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Chile’s 9/11, Fifty Years Later

For 16 years after Augusto Pinochet's coup on September 11, 1973, Chile was subjected to a military dictatorship, widespread human-rights abuses, and an extraordinarily successful free-market experiment. Today, Chileans are still grappling with a legacy that is as abhorrent as it is enviable.

SANTIAGO – On September 11, 1973, Chile’s armed forces staged a coup to depose Salvador Allende, a socialist physician who had been elected president in September 1970. The presidential palace, La Moneda, was bombed by British-made Hawker Hunter fighter jets and assaulted by tanks and infantry troops. Inside, some 60 people, led by Allende, resisted the onslaught for several hours.