Salvador Allende biography

Salvador Allende Gossens (Valparaiso, June 26, 1908 – Santiago, Chile, 11 September 1973), doctor and Chilean politician. He was elected president of Chile in 1970, after the victory led coalition, called the Unidad Popular. His term as president until 1976 included, but the coup of the eleventh of September 1973 led by sectors of the military against the socialist policies, supported by reactionary sectors of the extreme right and the United States, ended the period of intense democratic social reforms. His death occurred during the bombing at the La Moneda Palace by the military coup, during which he committed suicide, defending to the last time the legitimate government representing. That tragic end shocked everyone and made it become such a political issue.
He was awarded the Christa Leem (2007) One of our collective progressive Catalan and the Lenin Peace Prize (1972).

Salvador Allende Biography speech

Salvador Allende biography

Origin and family

The origin of Allende is Basque. Their ancestors arrived in Chile during the seventeenth century, and began to emphasize between the aristocratic families from the first half of the nineteenth century. His family stood his grandfather Ramon Allende Padín called “The Red”, radical and great teacher of masonry.

His son Salvador Allende Castro radical, was also a mason. He worked as a public servant and as a notary of the port of Valparaiso. He became known for his wit, poetic talent (like his father) and his fanaticism by xilenització process of Tacna and Arica.

He married Laura Gossens Uribe, woman of great beauty and much religiousness, daughter of an immigrant Belgian and a lady of the city of Concepcion. The brothers Allende Gossens were: Alfredo, Ines, Salvador and Laura and the death of the last two were two new Salvador and Laura.

Allende’s family was upper middle class, his father traveled and moved with his family across the country, due to he held various positions in the public administration. For this reason, the first eight years of life of Beyond were developed in Tacna, at that time held by Chile, reaching the city just completed a few months. Salvador Allende Castro had to assume as the Court of Appeals lawyer and secretary of the Intendencia Regional, settling with his family in the leased property at 238 San Martin Street.

Allende began his studies at the Lyceum Preparatory Section of Tacna, led by Professor Julio Angulo. Was like a naughty boy and energy, according to Zoila Rosa Ovalle, the dwarf who nursed Allende in childhood and adolescence, and who came to see him become president. She would call “Chichita” expensive small Allende could not pronounce its diminutive corresponding Salvadorcito. Hence the origin of the nickname, the “Chicho Beyond”.

After 8 years living in Tacna, the family moved to a small period to Iquique in 1918. Valdivia would be the next target, settling the father as attorney Defense Council of the State 1919 . He continued his studies at the Liceo de Valdivia, earning the nicknames of “pijes” and “fine chicken” by his high social position and his worried clothes in comparison with their peers.

The return to Valparaiso came in 1921, when the father was named attorney Court of Appeals of this city. There, Allende, he continued his studies in the Grammar school Eduardo of Barra, he knew Juan Demarchi, old shoemaker anarchist who, according to the confessions of Allende himself, exercised a fundamental influence on him, especially as a result of long conversations maintained, which also played chess, outlined many of the flags of future social struggle that would take the future president of Chile. Some believe, however, that this relationship is too embellished and mythologized and the influence of the shoemaker would have been lower.

He finished his secondary studies in 1924 and decided to do his military service, he made over a year in the Lancers Regiment of Tacna. He entered the University of Chile to study medicine, although it had doubts between following this career or law. He lived with his paternal aunt, Anita, later to lead a life of residential instability, on living pension board. Despite this relative uncertainty, remained the “snob.” He obtained a five grade average at the end of their studies. School of Medicine, University of Chile. Certificates of final exams, years 1926-1931. His doctoral dissertation, 1933, “Mental hygiene and crime” was published in 2005 by Editorial CESOC, Santiago de Chile.

Starting in politics

Salvador Allende entered the school of Valdivia, where he was noted for the care they had in dress (quality that would last a lifetime). It was the embodiment of “pije”, the girls called him the “fine chicken”.

He noted, too, as a student and student leader. In 1926 he joined the School of Medicine, University of Chile, where he graduated as a surgeon.

At that time, he knows the thought and socialist ideology. It will catechize them by José Demarchi, old anarchist shoemaker. The he infused for long conversations, leaving books of Bakunin, Kropotkin, Lafargue, Malatesta. He began his political life in the student group at the University of Chile, forward, left-leaning. However, it is expelled from the group for their democratic ideas, because when a coup ousted President Juan Esteban Montero, and implemented the “Socialist Republic”, he defended the legality and constitutionality in Advance grandstand. The expelled by 395 votes to 5.

