1974 Photo Contest, Spot News, 1st prize

Orlando Lagos

The New York Times

11 September, 1973

Santiago, Chile. A helmeted Salvador Allende, Chile’s first democratically chosen socialist president, accompanied by his inner circle, emerges from the La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago during the military coup of 11 September 1973. Salvador Allende had won the presidential elections in Chile in 1970, becoming the country’s first democratically chosen socialist president. After his election, Allende began to structure Chilean society along socialist lines, expropriating US-owned copper mines and nationalizing other industries and agricultural estates. His attempt to redistribute incomes led to an economic decline with stagnant productions, decreased exports, widespread strikes, and a rising inflation, creating social unrest. Although he kept the support of many workers and peasants, Allende’s government was overthrown on 11 September 1973 by a military coup, led by Augusto Pinochet and backed by the CIA. While La Moneda palace was bombed, President Allende gave a brief farewell speech on live radio refusing to leave the palace. Not long after, he shot himself.

About the photographer

Orlando Lagos

Luis Orlando Lagos Vázquez (1913-2007), also known as 'Chico' Lagos, was a Chilean photojournalist. In 1970, he became an official staff photographer at Chile's presidential pala...

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