With some incidents of violence, thousands of Chileans marched on Sunday for the traditional pilgrimage for the dispeared and executed detainees of the past dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the 1973 coup against the socialist president Salvador Allende who began that military period, which continues to generate mixed reactions in the South American country.
President Gabriel Boric joined the protesters upon arriving at the presidential palace of La Moneda, where some hooded men dressed in black They threw flares and objects around the buildingThey tore down security fences and smashed windows, forcing riot police to spray water at them.
The Chilean president joined the march and joined demonstrators who carried banners with the faces of missing persons and which read “Where are they?”.
The Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990) left 3,200 murdered and 1,162 dispeared in Chile, including children, according to human rights organizations.
“I proudly participated with them because I am convinced that thanks to their tireless fight for truth and justice, we are here today,” Boric said later on social media. “We still owe them a lot as a country and that is the deep meaning of the National Search Plan” for the dispeared.
Boric condemned the acts of violence that, according to him, were carried out by small groups that “sought to break up the demonstration” and warned that these people will have to face justice. He said that they caused disturbances on the road and violated graves in the general cemetery, the point of tribute to the victims. At least three people were arrested and three police officers (carabineros) were injuredsaid the Undersecretary of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve.
Monsalve pointed out that the acts of violence “violate memory, that they disrespect the country” and those who want to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the coup as “a space for reflection, for strengthening democracy and for a strong and determined commitment to human rights”. He regretted the damage to the presidential palace, recalling that “it is a national monument of historical character.”
The Santiago metro it also closed two of its lines after registering incidents.
The day was also full of symbolism. Boric previously paid tribute to the figure of Allende showing his shoes at the door of Morande 80a street that the socialist leader used to use to enter La Moneda and which was closed during the dictatorship.
“These are the shoes that President Salvador Allende wore on September 11, 1973, which today are a call to keep #DemocracyAlways alive. “President @GabrielBoric accompanies his family to #50AnosdelGolpe,” the Presidency of Chile published on social networks.
Salvador Allend’s granddaughter participated in the marche, Marcia Tembutti, in addition to the former Spanish magistrate Baltasar Garzon, who arrived in Chile to participate in the commemorative acts, like other foreign leaders.
The march was called by the associations of relatives of detainees of the dispeared and political executions and other human rights associations to remember the victims of the dictatorship and especially those who, half a century later, are still missing. Many people carried photos of missing persons on their lels with the legend Where are they?
About to celebrate 50 years of the beginning of the dictatorship, There are also those in the country who support it. On Saturday several hundred Chileans marched to praise the figure of Pinochet.