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General César Leonidas Mendoza Durán (September 11, 1918 – September 13, 1996) was a member of the Government Junta which ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990, representing the country-wide police force, the Carabineros de Chile.
Mendoza was born in Santiago, the youngest of the eleven children of Atilio Mendoza Valdebenito, a science teacher and first mayor of La Cisterna, and Amalia Durán, a pianist. In 1938, young César Mendoza began his compulsory military service. In 1940, he matriculated at the Carabineros' School, from which he was graduated as a second lieutenant the following year. Mendoza worked in different cities during his police career, starting in 1942 as a lieutenant at Molina, Talca, and the Carabineros' School. He was promoted to captain in 1953, to major in 1959, to lieutenant colonel in 1965, to colonel in 1968, to general in 1970, and to inspector general of the carabineros in 1972.