Autopsy aims to solve Allende riddle

The remains of former Chilean leader Salvador Allende have been exhumed in an effort to resolve a decades-old controversy over his death during a military coup on Sept. 11, 1973.


AFP - Chile on Monday exhumed the remains of former president Salvador Allende, in hopes of finally determining whether he committed suicide or was assassinated during a 1973 coup.

Officials hope that a forensic analysis of Allende's remains will resolve a decades-old controversy over his death in his presidential palace on September 11, 1973 in the midst of the coup that brought General Augusto Pinochet to power.

The official version of events was that Allende killed himself with an assault rifle as the presidential palace was under attack from the air and ground.

But neither the weapon nor bullets were recovered following his death, and Pinochet's military regime prevented Allende's family from seeing his corpse after the coup. There was no criminal investigation into his death.

A Chilean prosecutor announced the inquiry in January, as part of an investigation into the deaths of 725 unprobed human rights complaints against Pinochet's 1973-1990 military dictatorship.

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