Claudio Durán

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.