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Marches, candles, speeches: Chile celebrated the anniversary of the 1973 coup – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: June 20, 2024 Time: 12:56:36

In the capital Santiago alone, several marches took place, with thousands of people gathering at the National Stadium to commemorate the victims of Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship. They brought candles and photographs of all those who died or disappeared during the military junta. The place was not chosen by chance, it was this stadium that after the coup d’état became a concentration camp, through which about 20 thousand people passed. The University of Chile hosted readings of testimonies recorded by those who suffered during the coup. Over the course of seven hours, various people from the academic, political and artistic fields went up to the podium to read the recordings. The marathon began at five in the morning and ended around two in the afternoon, local time, reflecting the main milestones of the events of September 11, 1973, the moments when the coup d’état began and the assault on the palace presidential of La Moneda.

Naturally, the palace itself, where the legally elected president Salvador Allende defended himself against rioters with weapons in hand, also became a place of commemoration. On the night of September 11, thousands of women gathered here. With candles in their hands and in complete silence, they surrounded the palace. “This is a symbolic way of saying how we are going through this terrible time,” said one of the protesters. Official events were also held here, in which the President of Chile, Gabriel Borich, and several high-ranking guests participated, including the Presidents of Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay and the Prime Minister of Portugal.

In his speech, Borich noted that “the coup cannot be separated from what followed.” “Since the coup d’état, human rights have been violated,” said the president, criticizing the acts of violence committed during the Pinochet dictatorship. According to him, human rights violations cannot be justified. However, events in parliament in memory of former President Allende, who committed suicide to avoid falling into the hands of rioters, were overshadowed by a series of incidents. On the one hand, the Republican Party, led by José Antonio Cast, known for supporting the Pinochet dictatorship, was excluded from participating in them. Several deputies were fined for inappropriate comments. And the representative of the Popular Party, Gaspar Rivas, took the podium with a photograph of Pinochet. It’s worth noting that this was one of the few mentions of the dictator that day. Although it caused the suffering of thousands of people, they tried not to remember it again, focusing all attention on the victims of the regime and on the symbol of democracy, Salvador Allende. As the Socialist Party deputy, Daniel Manuchehri, pointed out, “he was one of the greatest people in the history of Chile.” As for Pinochet’s oblivion, this was facilitated by the fact that he does not actually have a grave where his supporters and followers can gather. The dictator’s body was cremated after his death in 2006 and his ashes were given to his family. Today it is preserved in the family chapel in Valparaíso.

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Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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