“The Other 9/11”: Ariel Dorfman on 50th Anniversary of U.S.-Backed Coup in Chile That Ousted Allende
Written by GRB on 11/09/2023
We look at the 50th anniversary of what is sometimes called the “other 9/11” — the U.S.-backed coup in Chile, when General Augusto Pinochet ousted President Salvador Allende and inaugurated almost two decades of brutal military rule. Allende died in the presidential palace on September 11, 1973, marking the end of Chile’s first socialist government. During Pinochet’s military dictatorship, more than 3,000 people were disappeared or killed, and some 40,000 more were tortured as political prisoners as Chile remained a close partner to the United States during the Cold War. “We’re still living in some sense under the shadow of Pinochet, and of course we’re living under the gigantic light … of Salvador Allende,” says renowned Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman, who served as a cultural adviser to Allende from 1970 to 1973 before going into exile following the coup. His latest novel, The Suicide Museum, explores the mystery around Allende’s death and whether it was a suicide or murder.