Judge Opens Investigation Into Death Of Salvador Allende
January 28, 2011 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — A Chilean judge opened the first official investigation into the death of former President Salvador Allende, the democratically elected socialist leader who died during the 1973 military coup led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
Allende was found dead by military forces that stormed the presidential palace during the coup on September 11, 1973. An autopsy suggested that Allende killed himself, but many of his supporters contend that he was killed by soldiers in the coup.
“What has not been investigated, the courts will investigate … This will finally establish what happened,” said Beatriz Pedrals, a prosecutor in the appellate court in Santiago, according to Aljazeera.
The investigation into Allende’s death is part of an investigation into complaints of human rights abuses during Pinochet’s rule from 1973 to 1990.
The judge who opened the investigation, Mario Carroza, said the work was a “tremendous responsibility”.
A truth commission in Chile in 1991 found that the Pinochet dictatorship killed 3,797 people. Many cases have already been investigated and have lead to human rights trials for about 600 military figures and a small number of civilian collaborators.
Pinochet ruled for 17 years, becoming the longest lasting dictator in South America. He died in December 2006 of a heart attack at the age of 91, with a slew of judicial cases still open against the regime.
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Image: Funcadión GAP @ Flickr.