UCL News


Letter: Allende's last stand

15 September 2006

While the photograph of the 1973 coup in Chile is still impressive … President Allende was not leaving the Moneda Palace.

The photograph shows Allende and his bodyguards in one of the internal patios of the palace looking at the military aircraft preparing to drop their bombs. He did not abandon the presidential palace but resisted the military attack to the end, committing suicide only when all hope was lost.

Re George Redman's letter (September 13): the non-uniformed young men in the photograph were members of Gap, a group improvised by the socialist party for the personal security of the president. Most members were executed following the coup. The moustachioed man in the photograph is a doctor and personal friend of the president. He survived the ordeal. The uniformed policeman behind was a member of the official guard which abandoned the palace before the attack, validating the misgivings about them.

Ronaldo Ramirez, UCL Development Planning Unit, 'The Guardian'