Chile 's '9 / 11 ': 40 Years After the Pinochet Coup

13.09.2013 18:15

SANTIAGO , CHILE – Chile 's president
called for national reconciliation
Wednesday as the country, amid violent
protests , marked the 40th anniversary of
a coup that brought dictator Augusto
Pinochet to power.
" The time has come not to forget, but to
overcome the traumas of the past ,"
Sebastian Pinera said in an address from
the La Moneda presidential palace .
"The best legacy we can leave our
children is a country reconciled and at
peace ," he said as he led a ceremony
honoring the victims of the September
11, 1973 overthrow of then- president
Salvador Allende.
In a sign of the persistent divisions in
the South American country , disturbances
broke out overnight in the capital
Santiago .
At least 68 demonstrators - - who torched
cars and barricades - - were arrested ,
police said .
In one neighborhood, attempts to set fire
to a public bus filled with passengers
was thwarted by the driver.
Authorities played down the unrest ,
saying it was not unexpected. Clashes
between protesters and police occur
every year .
Police chief Gustavo Gonzalez Jure
described the incidents as " relatively
minor. "
Pinera , Chile 's first right-wing head of
state since democracy was restored in
1990, stressed that reconciliation will
require Chileans "to continue on the path
of truth and justice . "
He condemned those responsible for
human rights violations during the 17-
year Pinochet regime while singling out
those of influence "who could have done
more" at the time to stop the abuse .
There is increasing pressure in Chile to
unmask the whole truth about a
dictatorship that left more than 3 ,200
dead and some 38,000 people tortured .
Pinochet died in 2006 without ever
having gone on trial and the Chilean
court system has some 1, 300 cases open
involving crimes committed during his
rule .