Communication 1774 (Chile)

1774- No 5. Case on the death of the former President of Chile, Dr. Salvador Allende (1774-5), presented through a communication of September 12, 1973, demands an investigation into the death of the former President of Chile, Dr. Salvador Allende, which was attributed to suicide.

In a letter dated September 26, 1973, the Secretariat of the Commission acknowledged receipt of the communication, originally addressed to the then Secretary General of the OAS, Mr. Galo Plaza, informing him of the request for information that the CIDH had sent to the Government of Chile with regard to the status of human rights in Chile at that time.

During its thirty-third session, held in Chile from July 22 to August 2, 1974, the Commission secured oral testimony from Dr. Patricio Guijón Klien, a Chilean physician and the former physician of the Office of the Presidency of the Republic, to the effect that the former President of Chile, Dr. Salvador Allende, had committed suicide on September 11, 1973, in La Moneda Palace, during the serious succession of events that took place in Chile. That statement recorded on tape, was transcribed and is part of the individual case on Dr. Guijón Klein, who was at that time being held under house arrest in Santiago and was barred from leaving the country (case 1892).

At the suggestion of Dr. Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches, at its thirty-fourth session (October 1974) the Commission decided to being, in principle, examination of the case on the death of the former President, Dr. Salvador Allende, based on the denunciation received and the statements made by Dr. Patricio Guijón Klein during the thirty-third session. To that end it appointed Dr. Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches as rapporteur for this case (file 1774 - No 5), instructing him to compile information on the matter and to present a report at the thirty-fifth session as to enable the Commission to come to a final decision on the case in question.

During the thirty-fifth session (May 1975), the Commission continued its examination of the case; the rapporteur (Dr. Abranches) presented an oral report on his inquiry into the matter, also referring to other sources of information consulted and the preliminary conclusions he reached. He proposes that the CIDH address a note to the Government of Chile requesting that it provide an official copy of the report on the autopsy performed on the corpse of the former president and the other data necessary to continue its examination of the case.

Based on this suggestion, the Commission decided the following :

  1. To request the Government of Chile to provide an official copy of the autopsy report on the corpse of Dr. Salvador Allende and information as to whether in this instance the Government of Chile had conducted or is conducting some investigation into the circumstances under which he died, and any other information it deems appropriate.
  2. To instruct the rapporteur to continue to compile information on the case for consideration by the Commission at its next session.

Pursuant to this decision, point a, the Commission addressed the Government of Chile through a note dated August 5, 1975. In a letter of August 8, 1975, the claimants were informed of the measures taken in connection with the case.

In a note of September 30, 1975 (No. 1032), from the Chilean Mission to the OAS, the Government of Chile replied to the Commission's request filed on August 5 by supplying a photostatic copy of the autopsy report on the corpse of the former President of Chile, Dr. Salvador Allende, conducted on September 11, 1973, at the Forensic Medical Institute in Santiago.

The Commission acknowledged receipt of this reply through a note dated October 20, 1975.

The Commission continued its examination of case 1774 - N1. 5 at its thirty-sixth session, together with the documents transmitted by the Government of Chile and other information supplied by the rapporteur for this case, Dr. Carlos A. Dunshee de Abranches, and decided the following:

  1. To thank the Government of Chile for having sent the official autopsy report on the former President and,
  2. To request the Government of Chile to provide the other statements from the proceedings that have been ordered to determine the circumstances of the death of Dr. Allende.

Pursuant to the foregoing, a note was sent to the Government of Chile on October 24, 1975.