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Sept. 11, 1973: President Salvador Allende Gossens killed in military coup. June 26, 1974: Military junta names Pinochet head of state. Jan. 4, 1978: National referendum endorses Pinochet policies 3-to-1. Opposition protests vote was unfair. July 24, 1978: Junta's Air Force representative, Gen. Gustavo Leigh Guzman, ousted after calling for swift return to democracy. Sept. 11, 1980: Referendum endorses new Pinochet-sponsored constitution charting gradual evolution toward democracy, with Pinochet in power until 1989. Congress would be elected in '89. May 1983: Large-scale political protests begin. Aug. 8, 1983: Center-left parties unite in opposition Democratic Alliance. August 1983: Protests mount. Pinochet appoints civilian-dominated Cabinet. Mid-August 1983: Chile begins to allow thousands of exiles to return. August 1983: Interior Minister Sergio Jarpa negotiates with opposition; says government considering legalizing parties in 1984, holding congressional elections in 1985. April 1984: Protests grow. Democratic Alliance invites conservatives to join demand for democracy by 1985. Late August 1984: Pinochet says he won't speed up return to democracy, reversing interior minister's comments. Tensions grow.

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