Hortensia Bussi

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Hortensia Bussi
File:Hortensia Bussi de Allende.jpg
Bussi in 1970
Born (1914-07-22)22 July 1914
Rancagua, Chile
Died 18 June 2009(2009-06-18) (aged 94)
Santiago, Chile
Occupation First Lady of Chile

Mercedes Hortensia Bussi Soto de Allende (22 July 1914 – 18 June 2009) was the wife of Chilean President Salvador Allende. She was married to him from 1940 until he was deposed and died in 1973, serving as First Lady of Chile from 1970 to 1973. Her daughters are Beatriz, Isabel and Carmen Paz.

Bussi, nicknamed "Tencha", was born in Rancagua to a well-off family. She was the daughter of Ciro Bussi, an officer in the country's merchant marine. She graduated from the University of Chile as a teacher of History and Geography and worked as a librarian at the National Statistics Office.

Bussi met her future husband in the aftermath of the 1939 Chillán earthquake,[1] where they were involved in the campaign for those made homeless by the earthquake. They married a year later, in 1940. Allende then became minister of health in the Popular Front government of Pedro Aguirre Cerda, at the start of his political career.[1]

After the military coup which overthrew her husband, Bussi went into exile in Mexico. She campaigned against the regime of Augusto Pinochet. In 1975 she was a member of the jury at the 9th Moscow International Film Festival[2] and in 1977 she stood as candidate for Rector of the University of Glasgow,[1] losing to the student John Bell.[3]


Bussi returned to Chile in 1990 after 17 years in exile and kept a quiet life. She died, aged 94, in Santiago, during a morning nap.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Guardian obituary for Hortensia Bussi de Allende
  2. "9th Moscow International Film Festival (1975)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-01-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. University of Glasgow Story-John Bell

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