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On Sept. 11, 1973, the U.S.-backed coup began a cruel 17-year dictatorship that left over 40,000 victims of torture, disappearances, and detentions.
On Sunday night, thousands of women dressed in black gathered in front of the La Moneda Palace in downtown Santiago to demand justice for the victims of the dictatorship led by Augusto Pinochet from 1973 to 1990.
"The women of Chile, once again, as always, teaching us all a lesson," President Gabriel Boric said through social networks.
Convened by the "Women for Never Again" platform, this symbolic act was the prelude to the massive commemorations that will take place to remember the assassination of President Salvador Allende on Sept. 11, 1973, when the military bombed La Moneda palace.
This coup d'état began a cruel 17-year dictatorship that left over 40,000 victims of torture, disappearances, and detentions. Among them there are at least 3,200 murdered Chileans.
A horas de conmemorar el Golpe contra Allende cientos de manifestantes que caminaban a la tumba del Pdte. asesinado, fueron dispersados con agua y gases. Esta represión fue respondida con fuerza. La gente corre entre las tumbas. Chile. 10 de Sept. #50AnosDelGolpe �� pic.twitter.com/eFZqIO5qrV
The text reads, "Hours before commemorating the coup against Allende, hundreds of protesters, who were walking to the tomb of the assassinated President, were dispersed with water and gas. This repression was responded with force. People ran between the graves. Chile, Sept. 10."
"It's a symbolic way of saying that we are here, facing this horrible moment that I wish had never happened in Chile. I never thought so many people would have arrived,” said Rosana Vicentelo, a 60-year-old woman.
Decades after the U.S.-backed coup, Chileans remain divided regarding the interpretation of what happened in 1973. The Boric administration announced several official events to be attended by South American presidents.
The parties and militants of the Chilean right, however, announced that they would not participate in those events. They also did not agree to sign a joint declaration in favor of democracy and human rights.
"Never more brothers betrayed. Never more hearts betrayed. Never again a dictatorship," were some of the phrases of a speech read during the Chilean women's evening.