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Chile Protesters Toss Eggs, Rocks at Kennedy's Car

January 15, 1986|Associated Press

SANTIAGO, Chile — Protesters pelted Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's car with rocks and eggs today after the senator paid a visit to a children's hospital. Some demonstrators carried signs that said "Death to Kennedy."

Earlier, Kennedy had to be flown out of the Santiago airport by helicopter rather than take a motorcade to the hospital after 200 supporters of Chile's military government blocked roads from the air terminal.

Police at the airport did not seem to make great efforts to clear the airport road of the protesters, who were members of the Democratic Independent Union, a right-wing group supporting the government, which took power in a 1973 coup.

The Massachusetts Democrat has denounced Chile's human rights record and voiced opposition to President Augusto Pinochet's government.

Kennedy arrived from neighboring Argentina, where 81 people were arrested Tuesday during a violent protest against American banker David Rockefeller.

In a statement read at the airport, Kennedy rejected claims by government supporters that he is "an enemy of Chile."

"My trip to Latin America is to show support for democracy," the senator said.

Kennedy sponsored decade-old legislation barring transfer of U.S. military hardware to Chile because of the Pinochet government's harsh police methods.

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