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Last Updated: Monday, 8 September, 2003, 06:11 GMT 07:11 UK
Pinochets attack Allende tribute
By Clinton Porteous
BBC correspondent, Santiago

A supporter of deceased President Salvador Allende holds a banner with Mr Allende's photograph during a commemorative demonstration
Allende's image appears everywhere
The family of Augusto Pinochet has claimed that Chilean history is being distorted in the lead-up to the 30th anniversary of the nation's military coup.

The general's daughter said her father was being falsely portrayed as a demon while Salvador Allende was being turned into a saint.

Thousands of Chileans are paying tribute to the former socialist president, who died during the military coup of 11 September 1973.

The image of the socialist president wearing horn-rimmed glasses appears everywhere from street posters to newspapers.

'Tense time'

More than 45,000 people attended a tribute concert called "The Dream Remains".

But the outpouring of emotion has become too much for the family of Augusto Pinochet.

The general's daughter, Lucia, has claimed that history is being distorted.

Supporters of Augusto Pinochet sing near a monument in honour of five of his bodyguards who died in an unsuccessful 1986 attempt on his life
The outpouring of emotion has been too much for the Pinochets
They are turning one person into a saint and the other into a demon, she said.

Military leaders have also warned they will not tolerate any lifting of amnesty laws that protect them from charges of human rights violations during the years following the coup.

It is a tense and emotional time as Chile tries to reconcile its past and it will reach a crescendo on Thursday.

This will be the 30th anniversary of the military coup and the death of the president.

Salvador Allende is believed to have killed himself before soldiers loyal to Augusto Pinochet could take him alive.

General Pinochet ruled Chile for 17 years and more than 3,000 political opponents were killed or disappeared.

Usually the 11 September in Chile is marred by demonstrations and violence.

This year the authorities expect extra trouble, so more than 10,000 police will be patrolling the capital, Santiago.


SEE ALSO:
Profile: Salvador Allende
08 Sep 03  |  Americas
Pinochet profile: Saviour or tyrant
08 Dec 00  |  The Pinochet file
Chile drops Pinochet trial
01 Jul 02  |  Americas
Court arrests Chilean general
08 Oct 02  |  Americas
Country profile: Chile
05 Jun 03  |  Country profiles


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