A week after Augusto Pinochet Molina, grandson of the former Chilean dictator, was fired from Chile's armed forces for giving an incendiary speech at his grandfather's funeral, the grandson of former General Carlos Prats, Francisco Cuadrado Prats, was fired from his job as a cultural director in Santiago's borough of Las Condes.
The young Prats received widespread attention after he waited in line 12 hours while Pinochet's body lied in state at Escuela Militar only to spit on the casket. His grandfather, Gen. Carlos Prats, had been loyal to overthrown President Salvador Allende and was blown up, along with his wife, in a 1974 car bomb attack in Buenos Aires organized by Pinochet's secret police force. Las Condes Mayor Fransisco de la Maza is a conservative politician and has been leading the way to have a street in Las Condes renamed in honor of the former dictator. While Pinochet's supporters credit the former dictator with saving Chile from Marxism and implanting the economic reforms that created Chile's successful economy, Pinochet is accused of murdering or disappearing over 3,000 political opponents. Over 28,000 Chileans were also tortured in his 16 year rule. Prats characterized the spit as an "act of desperation." He "assassinated my grandparents," he said shortly after the incident. De la Maza was widely criticized by Chile's ruling center-left government, but he remained firm in his decision to sack the young Prats. "I'm man enough to make my decisions face-to-face with the country," he said. "I'm not afraid to do what's right." De la Maza said that he worked with many leftist politicians and pointed out that his own son was a Communist Party activist. "I don't care what people think, but I care how they act," said the mayor. However some members from the ruling coalition described the firing as an act of "political persecution". SOURCE: EL MERCURIO, LA TERCERA By Nathan Crooks, Damon Erickson and Beatrice Karol Burks (firstname.lastname@example.org)