With a moving speech by Isabel Allende as the highlight, Chile remembered this Monday the 50th anniversary of Augusto Pinochet's coup d'état. He made it divided, but in peace.
"This coup has tried to be justified, we see with pain that today historical revisionism is promoted. In an unusual way they seek to distort the facts," said Allende, senator and daughter of Salvador Allende, the president deposed on September 11, 1973.
The event took place with a calmness that had not been guessed hours before, when early Monday morning was cold and heavy rain in Santiago, after a weekend of tension and violence in the streets of the Chilean capital.
"The sun came out, that means that even if they are not there, they are there," said Estela de Carlotto, president of the Argentine organization Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, who was specially invited by the government of Gabriel Boric.
The right-wing opposition did not attend the event, considering it politically biased, although former president Sebastián Piñera signed the document "For democracy, always", which was also accompanied by former presidents Eduardo Frei, Ricardo Lagos and Michelle Bachelet.
The Independent Democratic Union (UDI), which supported the Pinochet dictatorship, issued a document before the start of the act in which it stated that "between 1970 and 1973 there was a social, political and institutional breakdown with respect to which September 11 became a something inevitable."
Allende, who governed between 1970 and 1973, promoted the installation of a socialist State in Chile, something that the United States government with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the helm fought through various means, many of them notably obscure.
Boric denied that a military coup was an option. "Of course there was another alternative!" Said the Chilean head of state in a powerful 45-minute speech, followed in the front row by former Prime Minister Felipe González.
Along with González were the presidents of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, of Bolivia, Luis Arce, and of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, as well as the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa. The Brazilian Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva did not attend, who had anticipated that he would not arrive in Chile on time since the G-20 Summit in India, in which the Argentine Alberto Fernández was also present, who had committed his presence, but canceled. the trip at the last moment.
Spain was represented by two Undersecretaries of State, while the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, sent a video message.
"Fifty years ago, Chilean democracy was the victim of a brutal attack that shook the world. That barbaric coup not only broke the constitutional order and overthrew a legitimate government born from the polls, but it was also the prelude to a dark time," said the socialist leader before paraphrasing Allende himself.
"Fifty years after that sad day, we look back confirming a beautiful certainty, and that is that in the end the great Alamedas, blinded by darkness for so long, opened wide."
Sánchez's phrase refers to Allende's radio speech on the morning of September 11, 1973, with the bombing of La Moneda already underway and shortly before committing suicide: "The great avenues will open where the free man passes."
The memory of the bombing of the Chilean government headquarters was almost physical today when a minute of silence was requested at 11:52, the exact time the bombs began to fall.
Twelve bells marked the moment: Isabel Allende's face contorted, Maya Fernández, Minister of Defense and Allende's granddaughter, shook, Boric closed his eyes, Bachelet was moved and Lagos showed himself beaten.
Senator Allende, who followed the act sitting next to Fernández, recalled those moments. "I had decided that if there was another coup attempt I would come to La Moneda. My husband took care of my two children, I came in my Fiat 600, it was not easy to get there. Neither my sister nor I wanted to leave La Moneda knowing it was coming. a bombing. My father had decided to stay until the last consequences".
"Forty men and women acted with loyalty and love that day. I remember that my father acted determined but with serenity. We knew that he would not leave. Before demanding, almost imploring us, that we leave with my sister, because the planes were already coming, He asked us to denounce what was happening. I don't forget his last hug, his warmth, his infinite love."
Boric, who decisively cut off an attempt at booing when he mentioned Piñera, warned about the fragility of democracy: "We must remember the uncomfortable truth that democracy is not guaranteed. Political violence has no place within it. To the new generations that take democracy for granted, I invite you to leave the screens, look up and ask ourselves what we are doing for those who will come.