As many Americans remember the dead and wounded of 9/11 nine years ago, Latin America is remembering the other 9/11 – this one occurring in Chile in 1973. On this date the government of Chilean President Salvador Allende was overthrown by a military coup putting an end to democracy and putting in place General Augusto Pinochet.
Here 9/11 was marked by the bombing of the Presidential Moneda Palace, the suicide of Allende in the palace, the closing of most radio and television stations and many being killed or ‘forced to disappear’ in the days and months to follow. The military arrested 40,000 pro-Allende supporters. This day marked the start of Pinochets’s 16-year brutal dictatorship noted for its many human rights abuses. The coup has become the most notorious military takeover of a government in power in Latin American history.
Read and see the last words of President Allende as he is being bombed in the Palace Moneda.