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Interview with Writer Isabel Allende

StoryOctober 19, 1999
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Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was accused yesterday in Spain of actively participating in torture sessions during the crackdown that followed the bloody 1973 coup that put him in power. Two former aides to democratically elected president Salvador Allende, who was killed in the coup, presented evidence before Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon connecting Pinochet to the deaths and disappearances of 35 additional people.

The two described how Pinochet, "in a euphoric state," kicked around prisoners who were tied with barbed wire and said "they should all be shot."

Meanwhile in Chile’s capital of Santiago, police detained 58 people, including four army officers in plain clothes, during protests this past weekend in the year anniversary of Pinochet’s arrest in London. While these rallies protested Pinochet’s arrest, hundreds of Chileans also celebrated the anniversary in a carnival-style party on the streets of the capital.

Today we are joined by one of Latin America’s great writers of modern times. She is Isabel Allende, author of ??House of Spirits, ??Paula, ??Of Love and Shadows, ??Eva Luna, ??Stories of Eva Luna, ??The Infinite Plan, ??Aphrodite and her latest book, ??Daughter of Fortune. She is also the niece of Salvador Allende, the democratically elected president of Chile who was killed in the 1973 coup that put dictator Augusto Pinochet in power.

Isabel Allende and her family survived the Pinochet coup, and stayed in Chile for one year before finally going into exile in Venezuela, where she lived for a number of years. From her career as a journalist she eventually became a novelist, and many of her works talk about the repressive years of the Pinochet regime.


  • Isabel Allende, author and niece of Salvador Allende, the democratically elected president of Chile who was killed in the 1973 coup that put dictator Augusto Pinochet in power.


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