SANTIAGO, Chile (Reuters) - Ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet, who ruled Chile from 1973-1990 and spent his old age fighting human rights, fraud and corruption charges, died on Sunday a week after suffering a heart attack, Chilean television reported.
Pinochet, 91, grabbed power in a coup and went on to become the best known of the South American dictators of the 1970s and 1980s. Under his regime more than 3,000 people died in political violence, many at the hands of repressive secret police.
He was accused of dozens of human rights violations but a lengthy effort to bring him to trial in Chile failed as his defense lawyers successfully argued that he was too ill to face charges.
Despite Pinochet's human rights record, many Chileans loved him and said he saved Chile from Marxism.