(L-R) Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs; Gabriel Boric, President of Chile; Credit: MAEE

On Monday 11 September 2023, Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, travelled to Santiago, at the invitation of the President of Chile, to participate in the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the military coup in Chile.

The commemoration took place in the presence of several heads of state and government and other government representatives.

The military coup of Augusto Pinochet on 11 September 1973 saw the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende and established a dictatorial regime which lasted between 1973 and 1990. During this dictatorship, thousands of people were killed or went missing and tens of thousands became political prisoners.

In his statement, Minister Asselborn noted that the military coup resulted in "enormous suffering, torture and the disappearance of thousands of Chileans."

He recalled that this year's commemoration coincided with the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"At a time when the world is facing flagrant violations of international law, as well as anti-democratic pressures on every continent, the defence of the universal rules of democracy is as important as ever," he emphasised. "Disrespect for a nation's sovereignty, and the violent overthrow of a government, always have an adverse impact on the observance of human rights and the interests of the people."

Minister Asselborn concluded with the hope that the commemoration on Monday would "inspire the world to recognise and accept that only respect for the rule of law and human rights will make it a better and fairer place."