Political life

In 1933, having embraced the ideals of social justice and freedom, who professed all his life, participated in the founding of the Chilean Socialist Party, which will remain always faithful. Two years later, he would join the masonry. The political stage and start Allende did not stop until 11 September 1973. Alongside his militant life, he was director of the Medical Association of Chile in Valparaiso and member of the National Directory of this organization, became, in 1935, editor of the Medical Bulletin of Chile and organizer of the Journal of Social Medicine of Valparaiso.

During the government of General Carlos Ibanez, which is a great opponent, it was relegated to Caldera. From there back to Valparaiso to head the Chilean Popular Front, a coalition with which he won his first seat in Congress as a deputy for Valparaiso and Aconcagua.

In 1939, after the victory of President Pedro Aguirre Cerda, he asks her to take over the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Social Assistance. Among its milestones in his time as a minister, according to his account in the Congress of 1940, production and distribution of drugs against various diseases, reductions in deaths from typhus budget of two million pesos to public health centers, described expansion dental service in schools and food delivery for students. A few months after the Socialist Party left the Popular Front, Allende was removed from the ministry, taking over as vice president of the Caja Obrera Compulsory Insurance.

In 1940, he married Hortensia Bussi, the union will be born three daughters, Carmen Paz, Maria Isabel and Beatriz.

In 1942 he was appointed Secretary General of the Socialist Party, was elected in 1945 senator by Valdivia, Llanquihue, Chiloé, Aysén and Magallanes provinces in the south.

From 1949-1963 chairman of the Medical College of Chile. In 1952 he faces his first presidential bid, which gets only 5% of the vote. This failure will not prevent the next year renewed his seat in the Senate, represented by Tarapaca and Antofagasta in the north. From that moment, his political life develops in a continuous attempt to become president of Chile.
In 1958 he returns to run for president of the nation, being again defeated by a narrow margin of votes, against independent right, Jorge Alessandri. This time the victory of Allende was closer. In 1961 he obtained a seat in the Senate for his native city, Valparaiso, after a great campaign. Finally, after having been defeated for the second time in the fight for the presidency, Salvador Allende elected the challenge of self-imposed in a traditionally difficult area for the left forces, resulting victorious.

Again, competing for the presidency in 1964. The chosen will be the Democrat Eduardo Frei Montalva, who won a large majority for their “revolution in liberty”. The truth was that the imminent victory of Allende worried that ended up voting right Christian Democratic Party more than their candidate. However, Allende has a significant number of votes.

It is the national symbol of moderate socialism, practicing since 1966 the Senate presidency as balanced so that when the leaves, even the newspaper El Mercurio, his great enemy, paid tribute to him. In 1969, again renews its parliamentary mandate as senator Chiloe, Aysen and Magallanes.

On September 4, 1970, Salvador Allende gets the first plurality in presidential elections supported by the coalition of the “Popular Unity”, consisting mostly of socialist and communist ideology with a center. Presidential elections were held in an atmosphere of order and calm and, after midnight, the election results became known: Allende: 36.6% Alessendri: 34.9%, Tomic: 27.8%. Alessandristes confidence became fear to a socialist government, while Allende and even several Democrats took to the streets to express their joy. Thus he began a tortuous path is intended to get the National Congress ratified the triumph of the polls, this was always the case that an absolute majority is not obtained because parliamentarians choose between the first two relative majorities, since there is no second back.

In Washington, Richard Nixon ordered prevent Allende from assuming the presidency. The CIA organized two plans to stop Allende’s election in plenary Congress.

The assassination of Army Commander Rene Schneider (military respecting the laws and the Constitution, defending the apolitical role of the armed forces) by far-right groups financed by the CIA, facilitated an agreement with the Christian Democrats that allowed the Allende’s election as President of the Republic.

Popular Unity results

On October 24, at 10:39 h, the vote of Congress, led by Senate President Thomas Paul began. They voted 195 MPs. At the end of the count, the secretary of the Chamber, Pelagio Figueroa; announced: Salvador Allende Gossens, 153 votes; Jorge Alessandri, 35 votes; White, 7 votes.

