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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 September, 2004, 02:57 GMT 03:57 UK
Chile marks Allende's 1973 death
By Clinton Porteous
BBC News, Santiago

Allende's widow Hortensia Bussi, right, looks at a floral tribute from the Socialist Party
Allende's widow attended a service marking his death
Commemorative services are being held in Chile to mark the death of Socialist President Salvador Allende in a military coup in 1973.

Mr Allende's widow attended a religious service inside the presidential palace where he died on 11 September.

The commemorations come as Allende's successor, Gen Augusto Pinochet, fights a series of legal battles after the Supreme Court stripped him of his legal immunity.

He is accused of being responsible for kidnappings and torture during an international crackdown on political opponents known as Operation Condor.

Supporters of Salvador Allende were in full voice to mark the anniversary of his death as they gathered at his statue outside the presidential palace.

Hope

This is the 31st anniversary of the coup that marked the start of the military government of General Pinochet.

While this year's official ceremonies are more low-key than last year, the 30th anniversary, there is a different atmosphere.

Salvador Allende, former President of Chile, in 1971
Allende appointed Pinochet as commander-in-chief of the army
The Supreme Court last month stripped the former president, Gen Pinochet, of his legal protection for his alleged role in human rights abuses.

Formal questioning of the general has twice been delayed by his lawyers.

They say the 88-year-old is now a victim of political persecution.

But many supporters of the Allende government believe there is extra hope that the man who overthrew that government could be put on trial for the first time.


SEE ALSO:
Chile strips Pinochet of immunity
26 Aug 04  |  Americas
Chileans split over coup legacy
09 Sep 03  |  Americas
Pinochets attack Allende tribute
08 Sep 03  |  Americas
Profile: Salvador Allende
08 Sep 03  |  Americas
Pinochet profile: Saviour or tyrant
08 Dec 00  |  The Pinochet file
Testimony: Detainee remembers Chile 1973
23 Oct 98  |  The Pinochet file


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