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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Searching for Chile's 'Disappeared'

Chile's government announced broad plans yesterday to track down hundreds of missing prisoners jailed during the 17-year dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in the '70s and '80s. The plan marks the first time the government has assumed responsibility for the search and comes two weeks before the 50th anniversary of the coup, which brought Pinochet to power.

The government of Salvador Allende—the first freely elected Marxist in the West—was ousted Sept. 11, 1973, ushering in a period of military rule under Pinochet, which came to an end in 1990 (see history). Over 40,000 people are registered as victims under Pinochet, ranging from false imprisonment to execution; 1,092 of those are listed as forcibly disappeared, with the remains of only 307 identified.

For decades, families of the victims have lobbied for government help in the search even as members of the former regime—including Pinochet—remained in power years after the country returned to democracy.

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