the other 9/11

Whilst most of the media is focused on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist atrocity in New York which killed 2,753 people, many in Latin America remember another 9/11.

Chile, September 11 1973:  Thousands were killed in a US-backed coup which also led to the death of democratically elected President Salvador Allende. The subsequent regime of the coup leader, General Pinochet, served as a template for many Latin American fascist dictators, killing or disappearing 3,000 Chileans (a conservative estimate). The military thugs in neighbouring Argentina learned the lessons well, killing or disappearing 30,000 in a decade long dirty war against the Left.

One of the best documents of the coup and its aftermath is The Battle for Chile, by Chilean director Patricio Guzman. The trilogy charts the history of the coup, and the events in Chile that lead up to it – the world’s first democratically elected Marxist government. The films received many awards all over the globe, and all three recently became available on DVD.

Here’s the introduction to the first film:

For a more recent reflection on the coup, put in the context of the 9/11 attack on the United States, Ken Loach directed a segment in the film 11’09”01 – September 11



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