Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. History Dept.


Elizabeth D. Leonard

Second Advisor

Paul Josephson


This thesis examines the evolution of Los Carabineros de Chile, Chile's national police force, from their origins under Carlos Ibáñez in 1927 until their involvement in the 1973 military coup against President Salvador Allende. Various presidencies primarily used this corps during this period as a weapon against popular mobilization and thus influenced the development of the Carabineros' institutional identity. To explore how this identity evolved, this thesis examines primary sources, mostly in the form of newspapers found in the National Archives in Santiago, Chile, that illuminate the Carabineros' relations with the public. The knowledge of the Carabineros' institutional identity contributes to an explanation of why this corps joined in the 1973 military coup, instead of defending the national government as it swore to do.


Chile, Allende, Carabineros, Golpe de Estado, Populism, Latin America

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