Chile and the United States: Declassified Documents Relating to the Military Coup, September 11, 1973

“September 11, 1998 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet. The violent overthrow of the democratically-elected Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende changed the course of the country that Chilean poet Pablo Neruda described as “a long petal of sea, wine and snow”; because of CIA covert intervention in Chile, and the repressive character of General Pinochet’s rule, the coup became the most notorious military takeover in the annals of Latin American history.”

—Peter Kornbluh, “Chile and the United States: Declassified Documents Relating to the Military Coup, September 11, 1973.” National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 8.

On 9/11, I like to take the opportunity to reflect on “the Other 9/11,” the one the United States is responsible for.

Other 9/11s

On September 11, 1973, the Chilean government was overthrown by a CIA-backed military coup d’état that killed or disappeared a few thousand people. Over the years, the government of General Pinochet arrested, imprisoned and tortured more than 28,000 people and over 200,000 people (2% of the population) were forced into exile because of this coup.

There are other 9/11s. We would do well to remember these others, where the United States were the perpetrators and not the victims. I try to do this by playing a song by Victor Jara, who was tortured and found dead in the streets of Chile on September 16, 1973.

It might also be worthwhile to think about today. There is a 9/11 being created in Yemen by Saudi Arabia using weapons made in the United States and with the support of the United States government.