Today marks the 39th anniversary of the 1973 coup against the democratically-elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende. The United States objected to Allende’s socialist policies, including the nationalization of US-owned copper mines, and former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger has been accused of knowingly providing practical assistance and encouragement to the regime of General Augusto Pinochet before, during, and after the coup. In the years that followed under Pinochet’s rule, an estimated 3,200 people were killed or disappeared, 28,000 were tortured, and 200,000 were exiled.
It can be hard to watch, but I would recommend the 1982 film ‘Missing’, which was directed by Costa Gavras. It tells the story of the coup and the disappearance of American journalist Charles Horman. The film was banned in Chile during Pinochet’s dictatorship. I would also recommend a book I read this summer, ‘Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter’ by Carmen Aguirre.