Chile: The Other 9/11 Anniversary

Of the many military coups faced by the republics of Latin America, it is the coup of 11 September 1973 that has engraved itself most permanently on the collective memory.

The images of the bombing of the Moneda Palace, of the despair on the face of Salvador Allende shortly before his suicide, of the defiant expression worn by Pinochet behind his dark glasses and of the public burning of books that circulated around the world and became the symbol of military brutality.

The dispersal into exile of 200,000 Chileans, most of them to Europe, added to the media images of men and women who had seen their lives destroyed by the death or disappearance of friends and relatives.

The murder of thousands of political opponents and the detention and torture of people who were identified with the constitutional government isolated the military regime internationally.

Raúl Zibechi
The Guardian | 11 September 2010

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