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Chile: Is It Time To Rename Santiago's ‘9-11 Avenue’?


SANTIAGO – In the heart of Providencia, a populous middle-class district of Santiago, you might find yourself walking along Avenida 11 de Septiembre. 

Of course, anyone familiar with modern Chilean history knows that street commemorates “the other 9-11,” the military coup of Sept. 11, 1973 that toppled Chile’s democratically elected Marxist president Salvador Allende. The South American country was governed for the next 17 years by right-wing dictator Augusto Pinochet.

And now, the political avenue has become a campaign issue, as candidates in the race to run the Providencia district have called for a new name for the street. 

“We want the avenue to go back to being called Nueva Providencia,” candidate María Josefa Errázuriz said during a televised debate last week in a primary she went on to clinch Sunday. “Residents there have already presented City Hall with a request asking that the name be changed.”

Fellow candidate Cristóbal Bellolio wasn't convinced by Errázuriz’ choice of names, but agrees that 11 de Septiembre ought to be nixed, El Mercurio reported: September 11 is a date that commemorates division more than unity among Chileans. It could be called ‘La Democracia,’ or something else.”

Providencia’s current top official, Cristián Labbé, worked directly with Pinochet and openly defends the dictator’s lengthy military regime. Errázuriz will face Labbé in the October election.

September 11 Chile

Read the original story in Spanish

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