Commander-in-chief of the Chilean Army
The main figures in the 1973 Coup d’état in Chile Series
General Carlos Prats González
Carlos Prats González was born in Talcahuano in February 24, 1915.
1931: At age 16, Prats joined the Army, and in 1934 he graduated at the top of his class. It was President Arturo Alessandri Palma himself who handed over the high distinction.
1935: He was commissioned as an artillery officer.
1944: He married Sofia Cuthbert Chiarleoni (1944-1974), with whom he had three daughters (Sofía, Angélica, and Cecilia).
He taught at the War Academy until 1954.
1954: Prats was promoted to Major, and sent to the military mission in the US, as adjunct military attaché, where he served until 1958.
1958: Prats was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and returned as teacher to the War Academy.
1961: Prats became commander of the Artillery Regiment Nº3 “Chorrillos”.
1963: He became commander of the Regiment Nº1 “Tacna”.
1964: He was promoted to Colonel and sent as military attaché to Argentina.
1967: He returned to Chile as commander of the III Army Division.
1968: In 1968 he was promoted to Brigade General and Chief of the General Staff.
1969: He was promoted to Division General.
1970: In October 27, 1970, Prats was appointed Commander in Chief of the Chilean Army by President Eduardo Frei Montalva. And was later confirmed in the post by President Salvador Allende Gossens. General Prats remained in office until his resignation in August 23, 1973.
1972: President Allende appointed Prats as Chilean Minister of the Interior (in office from November 2, 1972 to March 27, 1973), and he later named him Minister of National Defense (in office from August 9, 1973 to August 23, 1973).
1973: On August 22, 1973, the wives of Prats’ Generals and officers staged a rally in front of his home, calling him a coward for not restoring civil order in Chile. The next day he resigned his positions, both as Interior Minister and as Commander in Chief of the Army.
Immediately after the coup, on September 15, 1973, General Prats voluntarily went into exile with his wife in Argentina.
1974: On September 30, 1974, in Buenos Aires, Prats and his wife Sofia were killed outside their apartment, by a radio-controlled car bomb. Later, it was learned that the assassination was planned by members of the Chilean secret police, DINA. It was committed by the American expatriate and Chilean citizen Michael Townley, who also committed the Orlando Letelier assassination in Washington, DC in 1976.