The other September 11th: Families looking for answers about 'disappeared' relatives 45 years after Chile military coup

"September 11th changed my life and thousands of others forever."

For the first time in 45 years, Hugo Jorquera has returned to the national stadium in Chile's capital Santiago. It is where he was imprisoned after the country's socialist government, led by President Salvador Allende, was overthrown in a military coup on September 11th 1973.

"All the memories are coming back to me. To see again, all of this, is sad", he says.

Hugo was one of 40,000 political opponents detained during the brutal dictatorship led by General Augusto Pinochet. "Many were tortured in the most sadistic ways", he says. Hugo was held in one of the changing rooms - one of many parts of the complex where people were detained.

Salvador Allende was elected as Chile's president in 1970. His party began implementing socialist reforms - but fears of closer ties to communists led to the US-backed coup.

During Pinochet's 17-year regime, 3,000 people were killed. Of these, 1,000 are listed as 'disappeared'. It's not known where their bodies are buried - leaving loved ones still searching for answers four decades since the coup.

Chile's presidential palace is bombed during the military coup to oust President Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973 Credit: AP

Some of those relatives now live in the UK, having left Chile during Pinochet's rule. Every September 11th, many gather outside the Chilean Embassy in London to read out the names of those who died. They also call for those responsible for the deaths to be brought to justice.

During General Augusto Pinochet's 17-year regime in Chile, 3,000 people were killed Credit: AP

However, their hope is prevented by a law in Chile which prevents those who committed human rights violations between 1973 and 1978 from being prosecuted.

Chile's government has previously promised to overturn the law, but it is still in in place - meaning for the relatives of those killed and disappeared, September 11th will remain a date associated not only with violence and loss, but with an ongoing search for justice.