Violence Around the World

Published: 1973
Play Audio Archive Story - UPI

Announcer: The tragedy of the conflict in Northern Ireland made itself felt in places other than Belfast in 1973. There were bombings in London and speculation that the IRA was responsible for some of them. Pat Thoroughgood reports.

Pat Thoroughgood: "I'm back to the Old Bailey Road. The ambulances are pulling in and leaving just as quickly as they can. An ambulance has just left from the Old Bailey Road and a motorcycle policeman right behind it, all set to pull in front and escort it through the downtown traffic here in London.

"There have been at least three that have gone off so far. This would coincide with the one that was dismantled by the bomb experts from Scotland Yard this morning, it was set to go off at 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon London time. Two more went off just about right at that time, one in the Agricultural Department area at White Hall, which is within half a block of the seat of government in this country, and this one at the Old Bailey, the law court, totally demolished most of the street. The buildings stand, but there isn't one pane of glass left in any of the windows, certainly not at the Old Bailey itself, the law-court building."

Ed Karrens: Six months later, a worker for the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. was opening the morning mail. One of the envelopes was a letter bomb.

Unknown Speaker: "She was very seriously injured. She lost a hand and the other hand is very badly damaged, and she is at the moment receiving surgery in one of the local Washington hospitals."

Ed Karrens: After three years of a pro-Marxist government headed by Salvador Allende, Chilean military leaders took over. The coup d'état was preceded by months of unrest with student protests and union-instigated strikes. The coup was a bloody one in which the presidential palace was bombed and shelled.

UPI offices in the capital city of Santiago are only a block away from the scene, and correspondent Steve Yolland kept vigil during the takeover. When it was over, he reported.

Steve Yolland: "The fighting in the streets was extremely intense. It was for six hours at... and the downtown Santiago was a inferno; it was just bad. It was worse than can be described. For me, it was six hours of pure terror basically, because we were being shot at. And matter of fact, the reason we were being shot at is because the troops were worried about snipers, and we found out yesterday that 12 snipers were taken out of the building in which our offices are located.

"The main newsroom took about 150 bullets, the radio-photo reception site took about 20 shots; two went right through the radio-photo receiver. It looks, it looks very interesting. The opposite wall of the newsroom from where the windows are, it can best be described as looking like the craters of the moon because of the bullet impacts, just craters all over it."

Ed Karrens: In another South American country, the first elections since 1965 took place. When they were over Dr. Héctor C?mpora was the new President of Argentina. C?mpora was the hand picked candidate of Juan Per?n, who had been barred from Argentina since his Government was overthrown in 1955. But in 1973 Per?n returned to his homeland.

There was scattered violence during the parades held for Per?n. Shortly after he arrived, C?mpora resigned, new elections were held, and Per?n captured 62% of the vote.

His running mate was his wife, an ex-cabaret dancer and the first woman Vice-President in South America.

It was 1967 when a young Greek Army officer led a coup d'état and became Premier of Greece. That man, George Papadopoulos, tried to strengthen his position in 1973 when he proclaimed Greece a republic and made himself President.

Papadopoulos made promises to his people: Parliamentary elections by the end of 1974, political prisoners would be freed. Well, that in June. In November, the Papadopoulos Government was overthrown. Chris Lodge reports from Athens.

Chris Lodge: "The great proclamation 'All is Calm,' martial music in the second military coup in five years is underway. President George Papadopoulos is out, reportedly under house arrest, and a new military commander, a little-known Greek general, is in.

"But for the American and British tourists stranded in their hotels, there is little interest. A 24-hour curfew has been slapped on Athens; but as I toured the hotels, many tourists were basking on hotel sunroofs under a warm Athens sun. Some were playing Scrabble or just loafing it in the bar. There appears no apprehension and no panic. 'Another revolution?' one Briton asked me. Well, I've been through five. This one even seems tame. He left the sunroof for the safety of the hotel bar. Chris Lodge, Athens."

Ed Karrens: And so went the fame and fortunes of just a few of the countries of the world.