Though I wasn't born in Chile, nor did I live to see September 11, 1973, most of my family lived through that day of sheer terror.

In 1970, socialist leader Salvador Allende was elected president by the people of Chile. Augusto Pinochet became the commander of the Chilean army on August 23, 1973.

On September 11, 1973, he violently overthrew the leftist Chilean government, using his newly appointed military power. His tanks lead the charge toward La Moneda (the equivalent of the Chilean White House), followed by planes loaded with bombs. Pinochet ordered Allende and his government leaders to leave the building, but he and his high ranked officers decided to stay, for he knew that they would be executed by the right wing extremists. They chose a wise destiny: they chose martyrdom. The "milicos" (Pinochet's troops) then bombed La Moneda, killing everyone inside; much to Pinochet's delight.

Pinochet then took over all radio and television stations and declared himself president/dictator of Chile, and placed the country under strict martial law. Each milico took on the role of the gestapo and did random checks through the homes of civillians; checking for socialist propaganda. If any was propaganda was found, everyone in the house was taken to the National Stadium.

Civillians were also slaughtered and/or tortured. Random working class people were picked up off of the streets in downtown Santiago, as well as a high percentage of the homeless, and were taken in trucks to "El Estadio" (literally translated as "The Stadium", where Colo-Colo plays their home games). An endless number of trucks full of people poured into the stadium that day, but all the trucks that left were completely empty, minus the driver. Pinochet's goal was to eliminate poverty in Chile, but his goal wasn't to create jobs for the jobless... his goal was to kill the poor. The people were literally hung by goal posts, and were shot and killed by the US trained millitants.

Among the victims was guitarist Victor Jara. He was tortured in the National Stadium by milicos who cut off his fingers, then his hands, and was asked how he would play his music without them.

Even the working class people were tortured and beaten. My uncle, who worked for an airline at the time, was detained and beaten by two milicos on the way home from work. My other uncle, who managed to escape La Moneda before it was bombed, was tortured in Punta Arenas, where he was forced to do pointless slave labor (such as carrying huge sacks of sand from place to place) while he was beaten by the milicos.

Recently, Pinochet was indicted with something called "The Death Caravan", which was basically a systematic execution of political/pro-socialist prisoners which took place on or around September 11, 1973. Approximately 3,000 people "disappeared" in that time, excluding those that were killed in the bombing of La Moneda.