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Mónica Madariaga

Mónica Madariaga Gutiérrez (25 January 1942 – 8 October 2009) was a Chilean lawyer, academic, and politician, a state minister of the military dictatorship headed by her cousin, Augusto Pinochet, which ruled the country from 1973 to 1990.

Mónica Madariaga
Monica Madariaga 1983..jpg
Mónica Madariaga in 1983
Minister of Education of Chile
In office
14 February 1983 – 18 October 1983
PresidentAugusto Pinochet
Preceded byÁlvaro Arriagada Norambuena
Succeeded byHoracio Aránguiz Donoso [es]
Minister of Justice of Chile
In office
20 April 1977 – 14 February 1983
PresidentAugusto Pinochet
Preceded byRenato Damilano Bonfante
Succeeded byJaime del Valle Alliende [es]
Personal details
Mónica Madariaga Gutiérrez

(1942-01-25)25 January 1942
Santiago, Chile
Died8 October 2009(2009-10-08) (aged 67)
Las Condes, Chile
Political party
Alma materUniversity of Chile


The daughter of Carlos Madariaga Pizarro and Laura Gutiérrez Ugarte, and granddaughter of a Chilean Army general, Mónica Madariaga studied with the Ursulines Nuns, at the Colegio Compañía de María, and at Liceo 7 [es] in Providencia.[1] She entered the law school of the University of Chile and graduated in 1966 with the thesis Derecho administrativo y seguridad jurídica (Administrative Law and Legal Security).

She worked at the office of the Comptroller General from 1962 to 1977.[2]

When Augusto Pinochet headed the Governing Board, she was appointed Minister of Justice, serving from 1977 and 1983. At this time the Constitution of 1980 and Decree Law 2.191, better known as the Amnesty Law [es] – which was drafted by Madariaga herself – were enacted.[3]

Mónica Madariaga apologized in an interview granted in 1985 to the journalist Mónica González for the magazine Análisis [es], claiming to have lived in a "micro-reality" that did not allow her to see what was really happening in the country with regard to human rights violations. At the same time she blamed Jaime Guzmán and José Piñera for some of their actions.[4]

After the country's return to democracy, she became the rector of Andrés Bello University. She was a Union of the Centrist Center candidate for senator for O'Higgins Region in the 1997 parliamentary election, but received 16.65% of votes and was not elected.[5] Later she was director of the Law School of the University UNIACC.[6]

From 2001 to 2003, she was active in the Independent Democratic Union (UDI).[7]


In 2004, Mónica Madariaga contracted an aggressive form of bone and breast cancer, which was initially contained, but then returned and metastasized to her lymphatic system.[8] She died from cancer at 6:00 a.m. on 8 October 2009 at her home in the municipality of Las Condes.[1]


Mónica Madariaga was characterized by her strong personality, frank character, and divisive revelations and statements, which landed her in several controversies in the press.[9]

She was a frequent guest on television programs precisely because of her openness to unveiling some episodes of the military regime, such as indicating the great influence that Lucía Hiriart exerted on her husband.[10][11]

She caused a stir when, in an interview with the newspaper La Tercera in 2000, she affirmed that the leaders of the rightist UDI were indoctrinated in Colonia Dignidad.[12]

In 2009 she returned to the public spotlight by affirming, in an interview with Canal 2 [es] of San Antonio, that in 1982 she would have interceded to free Sebastián Piñera, then general manager of the Banco de Talca, from his imprisonment for fraud and infractions to the General Bank Law.[13] Piñera denied the accusations,[14] but Madariaga reaffirmed her statements, calling the Coalition for Change's presidential candidate a "liar".[15]


  1. ^ a b "Mónica Madariaga es velada en iglesia Sagrado Corazón El Bosque" [Mónica Madariaga is Viewed in the Church Sagrado Corazón El Bosque]. La Tercera (in Spanish). 8 October 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  2. ^ Rodriguez, Mario (24 October 2004). "'No le temo a la muerte'" ['I Do Not Fear Death']. El Mercurio de Valparaíso (in Spanish). Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Poder Judicial Bajo la Dictadura: Impunidad y Ley de Amnistía" [Judiciary Under the Dictatorship: Impunity and Amnesty Law]. Derechos Chile (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 26 October 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Mónica Madariaga pide perdón" [Mónica Madariaga Apologizes]. Revista Analisis (in Spanish). Diego Portales University. 10 December 1985. Archived from the original on 22 December 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Votación Candidatos por Circunscripción 9" (in Spanish). Electoral Service of Chile. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Cerca de 500 personas despiden a Mónica Madariaga" [About 500 People See Off Mónica Madariaga]. La Tercera (in Spanish). 9 October 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Mónica Madariaga se va de la UDI" [Mónica Madariaga Leaves the UDI]. El Mercurio (in Spanish). 17 July 2001. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Producto del cáncer falleció Mónica Madariaga" [Mónica Madariaga Passes Away From Cancer]. Publimetro (in Spanish). 8 October 2009. Archived from the original on 3 July 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  9. ^ Lavandero Illanes, Jorge (December 1997). El precio de sostener un sueño [The Price of Sustaining a Dream] (PDF) (in Spanish). Santiago: LOM Ediciones. pp. 151–152. ISBN 9562820599. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  10. ^ "Polémicos dichos de Mónica Madariaga sobre el régimen militar" [Controversial Statements by Mónica Madariaga About the Military Dictatorship]. Teletrece (in Spanish). 30 October 2005. Archived from the original on 22 February 2007. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  11. ^ Jiménez, Fernando (25 July 2009). "Frei rechazó vínculos con polémicos dichos de Madariaga" [Frei Rejects Links With Madariaga's Controversial Statements]. El Mercurio (in Spanish). Santiago. Archived from the original on 28 July 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  12. ^ Guzmán, Hugo (30 September 2000). "Mónica Madariaga afirma que dirigentes UDI fueron adoctrinados en Villa Baviera" [Mónica Madariaga Affirms That UDI Leaders Were Indoctrinated in Villa Baviera]. La Tercera (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 30 September 2000. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  13. ^ Porras, Diana (11 December 2009). "Sebastián Piñera: ¿La segunda es la vencida?" [Sebastián Piñera: The Second Time's the Charm?] (in Spanish). Radio Universidad de Chile. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Piñera y declaración de Madariaga: 'Eso es total y absolutamente falso'" [Piñera and Madariaga's Declaration: 'That is Totally and Absolutely False'] (in Spanish). Santiago: Terra. 24 July 2009. Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Los hitos en la vida de Mónica Madariaga" [Milestones in the Life of Mónica Madariaga]. La Tercera (in Spanish). 8 October 2009. Retrieved 24 September 2019.