In an event charged with democratic symbolism, Chile pays homage today to Salvador Allende, the Socialist president who died 17 years ago this month during a military coup.
Allende's body was originally buried without ceremony in seaside Vina del Mar, after he reportedly committed suicide during a 1973 military attack on the Presidential palace. Today, the 20th anniversary of the elections that brought him to power, his remains are to be reinterred in an elaborate mausoleum in the capital.
During the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Allende was often used to symbolize the Marxist enemy. But the new government of President Patricio Aylwin--who will lead a funeral procession--uses his name as an emblem for Chile's tradition of democracy.