The U.S. doesn't want you to know about this incident that occurred on 9/11: the suicide of former Chilean President Salvador Allende. Forty years ago, Allende shot himself when the U.S.-backed Chilean coup d'état ostracized him. When they replaced him with infamous dictator General Augusto Pinochet, it marked end of Chile's nonviolent revolution and the start of 17 years of dictatorship.
The brutality and violence against thousands of Chileans has severely impacted the economic and political framework of the country. According to the International Business Times, under the dictatorial ruling of Pinochet, "thousands were imprisoned, tortured, murdered, and disappeared in an attempt to crush all political opposition." It's no surprise the people of Chile want to revert back to a socialist system to revive their country.
Chilean Commission Director Maria Luisa Sepulveda is investigating human rights abuses under the Pinochet regime confirmed that 40,018 people were victims of political and militaristic oppression under his reign. The people of Chile are outraged with the damaging, lasting effects of Pinochet's free-market economic policies that caused sweeping economic divides in the country. Because of Pinochet's negligence of national interests and his ongoing corrupt affairs, the citizens of Chile continue to experience the aftermath of poverty and inequality have have become deeply embedded in the country's policies.
Allende's legacy continues to be honored in Chile as people demand the same social, economic, and political support once exercised under his socialist agenda. "[Allende] embarked on what he called 'the Chilean path to socialism,' nationalizing the copper industry that had been dominated by U.S. companies and using the money to fund land redistribution while improving health care, education, and literacy," according to the Huffington Post.
A energized generation of activists in Chile are advocating for Michelle Bachelet, Chile's new president and member of the Socialist Party. Chileans realize the oppressive influence that the economic brand of capitalism — neo-liberal economics — had on the country's welfare. They are now fighting for economic reform and political justice.
Pinochet, who died in 2006, is believed to have saved the country from Marxism. He did, however, lead the country into years of political and economic oppression. The end of Pinochet's dictatorship is celebrated now in Chile as a new socialist movement is rapidly gaining traction. The neo-liberal policies enacted under Pinochet, along with the human rights violations he propelled, destroy any credibility his presidency held. The people of Chile have the opportunity to create a new, restored future for the country.