On the evening of September 10, 1973, as he often did, Claudio Durán met with three colleagues to discuss El Mercurio at the State Technical University, the only left-leaning one of Chile’s then seven universities, where Claudio was vice-dean of the Faculty of Education. For several hours each meeting, the foursome combed the newspaper for clues. El Mercurio was a right-wing mouthpiece for those opposed to the government of President Salvador Allende, and like a political forecast, it occasionally held hints of party manoeuvres.
The researchers had predicted accurately before, and now one of them guessed that something big was coming tomorrow, September 11, possibly a bombing of the presidential palace. It was the same day the president was scheduled to visit Claudio’s university. A few members thought the evidence was ambiguous, however, and the researchers went home.