September 11th is a day haunted by historical suffering and injustice. On September 11, 1973, military leaders instigated a controlled attack on the Chilean presidential compound belonging to socialist Salvador Allende, thus ending his leadership. Recent investigations purported that Salvador Allende took his own life as General Augusto Pinochet’s soldiers surrounded the presidential compound.
Judge Mario Carroza is the man responsible for recent investigative efforts into the alleged human rights violations that occurred while Augusto Pinochet oversaw the behaviors of the Chilean militia during that time of turmoil. Judge Mario Carroza ordered the exhumation of Allende’s body, and detailed the extensive research efforts to verify the cause of death for Salvador Allende. “With the goal of establishing the facts of the case, and motivated by the various versions about this episode that exist, lines of investigation were set and decreed, and all were carried out and every detail was satisfactory,” Mario Carroza wrote.
The resulting chaos for the Chilean people led to unspeakable tortures where 2,300 people were reported missing and 40,000 were tortured. The heinous tortures included having genitalia electrocuted, females having rats pushed into their vaginas, victim beatings in front of loved ones, and random executions.
President Sebastian Pinera spoke about the importance of recognizing the past, but not using the hatred and pain inflicted from the past to shape the future. “The past has already been written. We can recall it, we can study it, we can debate it, but we cannot change it. Because of that, we should not remain prisoners or hostages of that past,” President Pinera said.
The following clip from the 2004 Chilean movie Machuca shows the general environment the populace of Chile had to endure during the coup.
President Sebastian Pinera surmised the hopeful message that future generations will be more greatly affected by peace than the brutality of the past era where current strides should focus on ensuring that peace.
“The time has come, not to forget, but to overcome the traumas of the past. The best legacy we can leave our children is a country reconciled and at peace,” he said.
[Image Via Ben2 at Wikimedia Commons]