Monday, June 13, 2011

CHILE - Salvador Allende, a death that remains to be explained

Both funerals of former President Salvador Allende [died September 11, 1973] and the various steps taken so far towards the identification of the bodies were not made in the rules. On September 11, 1973, military coup leaders ordered in haste to report to the Brigada de Homicidios [Criminal Police] on the death of Allende and a necropsy was performed at the Military Hospital.

The relevant documents have several inconsistencies. The exhumation of the remains of Allende, May 23, aims to address gaps and highlight the direct cause of death: single suicide? assisted suicide? strafing? In the afternoon of September 11, 1973, three soldiers and several firefighters were outside the Palacio de la Moneda [the seat of the presidency], carrying a bundle wrapped in a blanket with stripes, the undersigned Alina Morales had offered to Allende for his last birthday.

We suppose it was the body of President Allende. It is driven in a truck-ambulance from the military to the military hospital, where doctors perform the autopsy. The next morning, the widow Hortensia Bussi, accompanied by Eduardo Grove Allende, the nephew of Salvador, arrived at the hospital with a laissez-passer of the military authorities and demands that he hand over the corpse.

He was told he was transferred to Los Cerrillos airport. With a presence of mind foolproof Tencha [nickname Hortensia Bussi] went to the airport where she and her sister, the member Laura Allende, who went directly recover the coffin when he would be transported in a DC-3 of the Air Force.

Hortensia Bussi request to see the body, but is hampered by a refusal, the coffin, from what he said, is sealed. "I will never know - or perhaps one day, I do not know - if I was indeed buried Salvador Allende, because we did not let me open the coffin," she says . During the flight, next to the coffin, are present wife and sister of President Patricio Allende Grove, Grove Eduardo Allende and his teenage son Jaime, godson of the deceased.

Then, from the base of Quintero, the procession - a hearse and two cars - travels in Viña del Mar and enters the Santa Inés Cemetery until family vault Grove Allende. Several uniformed officers waiting for them. Hortensia Bussi coldly greet Laura's lips pursed. Three decades later, the widow recalled: "Before they descended the coffin, I made an effort not to collapse.

Nobody saw me cry. I swallowed my tears, all my tears. I said, 'No way they see me cry ". At this point, Hortensia Bussi insists they open the coffin. The lid is lifted, but she sees only a cloth: "I could not know if it was his foot or his head." The widow takes a flower, laid upon the coffin and said: "I want you to know that we bury by Salvador Allende, President of Chile, anonymously, because we do not want it known.

But I ask you, gravediggers, gardeners, and those who work here say about you as Salvador Allende is here, he has always flowers. "Seventeen years later, six months after his arrival as president, Patricio Aylwin [elected in December 1989 and took office on March 1, 1990]] decides to organize the second funeral of Salvador Allende, this time officially.

Previously, August 17, 1990, Salvador Allende's remains the subject of a formal identification of more symbolic than the cemetery of Santa Inés Viña del Mar. Dr. Arturo Jirón, who was with Allende in the Battle of La Moneda palace, representing the family and into the mausoleum of Grove at night, in the light of torches and lanterns.

The wood is rotten, the coffin breaks. In June 2007, Jirón we declare: "I recognized the sweater and tweed jacket, and I saw his skull cracked. It was him. It was a disaster. "Odors? "Not bad smells." Coverage in which striped they wrapped it was she again? "No." If it is not totally unfounded, this "identification" with the clothes of a corpse that had been stripped and autopsied 17 years earlier has no scientific value.

The official funeral, coordinated by the Minister Enrique Correa, held September 4, 1990, the twentieth anniversary of the election in which Allende was victorious. Pinochet is still the army chief, the situation is delicate, and the Chilean government, fearing a popular uprising, wants to avoid at all costs demonstrations.

The coffin containing the remains running at full speed to the Viña del Mar Cathedral of Santiago, where a religious ceremony and a response of Cardinal Carlos Cavada pay tribute to President Freemason and allegedly committed suicide - two grounds for excommunication by Catholic dogma. From there he joined the family mausoleum at the Cementerio General de Santiago.

During the official ceremony at the cemetery entrance, foreign dignitaries accompanied the widow and family. Booed by a section of the audience, President Aylwin proclaims it a "mistake unfair" that fixes this day. Counsel Gabriela Alvarez (who died in April), who was with Allende in his first presidential campaign in 1952, shaking up the program and says goodbye to his friend Salvador delivering a fiery speech before his burial.

For Hortensia Bussi, the funeral was "a great gesture of reconciliation." Since then, the body of Salvador Allende is alleged in this mausoleum, where she receives constant compliments. The exhumation ordered by the Minister Carroza should confirm finally and definitively, its identity.

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