“I will pay for my loyalty to the people with my life. And I say to them that I am certain that seeds that we have planted in the good conscience of thousands and thousands of Chileans will not be shrivelled forever.”

–Salvador Allende, September 11, 1973.

There is a famous saying, “History repeats itself.” History does so, but sometimes in an ironic manner where selectivity of incidents defines the importance of an event. September 11! Many amongst the younger generations will be aware of it because of the attacks on the twin buildings of the World Trade Centre and the US resolve to take revenge. The US revenge came in the form of invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The regions where these countries are located are in complete disarray. Thanks to the US-led “War on Terror” aptly defined by John Pilger as the “War of Terror”.

However, there was another September 11 as well. But that September 11 finds a rare mention in public discourse. Perhaps because the victim was not the US but Chile. The year was 1973. CIA backed Chilean general Augusto Pinochet replaced the elected government of Salvador Allende — country’s first democratically elected socialist president. When troops entered the presidential palace, La Moneda, the president was already dead. He had shot himself with the gun that was Fidel Castro’s gift to him. What followed were years of repression, torture, forced disappearance, fear and for many Chileans, exile.