Allende's body to be exhumed in probe over death
Published 16/04/2011 | 05:00
THE remains of Salvador Allende, the former president of Chile, are to be exhumed 38 after his death to establish whether he was murdered in a 1973 coup led by General Augusto Pinochet.
According to the official version of events, Mr Allende killed himself on September 11, 1973, after the presidential palace in the Chilean capital Santiago was invaded by troops staging a coup.
But an investigation into the socialist leader's death was opened earlier this year, leading his family to request an exhumation so that a post-mortem examination could be carried out.
Judge Mario Carroza approved the request yesterday and Allende's remains are expected to be exhumed in mid-May for examination.
Senator Isabel Allende, daughter of the former president, had met the judge earlier in the week to ask him to comply with the family's wishes.
Mr Allende was elected in 1970 despite winning only 36pc of the vote and his term in office was marked by severe economic problems, with inflation reaching 1,000pc per year.
On the day of his death he made a radio address, as soldiers supporting General Pinochet closed in on La Moneda Palace, in which he pledged: "I will pay for loyalty to the people with my life."
The military said Mr Allende was found dead inside. A post-mortem at the time concluded that he had killed himself with a rifle given to him by Fidel Castro.
General Pinochet held on to power until 1990, but more than 3,000 political opponents disappeared or were killed during his rule. He died in 2006. (© Daily Telegraph, London)