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Chilean Protesters Try to Stop Film Honoring Pinochet

  • VOA News

Human rights activists, protesting against supporters of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and a Pinochet documentary film, are arrested, while supporters attend the film's launch inside a theater in Santiago, June 10, 2012.
Riot police in Santiago used tear gas and water cannons to break up a protest against the screening of a new film honoring the late right-wing Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Some of the demonstrators carried signs proclaiming Pinochet a murderer as they tried to storm the theater and tackle Pinochet supporters. Police say 64 people were arrested and 22 injured.

The film Pinochet traces his rise to power. His grandson, Augusto Pinochet Molina, spoke at the screening.

Pinochet seized power in a U.S.-backed 1973 coup that overthrew the democratically-elected socialist president Salvador Allende.

Thousands of political opponents were killed or disappeared during Pinochet's 17-year-long rule. Thousands of others were jailed or tortured.

Pinochet supporters credit him with creating a thriving economy in Chile and stopping the country from becoming communist. He died in 2006.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, and AFP.