Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet will be cremated, according to his son Marco Antonio, to avoid desecration of his grave by "people who always hated him."
The country’s government said it had authorised the Chilean flag to be flown at half mast at military barracks nationwide.
Gen Pinochet, who terrorised his opponents for 17 years after taking power in a bloody coup, died yesterday, ending a decade of intensifying efforts to bring him to trial. He was 91.
Supporters saw Pinochet as a Cold War hero for overthrowing democratically elected president Salvador Allende at a time when the US was working to destabilise his Marxist government and keep Chile from exporting communism in Latin America. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was also a Pinochet supporter, and said she was saddened by news of his death.
Pinochet’s dictatorship laid the groundwork for South America’s most stable economy, but his crackdown on rebellion caused outrage among human rights campaigners.
The world reacted in horror as Santiago’s main football stadium filled with political prisoners to be tortured, shot, disappeared or forced into exile.
Chile’s government says at least 3,197 people were killed for political reasons during Pinochet’s rule, but courts allowed the ageing general to escape hundreds of criminal complaints as his health declined.
Pinochet died with his family at his side at the Santiago Military Hospital yesterday, a week after having a heart attack.
Last night, police clashed with hundreds of mostly young demonstrators who marched to the presidential palace, some throwing rocks as passing vehicles, to erect fire barricades that blocked traffic on a major Santiago avenue. Authorities used tear gas and water cannons to disperse them, but protesters quickly regrouped.
Deputy interior minister Felipe Harboe blamed the violence on "minority elements who infiltrated the demonstration."
He said there were arrests but did not give a figure.
The former leader’s death exposed again deep divisions in society as Chileans wept at the announcement - or celebrated his demise with champagne.
"This criminal has departed without ever being sentenced for all the acts he was responsible for during his dictatorship," said Hugo Gutierrez, a human rights lawyer involved in several lawsuits against Pinochet.
But thousands of Pinochet supporters gathered outside the hospital and elsewhere, trading insults with people in passing cars. Some shouted "Long Live Pinochet" and sang Chile’s national anthem.
Celebrations broke out in several parts of the Chilean capital, with hundreds of cheering, flag-waving people gathered to pop champagne corks and toss confetti.
The moustachioed Pinochet left no doubt about who was in charge after the September 11, 1973 coup, when warplanes bombed the presidential palace and Allende committed suicide with a submachine gun Fidel Castro gave him.
"Not a leaf moves in this country if I’m not moving it," Pinochet had said.
Only on his 91st birthday last month did he take "full political responsibility for everything that happened" during his long rule. But the statement made no reference to the rights abuses, and said he had to act to prevent Chile’s economic and political disintegration.