Chile, Latin America: Week in Review

Autopsy Reveals Chile’s Salvador Allende Committed Suicide

July 20, 2011 By Staff

Top Story — New autopsy results determined that former Chilean President Salvador Allende killed himself with an assault rifle during the 1973 coup that overthrew him. The forensic analysis, which was overseen by a team of Chilean and international experts, ends 37 years of speculation over whether Allende shot himself or was murdered when troops stormed the presidential palace of La Moneda. Allende’s remains were exhumed in May of this year on the behest of a judge investigating 726 human rights cases linked to the 17-year military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The forensic experts said there was only a single entry and exit wound in Allende’s skull and that there was no evidence of a second weapon. There was, however, evidence that two bullets may have been discharged by an AK-47 assault rifle. The findings brought relief to the Allende family, who view his suicide as a source of pride. He “made the decision to end his life before being humiliated or having to go through some other situation,” Senator Isabel Allende, his daughter, said on Tuesday.

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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America


  • The Dominican State Sugar Council said Monday that it will file a criminal complaint against a Spanish businessman over an armed confrontation at a sugar plantation that left two people dead, including a police officer.
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Central America


Southern Cone

Image: Jaume D’Urgell @ Flickr

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