SANTIAGO, Chile — Chile’s state television channel has reported that long-secret documents support the theory that President Salvador Allende may have been assassinated and did not commit suicide during the 1973 coup.
TVN’s “Special Report’’ program reported late Monday that it had obtained a copy of a 300-page military review of Allende’s death long thought to be lost.
Chile’s military announced during the Sept. 11, 1973, coup that the socialist president had killed himself with an AK-47 given to him by Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Allende was buried in a closed casket in a secretive nighttime ceremony with only his widow present.
The comprehensive military review reportedly describes ballistics and fingerprint evidence and includes photos and witness testimony as well as the original autopsy report, which was made public years ago. Two forensics specialists who analyzed the more complete set of documents told TVN they believe more than ever that Allende was shot first through the face with a small-caliber weapon, and that an AK-47 blast smashed the top of his skull after he was already dead.
One of the forensic analysts, Luis Ravanal, confirmed this with the Associated Press yesterday. Ravanal noted that the crime scene photos show Allende sitting slumped but upright in a chair, with no signs of blood on his collar, sweater, or throat. The review does not make any reference to the presence of blood on his clothes, either.