Chile remembers its own September 11 anniversary

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Last photo of Salvador Allende alive.

September 11, 2005 is not only a day of remembrance for the United States, but for Chile as well. On September 11, 1973, General Augusto Pinochet took control of Chile with support from the US, establishing a military dictatorship that lasted 17 years.

The day is often one marked by violence. This year, riots in protest of the government have broken out across Chile. The government stated that it would not tolerate violence.

At least four were injured and 20 arrested in connection with rioting, sources say.

Chile remains divided by the current government. "This is not the Chile we want to build," says the current president, Ricardo Lagos.

Pinochet had claimed that the democratically elected leader of Chile, Salvador Allende was a communist intent on aligning the country with the Soviet Union.

Pinochet is now being sued for various human rights abuses committed during his reign, and has all but left the public spotlight. Many of the former officials of the Pinochet regime have been arrested and detained. Hundreds of said officials have been tried for human rights crimes, but only four have been convicted.

Lorena Pizarro, leader of a group of families of victims of Pinochet's violence, stated, "One works hard to get a human rights violator indicted and then he is pardoned." She further said, "Those who are guilty must be punished. We will continue to fight to gain even more convictions."