SANTIAGO – The president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, has said that at the time of the overthrow of the Salvador Allende government, Chilean democracy was sick and that the crisis of the country was unsustainable.
“I want to make it very clear, without this meaning under any circumstance justify the abuses of human rights, which are never justified, at any time, anywhere, in any context, but evidently that our democracy was deeply ill before the September 11, 1973, product of many factors,” Piñera told the newspaper La Tercera.
The Chilean president recalled that the day of the coup he was in the United States, and that same day he began his classes at the Department of Economics of Harvard University, to obtain a doctorate. He saw on television the images of the bombing of the presidential palace of La Moneda and the arrest of President Allende’s collaborators.
“My first reflection was that the coup d’état and the breakdown of democracy were going to be long and would generate more divisions, more hatred, more confrontations among Chileans,” he said.
According to Piñera, Chilean democracy “was very ill; It was not a sudden death on September 11. The weakening of the foundations of our democracy began to take shape in the decade of the 60s and was accentuated in the 70s and, of course, deepened in the 80s “.
He pointed out that in those decades “what happened in Chile was that certain groups wanted to refound our country from scratch, excluding all those who thought differently. It started with the revolution in freedom of President Frei (1964-1970), the agrarian reform, followed with the Marxist revolution of President Allende (1970-1973) and continued naturally with the military period (1973-1990).”
“We all have responsibilities in what happened. In the weakening of democracy, in the breakdown of democracy and in the abuses of human rights. Not of the same nature or of the same magnitude, but all. I am convinced that many civilians who had power and influence did not exercise it fully to have avoided the abuses of human rights, “said Piñera.