The events on Tuesday September 11, 1973

Presidential Palace bombed

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06:40. Allende, at his residence Tomas Moro, is informed by telephone of a rising of Navy units in Valparaiso.

07:23 With five cars, Allende and his companions, including his personal bodyguard of activists from the MIR and the PS, leave for the presidential palace of La Moneda in Santiago.

07:30 Arrival of Allende in La Moneda. Everywhere around the palace police and carabiñeros in battle dress are present. These units are still loyal.

07:40 The three commanders of the armed forces do not answer the phone.

07:55 First radio speech by Allende. He calls upon the workers to be vigilant. Mentions only the Navy as the rebellious military unit. Colonel Valenzuela arrives and reports that the Ministry of Defence is occupied by the Army.

08:15 Second speech by Allende. At the same time Air Force Commander Sanchez is on the line, offering Allende an airplane to leave the country. Allende refuses. The carabiñeros are loyal. Allende also assumes that Pinochet is loyal. Pinochet is known as a constitutionalist. He is also a freemason, as is Allende.

08:30 Communiqué by the military junta. Pinochet is part of the conspiracy. His Spanish adviser, Joan Garcés, brings this message to Allende. Allende: 'three traitors, three traitors'.

08:45 Third radio speech of Allende. He will not give way to violence.

08:55 Police and carabiñeros around the palace retreat. The military have taken over the carabiñeros.

09:00 Fighter planes fly low over the presidential palace. Two hundred meters from the palace troops of the infantry school start advancing. There are exchanges of fire between supporters of Allende, hidden in the buildings surrounding the palace, and the Army. In the palace there are about 15 men who are armed. Allende's doctors have been summoned.

09:03 Fourth radio speech by Allende. 'The principles so dear to my fatherland I will defend with my life'.

09:10 Among the left-wing radio stations only the communist Radio Magallanes is still on the air. Because it probably is Allende's last chance to speak to the people, he addresses the Chilean workers for the fifth and what would be the last time. 'Workers of my country .... Go forward knowing that sooner rather than later you will open the broad lanes along which free men go to create a better society'.

09:20 A number of ministers, including Almeyda, have reached La Moneda. The tanks have advanced so far that La Moneda is within their range. The army- controlled radio reports that the residence Tomas Moro has been bombed. An ultimatum is issued for 11:00. Till then Allende will be permitted to step down and leave the country. Allende refuses.

09:30 Allende gives five military personnel who are present in La Moneda permission to leave. He also offers the option to other people, but most choose to stay.

09:45 Allende inspects the defences, and someone takes stock of the provisions. People start burning papers, especially addresses.

10:00 Tanks open fire upon the palace. Allende, helmet on, opens a window on the first floor. Lying on his stomach, he fires in the direction of the square. His secretary, Miria Contreras, urges Dr. Jiron to end this. Jiron draws Allende away from the window, holding onto his ankles.

10:30 Communiqué by the Army on all radio stations. 'As Allende refuses to surrender, the Army and Air Force will attack La Moneda'.

10:45 Allende demands that the women be allowed to leave La Moneda. There are about 10 women in La Moneda, including his daughters Beatriz and Isabel.

10:47 Army communiqué: 'The women of La Moneda have three minutes to leave. After that the bombardment will start'.

10:50 Six women leave the building.

10:55 Army communiqué: 'La Moneda must be evacuated by 11:00. If not, bombardments will follow'.

11:05 The palace is now under continual fire from tanks and small firearms.

11:10 One of the military men who left the palace at 09:30, calls from the Ministry of Defence, announcing that the Army has granted a 15-minute delay. In reality there were no planes available at that moment.

11:15 The shelling of the palace stops. The soldiers retreat so they will not be fired upon by their own air force. The people in the palace gather in the winter garden on the ground floor. There are still 50 people. Allende again gives everybody the opportunity to leave. Most stay on. He orders his Spanish advisor Garcés to leave so he can tell the world what happened in La Moneda.

11:58 The bombardment commences. Hawker-Hunter fighters fire rockets into the palace. The Chilean declaration of independence of 1818 is taken down from the wall for safekeeping. Ceilings are crashing down, and fires break out in many places.

12:15 The bombardment ends. The Army immediately opens fire again. Tear gas grenades are also fired into the building.

12:20 Meeting of Allende, Fernando Flores, Daniel Vergara, and Osvaldo Puccio in the dining room on the first floor, underneath a table. Flores urges Allende to negotiate. In the end Allende agrees to step down, allowing formation of a military-civil government while retaining the gains from the UP government. Following telephone conversations with the Ministry of Defence, the three leave the building with a white flag. On arrival at the Ministry of Defence they are arrested immediately. Pinochet demands surrender without any conditions.

12:30 The journalist Augusto Olivares has committed suicide in La Moneda. General Palacios receives orders to occupy the palace and capture the president.

13:00 The fighting between the rebels and defenders of the palace continue.

13:40 Through a direct phone line with the security services a 15 minutes cease fire is offered, during which those present are allowed to leave the building under a white flag. Allende concludes that further resistance is useless. Gathering his people in a gallery for a last meeting, he says a bloodbath is senseless, and thanks everybody for their loyalty and courage. He also asks for one minute of silence for Olivares.

13:50 Allende organizes the surrender. Miria Contreras will lead the exit. A white tablecloth taken by doctor Quiroga from the dining room is used as white flag. Allende will bring up the rear. When the group is lined up on a stairway, Allende walks past everybody, from downstairs to the first floor, shaking hands. It is a moment of great emotion.

13:55 At the moment when the group wants to leave the palace on the Rua Morandé, they again come under fire. When the firing ends, the evacuation starts slowly. Arms in the air they leave the palace. Through the same door and at the same moment, troops of Palacios enter the building.

13:58 Guijon considers taking a souvenir from the palace and leaves the group, walks upstairs past the drawing room 'Independencia'. He sees Allende sitting on a couch, machine gun between his legs, barrel pointed upwards, taking his life with a short salvo.

14:10 Guijon decides to stay with Allende's body. Soldiers force their way into the drawing room. An officer is warned. General Palacios enters and asks Guijon to tell exactly what happened and whether this is Allende, whose face is badly mutilated. Palacios reports to his superiors: 'Mission accomplished, Moneda occupied, president dead'.

Chronology based on:

Joan E. Garcés - Allende y la Experienca Chilena, Barcelona 1976
Pierre Kalfon - Allende Chili: 1970-1973 Chronique, Biarritz 1998
Oscar Soto - El ultimo dia de Salvador Allende, Santiago 1999