him to return to Chile.
Socialist Ricardo Lagos is elected president.
2000 onwards - Chilean courts strip Gen Pinochet of his immunity from prosecution several times, but attempts to make him stand trial for alleged human rights offences fail, with judges usually citing concerns over the general's health.
2002 - July - Gen Pinochet is stripped of his post as a lifelong senator due to the many indictments against him for disappearances and human rights violations.
2006 - December - Gen Pinochet dies from a heart attack at the age of 91.
BBC - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/country_profiles/1222905.stm
For more information, please read Exorcising Terror: The Incredible, Unending Trial of General Augusto Pinochet by Ariel Dorfman