Allende, Salvador, Overthrow of

On September 11, 1973, a coordinated and monolithic action by the Chilean armed forces overthrew Salvador Allende Gossen’s Popular Unity administration, the world’s first democratically elected Marxist government. The bloody coup inaugurated a 17-year-long military dictatorship led by Chilean Army commander-in-chief Augusto Pinochet. According to human rights reports, such as those of Rettig and Valech, 3,065 people were killed or disappeared, almost 37,000 were tortured and imprisoned by the armed forces, and tens of thousands were exiled because of their opposition to the regime. Initially, Pinochet’s dictatorship was supported by the United States in the frame of the Cold War, a period characterized by Washington’s will to impede, by any means, the possibility to have a second pro-USSR government in the Western Hemisphere, such as ...

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