PICTURES

40 years after Pinochet coup, thousands march for rights in Chile

A riot policeman catches fire from a molotov cocktail bomb during a protest marking the 1973 military coup in Santiago, Sept 8, 2013. Sept 11 marks the 40th anniversary of the coup d'etat in Chile that ushered in a 17-year dictatorship under General
A riot policeman catches fire from a molotov cocktail bomb during a protest marking the 1973 military coup in Santiago, Sept 8, 2013. Sept 11 marks the 40th anniversary of the coup d'etat in Chile that ushered in a 17-year dictatorship under General Augusto Pinochet. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A man is arrested by riot policemen during a demonstration in Santiago on Sept 8, 2013, in remembrance of late President (1970-1973) Salvador Allende, who died on Sept 11, 1973 during the military coup d'etat led by general Augusto Pinochet. On Sept
A man is arrested by riot policemen during a demonstration in Santiago on Sept 8, 2013, in remembrance of late President (1970-1973) Salvador Allende, who died on Sept 11, 1973 during the military coup d'etat led by general Augusto Pinochet. On Sept 11 Chile will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the coup that toppled Salvador Allende and brought dictator Pinochet to power. -- PHOTO: AFP
A demonstrator dressed as Santa Claus is seen during a protest marking the 1973 military coup in Santiago Sept 8, 2013. The 40th anniversary of the coup d'etat that ushered in a 17-year dictatorship under General Augusto Pinochet will be marked on Se
A demonstrator dressed as Santa Claus is seen during a protest marking the 1973 military coup in Santiago Sept 8, 2013. The 40th anniversary of the coup d'etat that ushered in a 17-year dictatorship under General Augusto Pinochet will be marked on Sept 11 in Chile. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Demonstrators march honoring the roughly 40,000 people killed, imprisoned or tortured by the dictatorship of Gen Augusto Pinochet after overthrowing President Salvador Allende in Santiago, Chile, Sunday Sept 8, 2013. The US-backed military coup led b
Demonstrators march honoring the roughly 40,000 people killed, imprisoned or tortured by the dictatorship of Gen Augusto Pinochet after overthrowing President Salvador Allende in Santiago, Chile, Sunday Sept 8, 2013. The US-backed military coup led by Pinochet took place on Sept 11, 1973. -- PHOTO: AP
Demonstrators shout slogans during a march honouring the roughly 40,000 people killed, imprisoned or tortured by the dictatorship of Gen Augusto Pinochet after overthrowing President Salvador Allende in Santiago, Chile, Sunday Sept 8, 2013. The US-ba
Demonstrators shout slogans during a march honouring the roughly 40,000 people killed, imprisoned or tortured by the dictatorship of Gen Augusto Pinochet after overthrowing President Salvador Allende in Santiago, Chile, Sunday Sept 8, 2013. The US-backed military coup led by Pinochet took place on Sept 11, 1973. -- PHOTO: AP
Activists of the Chilean Human Rights organization "Detained and Disappeared People" take part in a demonstration in Santiago on Sept 8, 2013, in remembrance of late President (1970-1973) Salvador Allende, who died on Sept 11, 1973 during the militar
Activists of the Chilean Human Rights organization "Detained and Disappeared People" take part in a demonstration in Santiago on Sept 8, 2013, in remembrance of late President (1970-1973) Salvador Allende, who died on Sept 11, 1973 during the military coup d'etat led by general Augusto Pinochet. On Sept 11 Chile will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the coup that toppled Salvador Allende and brought dictator Pinochet to power. -- PHOTO: AFP

SANTIAGO (AFP) - Thousands of Chileans marched for human rights Sunday on the 40th anniversary of the coup that brought dictator Augusto Pinochet to power.

Some of the 60,000 carried pictures of their kin who were abducted or killed by the state and held signs with slogans such as "40 years after the coup, nobody and no one has been forgotten." After a two-hour march, one group of hooded demonstrators set up barricades and squared off with police, some of whom were hit with stones and sticks.

Police subdued the protestors with tear gas and water cannons.

The march ended at a cemetery with a memorial to the victims of Pinochet's Cold War regime.

"Forty years on, we are still demanding truth and justice. We won't rest until we find out what happened to our loved ones who were arrested and went missing" never to return, said Lorena Pizarro, leader of a relatives' rights group.

Sept 11 is the anniversary of the day in 1973 when air force planes bombed the presidential palace. Salvador Allende, an elected socialist president, committed suicide rather than be captured.

The governments that have ruled in the transition since Pinochet left power in 1990 have managed to reduce the South American country's poverty rate from 40 per cent to 14 per cent. But social disparities are stark.

Besides demands for social change, pressure is mounting in Chile to unmask the whole truth about a dictatorship that left more than 3,200 dead and some 38,000 people tortured.

Pinochet died in 2006 without ever having gone on trial.