Undated (AP) _ Here is a chronology of key events since Gen. Augusto Pinochet took power in Chile:

Sept. 11, 1973 - The elected Marxist goverment of President Salvador Allende is ousted by the military, headed by the commander in chief of the Army, Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Allende is believed to have killed himself with a machine gun in the besieged presidential palace when it became evident his government was falling. According to official figures, 2,796 people die, 750 disappear, and thousands are jailed.

Dec. 17, 1974 - Pinochet assumes the office of president. Under his rule, congress is suspended under a state of siege. A crackdown on leftists and dissidents is launched, earning Pinochet's government a worldwide reputation for human rights abuses.

Sept. 11, 1980 - Voters approve a constitution providing for a return to democracy after a minimum of eight years. The vote is marred by opposition charges of massive fraud.

March 11, 1981 - The new constitution takes effect.

Sept. 7, 1986 - Pinochet survives an ambush by pro-Communist guerrillas. Five bodyguards are killed.

Oct. 5, 1988 - Voters reject Pinochet's bid to extend his authoritarian rule for eight more years, until 1997. The vote clears the way for an open presidential election in December 1989. Pinochet is to stay in office until the elections and the installation of a new president.

July 31, 1989 - Chileans vote to approve a series of democratic reforms to the 1980 constitution.

Dec. 14, 1989 - Voters elect presidential candidate Patricio Aylwin, leader of the centrist Christian Democratic party. He is backed by a coalition of 17 leftist and centrist parties.

Dec. 21, 1989 - Aylwin asks Pinochet to step down as commander of the 60,000-member army, but the general refuses. His 1980 constitution gives Pinochet, now 74, the right to remain commander for another eight years.

Jan. 9, 1990 - Aylwin names an 18-member Cabinet dominated by centrists and moderates.

March 11, 1990 - Aylwin is inaugurated. Pinochet's critics and supporters rally on his last day as president. He remains military chief.