September 12, 1973
Yesterday, the city was in chaos. My morning began as usual, and I was working in the bank when I heard them coming. At first, then sound came from a distance, but I felt it coming closer and closer. The military was gathering for some reason, I saw them, tanks and all marching past in the direction of El Palacio de La Moneda. We hadn’t seen anything like it before and many of us were getting nervous, but our bank supervisor insisted that we all stay in place rather than close up, a bad idea indeed. As we were not stationed but a block away from the Palacio, we heard the gunshots and shouts as our beloved block burst into mayhem. We crouched down behind our counters in fear of the worst, and surely enough, someone lobbed a brick through one of our windows and gunshots could be heard. The sound of airplanes also came, and then explosions. The military was bombing La Moneda. At this point, we all scrambled to evacuate the bank. Dust and smoke filled the air, as many other people like us were also running frantically away from the conflict. I reached home to find my wife had taken refuge in the bathroom, this was of course after beating down the door and calling her name, assuring her that it was me and not the military. We stayed close, listening to the radio for what news we could get. It was a coup that the military was waging on the government, and president had Allende died, allegedly having committed suicide. There were casualties, but the news was unsure for most of the day as to just how many. At the end of the day around 50 deaths had been accounted for, including a news photographer who died in the crossfire trying to capture the story. Times were uncertain before, but now I cannot imagine what’s ahead. There were talks of a junta, and the names Pinochet, Leigh, Merino, and Mendoza, heading up the revolt and establishing a dictatorship, but I could not make out very much else. I am a banker after all, and aside from reading great works of literature, my fondest hobby, very little regarding political or military matters makes sense to me. We did not return to work today, and this is how I’ve found time to take down this entry. These are worrisome conditions. I just hope that things will end for the best.