50 Years Of The Coup: Thousands of Chileans, With The Faces of Thousands of Murdered and Disappeared

Thousands of Chileans, with the faces of thousands of murdered and missing people, came out yesterday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the military coup d'état in Chile. This was the day .

Protesters march for the anniversary of the coup in Chile

Photo: EFE/ Esteban Garay

Javier Martín | EFE

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Leer en español: 50 años del golpe: Miles de chilenos, con el rostro de miles de asesinados y desaparecidos

Thousands of people marched this Sunday through the streets of Santiago de Chile with thousands of photos raised to the gray sky of compatriots and relatives murdered or detained or missing in the annual demonstration in memory of the coup d'état of General Augusto Pinochet against the democratic government of the socialist Salvador Allende , whose 50th anniversary this September 11th.

At the head of the march, between songs by Victor Jara and other anthems of the left, is the President of the Republic himself, Gabriel Boric, along with members of his Government, such as spokesperson Camila Vallejo, leaders of the Communist Party of Chile, leaders of the associations of victims and missing detainees and relevant personalities such as the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, the man who managed to arrest the dictator.

The most emotional moment occurred when passing through Morandé 80, the mythical door of the Palacio de la Moneda through which the body of President Allende emerged half a century ago after the bloody battle with the coup forces, and through which the march had never passed since protests resumed in democracy.

It was at that moment that an excited Boric joined the string of happy and moved protesters who were heading towards the distant Recoleta cemetery amid shouts of "Salvador Allende, present" or "Disappeared detainees present."

Emotion and memory

"Today the relatives of the political detainees who disappeared, tortured and executed by the Dictatorship participated in a march in which, after a long time, passage through Morandé 80 was authorized," Boric said through social networks.

"I proudly participated with them because I am convinced that thanks to their tireless fight for truth and justice we are here today. We still owe them a lot as a country and that is the deep meaning of the National Search Plan," presented on August 30 and considered one of the greatest milestones of his complicated administration.

The president expressed his desire to make this 50th anniversary an act of reconciliation and unity of the Chilean people, even promoting a joint declaration of all political forces, but both the right and the extreme right chose to distance themselves and will even agree to boycott the event that It will be held today in La Moneda and will be attended by world leaders, such as the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Read also: 50 Years of the Coup d'état in Chile: The Chilean Right Wing Will be Absent from the Commemoration

The celebration has once again divided a country where in recent months denialism and the number of people, public and private, who not only justify the military coup but believe that it saved Chile from communism and that the brutal reprisals of the dictatorship were a necessary evil.

Riots did not dampen the celebration

Like every year, the march concluded with isolated groups of young radicals dressed in black who faced police riot police both inside and outside the cemetery , where trucks with pressurized water and armored vehicles with tear gas penetrated. those who faced it with small barricades, stones, sticks, torn-up urban material and Molotov cocktails, without any injuries.

Security Forces confirmed to EFE that a dozen people were arrested , including groups of vandals who took advantage of the celebration to break into butcher shops and other businesses.

The strangest attack occurred in the La Moneda Palace itself, where a group of hooded men whose political and ideological affiliation is unknown to date, broke the glass fence that surrounds the front of the Government headquarters and tried to climb the walls and even enter the cultural center.

The action forced the police to intervene, who had to stop the march and split it in two shortly after it began.

Excited memory

Once inside the cemetery, the traditional offering of flowers took place in front of the wall of the missing detainees, where a poster with the faces of some of them was placed , and its base was decorated with red carnations and candles in an intimate ceremony. only broken by cries of "Allende, present" and "disappeared present."

"They killed my father, they made him disappear. I don't want this to happen anymore, I don't want my son to one day have to go through the hell that we went through," Marcela, daughter of a former leader of the Movement of Revolutionary Left, one of the parties most viciously retaliated against.

"It is a question of humanity. Those who tortured and killed were not humans, they were beasts. But those who now, with so much evidence and so much pain, continue to deny, or justify what happened, are the same. Or those who say that it was a necessary evil. They are inhuman," added Marcela, for whom the hope of every September 11 does not erase the sadness of an incomplete life.

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