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Montevideo, October 1st 2023 - 19:06 UTC



Chile: AMLO joins Boric in remembering Allende

Monday, September 11th 2023 - 10:40 UTC
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Allende “was a humanist, a good man, a victim of scoundrels,” the Mexican President said Allende “was a humanist, a good man, a victim of scoundrels,” the Mexican President said

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) said Sunday in Santiago that he admired late Chilean President Salvador Allende, who was “a victim of scoundrels.” The visiting leader made those remarks on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the military coup d'état by General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, which overthrew the Socialist head of state and started a 17-year dictatorship.

“Chilean President Salvador Allende, who still governs by his example, is the foreign leader that I admire the most, that generates the most feelings in me,” AMLO said.

“He was a humanist, a good man, a victim of scoundrels,” he added.

“Pinochet's betrayal was abominable, a stain that cannot be erased even with all the water in the oceans,” AMLO also said while recalling that Allende was a “pacifist.”

Chilean President Gabriel Boric Font thanked his Mexican colleague for his words: “President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is not used to making these trips and that is why I am deeply honored that he has decided to accompany us on this date so symbolic for us,” Boric said at the La Moneda presidential palace.

López Obrador, who landed on Saturday night from Colombia, was the first foreign leader to arrive in Chile for the Sept. 11 ceremony. He was followed Sunday by Presidents Gustavo Petro (Colombia); Luis Arce Catacora (Bolivia), Luis Lacalle Pou (Uruguay), and Portugal's Prime Minister António Costa.

Argentine President Alberto Fernández was also scheduled to attend but was delayed “at the G20 Summit,” it was explained.

It is López Obrador's first visit to South America as president. He has only made five trips abroad since coming to power in 2018: four to the United States and a brief tour to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize, and Cuba.

AMLO and Boric recalled Mexico's role after the coup by giving asylum to nearly 3,000 Chileans, including Allende's widow, Hortensia Bussi, and her daughters, who took refuge in the Mexican Embassy in Santiago before leaving for exile.

“The Mexican Government, with a solidarity that has characterized it throughout history, took in, gave asylum and affection in pain to hundreds, thousands of Chilean men and women,” Boric stressed.

Boric also stressed that Allende was a “flawless democrat, a social fighter, and a reference for those of us who believe in a better Chile.”

“We pay tribute to him because his death was in defense of democracy and the rule of law,” he also pointed out.

“President Allende half a century ago embodied in his final hour the just struggle for a freer and more humane future, not only for Chilean men and women but for millions of men and women around the world,” said Boric.

“He was a democrat who built and collaborated with other great men and women the foundations of the republic of the 20th century. He embodies that it is possible to build a coexistence that recognizes the diversity of our society and creates conditions for the full development of all,” he said.

Boric also underlined that amid the death and destruction caused by the military regime, which continues “to mark us to this day” the people of Chile still “knew solidarity and courage.”

“The path we are going to choose today cannot but be on the side of democracy, pluralism, and human rights. Today, when some allow themselves to relativize that which should not have existed, we firmly say democracy today and always,” Boric stressed.

Also Sunday in Santiago, thousands of Chileans joined the traditional march in memory of the victims of the Pinochet dictatorship, which was also attended by Boric, who marched together with the Agrupación de Familiares de Ejecutados Políticos (Group of Relatives of the Politically Executed) President Alicia Lira.

The head of state left before clashes between law enforcement troops and between 40 and 50 hooded demonstrators near La Moneda Palace.

“As president of the Republic I categorically condemn these facts without any nuance,” Boric said. “Their intolerance and violence should have no place in democracy and those who have been involved in these acts must face the law and the rule of law,” he added.

Categories: Politics, Latin America, Chile.

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