Carlos Cardoen

Carlos Remigio Cardoen Cornejo (born 1 May 1942, Santa Cruz, Chile) is a Chilean metallurgical engineer, weapons scientist and agricultural businessman.

Carlos Cardoen
Carlos Cardoen.jpg
Cardoen dressed as a huaso, in 2010
Born (1942-05-01) May 1, 1942 (age 78)
Alma materUniversity of Utah, U.S.
OccupationBusinessman, metallurgical engineer, and weapon scientist
Known forArms broker and supplier of explosive weapons to Iraq
Entrance to Colchagua Museum, property of Cardoen.

Cardoen rose to prominence amidst the United States arms embargo against Chile,[1] when he became in the 1980s "Pinochet's favourite arms manufacturer".[2]

When Saddam Hussein fell out of favour with the United States in connection with the 1990 invasion of Kuwait Cardoen, who had weapon dealings with Iraq, was accused by the US of zirconium trafficking. Since then he has been on the Interpol wanted list.[2] On various occasions Cardoen has received support from National Congress and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to end the Interpol arrest warrant.[2]

Weapons industryEdit

Carlos Cardoen meeting with former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein

As a weapons expert he ran FAMAE in the late 1980s[citation needed]. He allegedly illegally sold zirconium supplemented armaments to Iraq under the Saddam Regime, exported from the United States, for which he has an international arrest warrant.[3] Yet, Cardoen claims the United States was aware and implicitly consented this trade until Saddam Hussein fell out of favour.[2]

During the height of the Beagle crisis in 1978 Cardoen was contacted by Chilean Air Force commander Fernando Matthei and designed on his request a light bomb, that could be dropped from any airforce plane, in only 15 days. When asking Matthei what did he want the bomb for, he reportedly answered: "para joder"' (to joke around)'.[4]

In the mid-1980 Cardoen bought the Italian swimmer delivery vehicle and minisub manufacturer Cos.Mo.S. His attempts to sell the firm under the table to Iraq ended in scandal and the closure of the company. A warrant was issued for his arrest but he was never brought to justice.[5]

Cardoen claims Iraq owes him US$50 million from weapon purchases.[2]

Agriculture and tourismEdit

From the 1990s onwards Cardoen has invested capital into the wine, energy, match, fruit juice and tourism businesses in Chile, especially in O'Higgins, his home region. Due to his involvement in cultural and tourism projects he has been awarded the "Premio a lo Chileno" in 2006 and "Orden al Mérito Docente y Cultural Gabriela Mistral" in 2005.[citation needed] He has been suffering from colon cancer for many years.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Luengo, Alberto (July 18, 1987). "El embargo de armas crea serios problemas de abastecimiento a la Fuerza Aérea chilena". El País. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Sepúlveda, Nicolás; Ramírez, Pedro (February 1, 2019). "La historia de los US$50 millones que le quedó debiendo Saddam Hussein a Cardoen por las bombas de racimo". CIPER. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  3. ^ Justin Hibbard, "The Chilean Connection", San Francisco Chronicle, 2 March 2003.
  4. ^ La escuadra en acción. 2004, pg. 187.
  5. ^ Sutton, H I. "The famous CosMoS CE2F chariot". Covert Shores. Retrieved 27 February 2020.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Carlos Cardoen at Wikimedia Commons