It has been confirmed that the President of Chile some four decades ago died by suicide. Chile’s independent judiciary ruled out theories that Salvador Allende was killed by the military, when it overthrew his government.
Allende was the first socialist in the Americas to come to power by a democratic vote. His daughter, a senator today, said the findings of the investigation brought relief, scientifically supporting what the family has always believed.
Isabel Allende said that, on September 11, 1973, her father, “faced with the extreme circumstances, took the decision to end his life rather than be humiliated.”
The president’s body was exhumed in May this year, for the first authoritative autopsy to be performed. Chile also looked into hundreds of other deaths during the dictatorship General Augusto Pinochet.
In the 1973 coup, the general ordered the presidential palace be bombed by the air force and taken by troops, but Allende stayed. A British expert in the investigation said Allende himself fired two shots from an automatic rifle he held under his chin.