Thursday, September 13th 2012 - 01:51 UTC

Allende shot himself as Pinochet troops stormed the palace, confirms Chilean court

A Chilean court has confirmed that President Salvador Allende killed himself in 1973 as troops attacked the presidential palace to oust him. Official reports, accepted by his family, concluded that his death was suicide but his body was exhumed in 2011 to settle lingering doubts.

The first Socialist elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende, condemned by radicals and the military

General Pinochet ruled with an iron fist for 17 years and left a strong political and economic legacy

The court's ruling came as Chileans marked the anniversary of the 11 September coup, when troops under General Augusto Pinochet attacked the presidential palace with air force jets and tanks.

Inside was President Allende, the country's first left-wing leader. According to official accounts he shot himself as troops stormed the building.

The Allende family has always accepted this version. But some of his supporters suspected he had been killed by soldiers.

Last year, his family agreed to have his body exhumed so that an international team of experts could determine the cause of death. Their report concluded that Allende was killed by two bullets shot from a rifle set on automatic held between his legs. The gun used was a Kalashnikov, a gift from Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

On Tuesday, a Chilean appeals court closed the re-examination of his death, upholding the findings that it was suicide.

Allende introduced a number of economic reforms, including the nationalisation of the mining industry that angered the opposition and the US government of the time.

A series of strikes paralysed the country and left the capital isolated in the tense days that preceded the coup. General Pinochet with the support from the military and conservative civilians ruled for 17 years, marking a political and social division in Chilean society that persists until now.

The annual ritual of violence, rioting and even killings are evidence of the rift.

9 comments Feed

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1 Sergio Vega (#) Sep 13th, 2012 - 02:47 am Report abuse
What a coward scrap....!!! just an humanoid or just less than a humanbeing....
Unable to face his rsponsabilities into the courts......the best example of what his Gvt. was.....just scrap...!!!
2 Marcos Alejandro (#) Sep 13th, 2012 - 03:49 am Report abuse
Who is Allence MercoP.?

Viva Allende!
3 The Chilean perspective (#) Sep 13th, 2012 - 07:51 am Report abuse
Not only was he incompetent, naive and totally useless, but he turned out to be a coward as well. Instead of being red he really was yellow underneath.
4 Englander (#) Sep 13th, 2012 - 01:37 pm Report abuse
2 “Viva Allende!”

Bit late. About 39 years.

3 “he turned out to be a coward ”

Nah, he wasn't a coward. Took guts to pull that trigger and don't let anybody tell you different.
5 Condorito (#) Sep 13th, 2012 - 04:56 pm Report abuse
For so long the communists maintained that he was murdered and that the suicide was invented. Now they concede.
The passing of time does not favour communist myths.

You should try to get hold of Allende’s doctoral thesis. It is particularly revealing, his declared hatred of Jews, Arabs and gypsies should come as no surprise, but his proposals to sterilise the mentally ill and his classification of “political revolutionaries” as mentally ill, is perhaps more surprising.

Luckily for us, divine intervention determined that this particular political revolutionary was permanently neutered.
¡Viva Chile!
6 British_Kirchnerist (#) Sep 15th, 2012 - 01:08 am Report abuse
Even if he killed himself, which I don't concede by the way, he was killed by Pinochet because without the coup he wouldn't have died that day. The idea he'd have got a fair trial is laughable

#5 Interesting, he must have got more left wing as he got older! Tell me do you prefer the young or old version???
7 Condorito (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 04:40 pm Report abuse
Even if he didn’t kill himself, he still killed himself, without his destruction of the country the coup would not have been necessary.
I prefer the deceased version.
You are correct that he got more left wing in the sense that his dislike of freedom increased.
8 British_Kirchnerist (#) Sep 20th, 2012 - 09:30 pm Report abuse
How did his “dislike of freedom” increase with the abandonment of any youthful prejudices about Jews, Arabs, gypsies, the mentally ill and revolutionaries?
9 Condorito (#) Sep 21st, 2012 - 02:22 pm Report abuse
He went from dislike of minority groups to dislike of everyone's freedoms. So rather than just curtail the freedoms of a few he would curtail the freedom of many.

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