Tomás Pablo closed the session declaring: “In accordance with Articles 64 and 65 of the Constitution, the Total Congress proclamation president for the period from November 3, 1970 and November 3, 1976 the citizen Salvador Allende Gossens. The meeting is adjourned. “

Salvador Allende took office amid national and international expectations, the November 4, 1970, initiating the so-called “Chilean road to socialism”, named graphically as “the revolution of pie and red wine”, with particular character the triumph of the Chilean left, obtained cleanly at the polls as a result of the massive support of citizens to the process of the reforms proposed for the country.

(…) Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other men will overcome this sad and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail and cowardice. Follow know that much sooner than later, they will open again the great promenades down which free men will walk to build a better society. Viva Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers! Salvador Allende, last speech

During the so-called popular government, the support of the people increases as a result of social and economic reforms that start at the same time, controls all the destabilizing campaign by the right and the Christian Democrats. The Popular Unity Party obtained an absolute majority of votes in the municipal elections of 1971 and over 43% of the vote in the parliamentary 1973, surpassing the previous election results of 1970. The right-wing coalition failed to provoke a impeach Allende, for which required two-thirds of Congress. From that moment the idea of ​​how difficult it would topple Allende democratically made, so they began a campaign to exalt the military against the constitutional government.

In this situation, planned Allende convened a referendum on his tenure as President. The plebiscite would have consulted the Chilean on its mandate and the President would have resigned if the result would have been negative. If the result of the plebiscite had been in favor of the permanence of Allende to the presidency, presumably it would have decreased the likelihood of a coup. If the result of the plebiscite had been adverse to Allende, he would have retired with his head high to leave his mandate by design of citizenship and not by opposing pressures. The President came to confess their strategy to the then Commander in Chief of the Army, Augusto Pinochet, Allende appointed by it.

September 11, 1973: the collapse of democracy.

“(…) Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other men will overcome this sad and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail and cowardice. Follow know that much sooner than later, they will open again the great promenades down which free men will walk to build a better society.
Viva Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers! “
Last speech of President Salvador Allende September 11, 1973

Given this climate of unrest caused by reactionary sectors with the outside support of the United States within the historical context of the Cold War, an environment favorable to the outbreak of tension coup that the September 11, 1973 was set ended the popular government and unleashed a wave of persecution and death that blood stained the streets of Chile.

At dawn on September 11, the squadron which had sailed the previous day in order to participate in some international naval maneuvers (UNITAS) – reappeared in Valparaiso and the armed forces took the city. The prefect of Valparaiso, Luis Gutierrez, made a call on his cell (the line was left free by the way), to alert the deputy director of Carabineros, General Jorge Urrutia, the Marines were on the streets and had begun to move combat. Urrutia telephoned Allende, who was in his residence in Tomas Moro. Allende, calm, asked locate Pinochet and Leigh, but were inubicables.


At 07:15, Allende, with its Fiat 125, and GAP (Group of Personal Friends) climbed to the Palacio de la Moneda, arriving twenty minutes later. He was carrying an AK-47 (gift of Fidel Castro) and GAP entered the palace of Government two machine guns and three grenade launchers RPG-7, along with their personal weapons.

In parallel, he came to this hour Pinochet Commanding Communications delay. Communication networks were organized with other branches of the Armed Forces, especially with Leigh, who was in the Air War Academy, and with Patricio Carvajal, that would be the coordinator of all the blow.

Sepulveda, director-general of police, arrived at the Currency and police said it remained faithful to the government. He did not know, but police was controlled by generals Mendoza and Yovane.

The Democratic Chain (controlled by the military coup), issued the first military proclamation. Allende must make immediate delivery of his position on the Board of Governors, composed of the paramount chiefs of the Armed Forces: Pinochet, Leigh, Merino and Mendoza (the latter two recently self-proclaimed as overlords of its branches, Navy and Police respectively). He also gave the president an ultimatum: if the coin was not vacated by 11.00, would be attacked by land and air. Police removed the tanks and personnel located opposite the presidential palace.

The military contacted the currency out of the country and proposed the president, but Allende refused. Pinochet contacted Carvajal, who said the president’s refusal to surrender.

At 09:55, General Palacios tanks entered the perimeter of the coin. Snipers located in the neighboring buildings and tried to reject a shootout began. At 10:15, through Magallanes radio-the only pro government silenciada- Allende was not yet issued its last message to the nation, that of “the great avenues” aimed at Chilean citizens, especially workers, farmers , women and youth.

At 10:30, the tanks opened fire on the Currency. They were followed by tanks and infantry fire was answered by members of GAP and the snipers in nearby buildings.

