50 Years After the Coup

This is what the commemoration of the coup d’état will look like

The commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the coup d’état is proceeding apace. It serves as a way to remember and bring justice to the victims of the dictatorship. Events started in early August and will culminate in a special ceremony on Sept. 11.

The Boric administration announced a series of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the coup d’état that toppled President Salvador Allende’s administration and installed the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship.

A ceremony is planned for the date of the coup, Sept. 11. Former presidents of Chile and current and former presidents of other countries, along with a wide array of other special guests will be on hand. There will also be a special ceremony in La Moneda for families and Allende’s former supporters.

The lead-up to Sept. 11

On Aug. 30, President Gabriel Boric initiated the countdown to the 50th anniversary by announcing the Plan Nacional de Búsqueda de Verdad y Justicia” (National Plan for the Search for Truth and Justice), which will attempt to locate and confirm the remains of the 1,162 so-called “detenidos desaparecidos,” detainees who disappeared during the Pinochet era.

The campaign “Acuérdate del futuro. Democracia, siempre” (Remember the future. Democracy, always), began on Sept. 1, with a series of spots on television, radio, and social media, and in public spaces. The aim of the campaign is to promote the values of democracy and the protection of human rights. 

Sept. 5 saw the rollout of a new legislative agenda that focuses on human rights, along with initiatives around justice, reparations, and guarantees that the violations of the past will not be repeated.

On Sept. 7, the government is to set make additional announcements related to the beneficiaries of the “Programa de Reparación y Atención Integral en Salud y Derechos Humanos” (Reparation and Comprehensive Care in Health and Human Rights Program or “PRAIS”). This program grants healthcare to those who are recognized as victims of the dictatorship as well as their families.

The dialogues for Memory and Democracy will begin on Sept. 8, and will take place in several regions across the country. The aim of this event is for different organizations to come together and reflect on the breaking of democracy, the present and the future. 

On Sept. 9, the Ministry of Women and Gender Equality will open a photography exposition titled “50 years, 50 women.”

Sept. 10 will see a pilgrimage around La Moneda.

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Sept. 11 commemoration

On the 50th anniversary of the coup, a special ceremony will be held in the canons garden, inside la Moneda, along with visiting heads of state. During the ceremony members of all the ministries of the government will read out loud the names of all civil servants who were executed and disappeared during the dictatorship.

At noon, President Boric will sign a promise in favor of democracy along with the four living former presidents, Sebastián Piñera, Michelle Bachelet, Eduardo Frei, and Ricardo Lagos.

The executive has extended an invitation to all political parties to attend, but the opposition coalition Chile Vamos rejected the offer, with president of the UDI, Javier Macay saying, “We are not disposed to participate in events that create more division.” President Boric responded, “We are going to make the effort so that all of us … commit ourselves together to value and care for democracy and to unrestricted respect of human rights.”

ADN Radio confirmed the participation of Tom Morello, singer of Rage Against the Machine, and Mon Laferte. The Under Secretary of Interior, Manuel Monsalve, also confirmed the names of other attendees: Germany’s President Frank Walter Steinmeier, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández, Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Uruguaya’s President Luis Lacalle Pou, and Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Also attending are Argentinians, Estela Barnes de Carlotto, president of the human rights organization Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo and the writer Mariana Enríquez; former Nicaraguan congresswoman Mónica Baldotano; Benedita Lasi, secretary general of Socialist International; and former heads of state confirmed to attend are Ernesto Samper and Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia; Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica, Felipe González of Spain, Tarja Halonen of Finland, and Massimo D’Alema and José Mujica of Uruguay, who will join with his partner former president Lucía Topolansky.

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