[R-G] Chile: Hundreds arrested following 911 coup anniversary
bstoller at utopia2000.org
Thu Sep 12 11:36:56 MDT 2002
Reuters; AP. 12 September 2002. Hundreds arrested in Chile anniversary
violence; Hundreds Detained in Chile in Violence Following Anniversary
of Pinochet Coup.
SANTIAGO -- Fourteen police officers were injured and 500 people
arrested in violent protests in Chile on the anniversary of a 1973
military coup, police said on Thursday.
As much of the the world paid tribute to those killed in the suicide
attacks in the United States last year, Chileans also remembered "the
other September 11."
A US flag was burned in front of the statue of President Salvador
Allende next to the La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago as left
wing activists clashed with police.
The anniversary itself, Wednesday, passed without violence this year, in
part because it was not a holiday as in the past.
But violence erupted overnight and early Thursday, especially in
Santiago's working class suburbs, where demonstrators put up barricades
of burning tires at several intersections.
Police moved in with water cannon and tear gas. Demonstrators replied by
throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.
Sporadic shots were heard at some of the demonstrations, especially at
Villa Francia in western Santiago, and police director Gen. Alberto
Cienfuegos said four officers received bullet wounds.
The protests lasted into dawn and police said a number of small shops
were looted, and telephones and traffic signs were destroyed.
Police Gen. Rene Moya said most of the detained "were common criminals
taking advantage of the protests." He said a number of them will be
charged with robbery or looting.
Opponents and supporters of Pinochet marked the anniversary of the 1973
coup in different fashions Wednesday.
Leftist parties paid tribute to Salvador Allende, the Marxist president
toppled by Pinochet [and the CIA], while the military organized private
religious ceremonies and supporters met at a downtown government
building to hear a series of speeches praising the 86-year-old former dictator.
Pinochet remained secluded at his countryside residence near Santiago.
An official report by the civilian government that succeeded Pinochet in
1990 stated that 3,190 people were killed for political reasons during
Pinochet's rule. More than 1,000 dissidents remain unaccounted for.
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