Carvajal communicated again with Pinochet, informing of the intention to parley. Pinochet demanded an “unconditional surrender.”

At 11:52, the Hawker Hunter fighter-bombers began their attack on the currency, firing four times over the house of government: the damage was devastating. Two planes also bombed the presidential residence of Thomas More Street.

The attack on the presidential palace continued with the use of tear gas, but seeing that the Currency still refused to surrender, the general Palacios decided to take it and sent a group of soldiers to break down the door of Palau. It was 14:30 pm.

Allende decided to surrender and disarm. He took all his companions lined up to give to the soldiers. Allende was removed and then (according to the testimony of one of his doctors, Patricio Gihon, who returned to take his gas mask) with the AK-47, committed suicide shooting himself under the chin and died instantly. Palacios entered the Independence Hall and met with Allende and the Gihon doctor. He called the radio officer and handed his brief report: “Mission accomplished. Currency shot, dead president. ” In turn Carvajal says Pinochet radio:

“” There is a communication, information staff of the School of Infantry who are already inside the currency the possibility of interference, I will pass in English. They say that Allende Committed suicide and is dead now (say Allende committed suicide and is now dead) “»
– Patricio Carvajal, September 11, 1973
However, there are several hypotheses that support the theory of murder and, therefore, the assassination assailants allegedly committed by the presidential palace.

At 18:00, the Governing Board was formed. Except in isolated protests in Santiago, the junta dominated the country. Popular Unity and its president were dead, beginning seventeen years of military rule.

For much of that tragic morning, President Allende communicated frequently with the people emit different messages by Radio Corporation and Radio Magallanes (the only ones still in the air) to explain the situation:

“(…) Comrades who hear me: The situation is critical, we face a coup in which the majority of the armed forces involved. In this dark hour you want to remember some of my words spoken in 1971, was the say calmly, with absolute confidence, I have not paste apostle or messiah. I have no conditions martyr, I am a social activist who meets the job that the people have given me. But they understand those who want to go back in history and ignore the majority will of Chile; without meat martyr, I will not make any step backwards. They know it, they hear it, they would graben deeply: I will leave La Moneda when fulfill the mandate that the people gave me, I will defend this Chilean revolution and defend the government because it is the mandate that the people have given me. I have no choice. I shot only stitching may prevent the will that is to enforce the program of the people. If I kill the people will follow your path, follow the path perhaps with the difference that things will be much tougher, much more violent, because it will be an object lesson clear to the masses that these people will stop at nothing . I had this possibility, neither I nor the offer facilitated. The social process is not going away to get rid of a leader. It may be delayed, it may lengthen, but eventually you can not stop. Peers, attend to the information in their jobs, that Comrade President will not abandon his people nor her workplace. I will remain here in La Moneda even if it costs me my life. (…) “Salvador Allende

“(…) At the moment the planes pass. They may shoot us. But they know we’re here, at least by our example, that in this country there are men who know how to fulfill the obligation. I’ll do by mandate of the people and conscious mandate of a president who has the dignity of the office given by the people in free and democratic elections. On behalf of the most sacred interests of the people, on behalf of the country, I call for to tell you that you have . faith The story does not stop with repression or crime is a stage that will be overcome This is a hard and difficult time…. you may crush us, but tomorrow will of the people, will be workers The Humanity is moving towards the conquest of a better life. (…) “

(…) “Surely Radio Magallanes will be silenced, and the calm metal of my voice will not come. It’s the same. The will follow listening. I will always be by his side. At least my memory will be that of a man of dignity who was loyal to the homeland. “(…)

As he said in recent months and the environment, when an imminent coup d’etat would not let the currency until it fulfilled the mandate given by the people is breathing and that only they would be bringing down -the. Thus he left his immeasurable legacy for future generations. His name and memory have been growing over time, being surveyed worldwide. In Chile many streets, museums, schools, clinics and publications are named after the famous statesman, for over half a century, the prestige of Chilean politics, becoming an example of democratic and socialist consequence and conviction.


Salvador Allende biography was tragic. He was very discreetly buried in the cemetery of Vina del Mar, without a plaque to identify his grave. Almost 18 years after his tragic death, September 4, 1990, by order of President Patricio Aylwin, Salvador Allende received a new funeral, but this time crowded with the honors of Head of State, which he was entitled as ex- president, and was buried in a tomb in the General cemetery of Santiago de Chile.

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