1973 Chilean coup d'état

er 1973

The 1973 Chilean coup d'état was a critical moment in both the history of Chile and the Cold War.

1973 Chilean coup d'état
Part of the history of Chile, Operation Condor, and the Cold War

The bombing of La Moneda on 11 September 1973 by the Chilean Armed Forces
Date11 September 1973
ActionArmed forces put the country under military control. Little and unorganised civil resistance.
Chile Chilean Government
Revolutionary Left Movement
"Group of Personal Friends"
Other working-class militants[1]

Chile Chilean Armed Forces

Supported by:
United States United States[2][3]
Brazil Brazil[4]
Commanders and leaders
Chile Salvador Allende 
Chile Max Marambio
Miguel Enríquez
Chile Augusto Pinochet
Chile José Toribio Merino
Chile Gustavo Leigh
Chile César Mendoza
Casualties and losses
46 GAP
60 in total during the coup

Following many years of social unrest and political tension between the opposition-controlled Congress of Chile and the socialist President Salvador Allende, as well as economic warfare ordered by US President Richard Nixon.[5]

Allende was overthrown by the armed forces and national police.[6][7]

The presidential palace was bombed. During the air raids and ground attacks that preceded the coup, Allende gave his final speech, in which he vowed to stay in the presidential palace.[8] Direct witness accounts of Allende's death agree that he killed himself in the palace.[9][10]

This marked the beginning of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.


  1. Lawson, George (2005). Negotiated Revolutions. p. 182. The only armed resistance came in a handful of factories, the La Legua poblacion in Santiago and in isolated gunfights with MIR activists.
  2. McSherry, J. Patrice (2011). "Chapter 5: "Industrial repression" and Operation Condor in Latin America". In Esparza, Marcia; Henry R. Huttenbach; Daniel Feierstein (eds.). State Violence and Genocide in Latin America: The Cold War Years (Critical Terrorism Studies). Routledge. p. 107. ISBN 978-0415664578.
  3. Walter L. Hixson (2009). The Myth of American Diplomacy: National Identity and U.S. Foreign Policy. Yale University Press. p. 223. ISBN 0300151314
  4. Kornbluh, Peter. "Brazil Conspired with U.S. to Overthrow Allende". National Security Archive. George Washington University. Archived from the original on 8 July 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  5. Peter Kornbluh. "Chile and the United States: Declassified Documents Relating to the Military Coup, September 11, 1973".
  6. "Controversial legacy of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet ...Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who overthrew Chile's democratically elected Communist government in a 1973 coup ..." Archived 16 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 December 2006
  7. "CHILE: The Bloody End of a Marxist Dream" Archived 2008-09-25 at the Wayback Machine, Time Magazine, Quote: "....Allende's downfall had implications that reached far beyond the borders of Chile. His had been the first democratically elected Marxist government in Latin America..."
  8. "Salvador Allende's Last Speech – Wikisource". Wikisource. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  9. Davison, Phil (20 June 2009). "Hortensia Bussi De Allende: Widow of Salvador Allende who helped lead opposition to Chile's military dictatorship". The Independent. London. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
  10. Gott, Richard (12 September 2009). "From the archive: Allende 'dead' as generals seize power". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 April 2010.