The Other September 11

The 'other' September 11 which few North Americans are aware of, but is indelibly engraved in the memories of most Latin Americans - that is the US inspired coup against Salvador Allende (a legally elected President)
and his government in 1973. Over three thousand Chileans were killed immediately in Chile Stadium after the post coup 'round up'

The footage here of the bombing of the Moncada (the Presidential Palace)has an eerie resonance with the images of 2001.

The military coup ushered in over two decades of Pinochet's military dictatorship. Many Chilean torture victims went to Australia, Scandinavia, Canada and other countries as refugees.

While sympathetic to the tragedy of 9/11/01 I can also understand the sentiments of Latin Americans who saw it as 'collateral damage' coming home to roost.

Another uncanny resonance I find in this footage is Allende's speech before he was killed, but when he still had some media access (in fact, he announced it as his final speech) - he predicted that the fascists would take and destroy certain radio stations and newspapers, and the headquarters of some of the social organisations.

Even as I write this I am awaiting news from a friend in Bolivia. Yesterday the Bolivian government expelled the US Ambassador for his support of right wing organisations that attempted to take over the government of the Province of Santa Cruz last Tuesday, with their leader threatening to divide the country. Here is an extract from the news she sent me yesterday:

Bolivia, September 11 2008

"After destroying property of recently-nationalised public entities, the fascist groups then burnt the offices of the human rights organization, Centre for Juridical and Social Studies (CEJIS), before turning their attention to media outlets. Radio Patria Nueva installations were burnt, offices of the State television company Channel Seven in Santa Cruz were attacked and equipment stolen. They forced Radio Alternativa to suspend broadcasts and intimidated other media that are not aligned to the movement for elite-led autonomy, in scenes reminiscent of the previous week in Cobija, where four radio stations had to cease transmission in order to protect the safety of their journalists."

It seems that some people never learn and try to force history to repeat itself in an endless loop. But then again, what goes around, comes around.


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