Chile on September 11 marked 50 years because the coup d’etat that introduced Augusto Pinochet to energy, with political divisions over the legacy of his brutal dictatorship on stark show.
Commemorations of the violent U.S.-backed ouster of Marxist chief Salvador Allende nonetheless evoke robust feelings, and police fired teargas and water cannon at protesters who vandalized the presidential palace on the anniversary’s eve.
Leftist President Gabriel Boric led an occasion on the palace, referred to as La Moneda, to mark the historic date, and confused the necessity to condemn those that violate human rights “without any nuance.”
“The coup cannot be separated from what came after,” he stated, referring to the 17-year Pinochet dictatorship below which greater than 3,200 folks had been killed or “disappeared” and tens of 1000’s tortured.
The far-right UDI occasion issued a press release Monday defending the coup as “inevitable” because of the failures of Allende’s political left.
The presidents of Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia and Uruguay had been on the emotional ceremony in Santiago, additionally attended by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and former Uruguayan president Jose Mujica.
No right-wing representatives attended Monday’s occasion at La Moneda.
Poetry readings and musical performances had been interrupted by a minute of silence to mark the second the bombs began dropping on the palace. Allende dedicated suicide whereas troops and tanks closed in.
As evening fell, 1000’s arrived on the nationwide stadium within the capital — as soon as utilized by Pinochet’s regime as a torture heart — to put candles in reminiscence of the victims.
Elsewhere, protesters on the outskirts of city prevented the passage of automobiles. Amid the unrest, a cameraman for an area tv station was shot within the face and a police officer was wounded. Both had been out of hazard, authorities stated.
The 1973 coup, in a rustic seen till then as a bastion of democracy and stability in Latin America, reverberated all over the world, and underscored covert interference by the United States.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller stated Monday that President Joe Biden’s authorities “has tried to be transparent about the U.S. role in that chapter of Chilean history by recently declassifying documents from 1973 as the Chilean government has requested us to do.”
Chileans stay deeply divided between those that defend the coup and those that repudiate it, whereas many really feel the anniversary is irrelevant amid financial woes and considerations over rising crime.
A survey performed by Cerc-Mori in May discovered that 36% of individuals imagine Pinochet “liberated Chile from Marxism” — the very best determine measured in 28 years of polling.
On Sunday, Mr. Boric grew to become the primary president because the finish of the dictatorship in 1990 to attend a commemorative march by Santiago for Pinochet’s victims.
But the procession was marred by vandals inflicting injury to the outside of La Moneda and the final cemetery that homes a victims’ memorial.
Six law enforcement officials had been injured and at the very least 11 folks had been arrested, officers stated.
Mr. Boric blamed the acts on “adversaries of democracy.”
On Sunday evening, some 6,000 girls wearing black held a peaceable vigil within the capital below the slogan: “Never again will democracy be bombed,” in reference to the 1973 air raids.
Politics ‘a little toxic’
Led by Mr. Boric, Allende’s leftist political heirs are in energy in Chile right now.
But the far-right Republican Party — Pinochet apologists — emerged the strongest from elections in May for a physique tasked with drafting a brand new structure to exchange the one which dates from the dictatorship period.
Pinochet died of a coronary heart assault on December 10, 2006 aged 91, with out ever setting foot in a court docket.
Michelle Bachelet, a former leftist president of Chile, instructed an area radio station Monday the nation should “learn from the lessons of the past” at a time when politics “is a little toxic.”
She herself was tortured throughout the dictatorship, as was her father, an air pressure normal who had opposed the coup.
Chile’s right-wing opposition has abstained from signing a doc affirming a dedication to “defend democracy from authoritarian threats” that has been signed by 4 dwelling ex-presidents of the South American nation.
On Sunday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated the 1973 coup “was an institutional breakdown that ruptured the bonds of coexistence and marked generations of Chileans, but also inspired many to fight for justice and freedom.”
He added: “Today’s strong Chilean democracy gives us hope that humanity, united in its diversity, can solve any global challenge.”