The 1973 Chilean coup d’état was a watershed event of the Cold War and the history of Chile. On Tuesday 11 September 1973, the democratically elected President Salvador Allende was overthrown in a coup d’état organised by the Chilean military and endorsed by the United States. A military junta led by General Augusto Pinochet took control of the government, composed of the heads of the Air Force, Navy, Carabineros (police force) and the Army. Pinochet later assumed power and ended Allende’s democratically elected Popular Unity government.
During the air raids and ground attacks that preceded the coup, Allende gave his last speech, in which he vowed to stay in the presidential palace, where he died. After the coup, Pinochet established a military dictatorship that ruled Chile until 1990; it was marked by severe human rights violations. A weak insurgent movement against the Pinochet government was maintained inside Chile by elements sympathetic to the former Allende government.