Danilo Bartulin, a Chilean politician and medical doctor, gained prominence for his close association with Salvador Allende. Salvador Allende, the former president of Chile, tragically met his demise during the military coup led by Augusto Pinochet in 1973. Danilo Bartulin was a witness to the events at the presidential residence of La Moneda when it came under attack by the air force and army. Remarkably, Bartulin survived both the explosive assault and the ensuing gunfire.
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During those fateful hours, Danilo Bartulin was by Salvador Allende’s side. He observed Allende’s final national address and his unwavering decision to remain in the palace until the end. Tragically, he also witnessed Allende’s death, which has been reported as a suicide. Danilo Bartulin’s journey begins in Chile, where he was born. He pursued a medical degree at the University of Chile and specialized in neurology and psychiatry. It was during this time that he became closely associated with Salvador Allende, a prominent figure who led the Popular Unity coalition to victory in the 1970 presidential election.
Bartulin’s dedication to Allende’s vision was evident when he was appointed director of the National Health Service, working diligently to implement Allende’s social and health policies. He also accompanied Allende on diplomatic missions, including a significant visit to Cuba in 1972. On the fateful day of September 11, 1973, Danilo Bartulin found himself at La Moneda, standing shoulder to shoulder with Salvador Allende, as the air force and army, under the command of General Augusto Pinochet, launched a devastating assault. In the midst of turmoil, Bartulin listened to Allende’s poignant final national address and witnessed his resolute decision to remain within the palace until the very end. Tragically, Bartulin also bore witness to the lifeless body of Allende, who reportedly took his own life with a firearm provided by Fidel Castro.
Despite surviving the chaos, Bartulin’s ordeal continued as he was arrested and subjected to torture by the authorities. His confinement took him through multiple detention facilities, including the National Stadium, where he attempted to aid fellow detainees who were injured or in poor health. Subsequently, he was exiled and found refuge in Spain, where he vocally opposed the human rights violations perpetrated by Pinochet’s regime. In Spain, he continued to practice medicine, specializing in brain injury rehabilitation as a neurologist and psychiatrist. He played a pivotal role in establishing the Spanish Society of Neurorehabilitation. Throughout his life, Danilo Bartulin authored numerous books and essays, drawing from his experiences in Chile and his medical expertise. He also actively contributed to documentaries and interviews that shed light on Salvador Allende’s life and legacy. Victor Jara, an iconic Chilean singer-songwriter and political activist, met a tragic fate at the hands of the military dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet in 1973.
Danilo Bartulin and Victor Jara shared a grim ordeal when they were both apprehended and taken to Estadio Chile. Inside the stadium, they endured torture and were forcibly separated from other detainees, spending their final hours in a state of fear and isolation. During this dark period, Danilo stood alongside Victor Jara. According to reports, their tormentors cruelly taunted the singer, mocking his attempts to sing and play his songs. Remarkably, despite the excruciating torture, Victor Jara managed to sing a portion of the anthem of the Popular Unity party. Tragically, his defiance was met with a brutal and violent end as he was mercilessly beaten and ultimately shot with a machine gun. The lifeless bodies of Victor Jara and five other individuals were discovered just outside the walls of the Metropolitan Cemetery in the early hours of September 16.