LATIN AMERICA

Chile

L - Z

"Through Freedom of Information Act requests, and other avenues of declassification, the National Security Archive has been able to compile a collection of declassified records that shed light on events in Chile between 1970 and 1976." These documents are available at: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB8/nsaebb8i.htm.

Lardner, George, Jr., and Walter Pincus, "Watergate Burglars Broke Into Chilean Embassy as Cover, Tapes Show," Washington Post, 26 Feb. 1997, A9. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"The crew that broke into the Watergate headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in 1972 also burglarized the Chilean Embassy weeks earlier as part of what President Richard M. Nixon called an asinine scheme to make both seem like a CIA operation.... Nixon's remarks were among long-classified snippets released [on 25 February 1999] at the National Archives as part of the Nixon White House tapes reflecting abuses of power." See also Tim Weiner, "In Tapes, Nixon Talks of Plans for Foreign Embassy Break-Ins," New York Times, 26 Feb. 1999.

Loeb, Vernon.

1. "CIA Accused of 'Whitewash' on Pinochet: Document Release to Exclude Papers on Agency's Role in '73 Coup, Activists Told." Washington Post, 7 Oct. 1999, A28. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"The National Archives is expected to make public on [8 October 1999] hundreds of documents from the State Department, Pentagon and CIA relating to the military rule of Chilean Gen. Augusto Pinochet. But activists said they have been told that the documents will not include any information about the CIA's involvement in a 1973 coup against Chilean President Salvador Allende or its support for Pinochet."

2. "CIA May Have Role in Journalist's Murder." Washington Post, 9 Oct. 1999, A15. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

An August 1976 State Department memorandum released on 8 October 1999 says: "U.S. intelligence may have played an unfortunate part in [American journalist Charles] Horman's death [in Chile in 1973]. At best, it was limited to providing or confirming information that helped motivate his murder by the [government of Chile]. At worst, U.S. intelligence was aware the [government of Chile] saw Horman in a rather serious light and U.S. officials did nothing to discourage the logical outcome of [Chilean] paranoia."

Human rights activists applauded the "release of 1,100 U.S. government documents about Chile, which were declassified in a review ordered by President Clinton in February after [Former Chilean President Augusto] Pinochet's arrest [in Great Britain]. But they accused the CIA of failing to comply fully with Clinton's order, noting that agency officials still have not released any information about the CIA's role in the coup that toppled Chilean President Salvador Allende.

"The CIA responded [on 8 October] by releasing a 1978 letter to the Justice Department, drafted in response to a lawsuit filed by Horman's family, stating that the 'CIA had no prior knowledge of and played no role in either the death of Mr. Horman or in the events surrounding the subsequent disposition of his remains.'"

Loeb, Vernon. "Spook Story: Where Was Jack Devine on Sept. 11, 1973?" Washington Post, 17 Sep. 2000, F1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Jack Devine retired from the CIA in December 1998 after serving in such significant positions as ADDO, Acting DDO, and London station chief. But in September 1973, he was a 32-year-old case officer in Santiago, Chile. What is his take on the coup that overthrew Salvador Allende? Stated simply: "I'm not saying maybe, I'm saying flat out -- the CIA did not overthrow Allende." Clark comment: This lengthy article is well worth reading.

Marquis, Christopher. "C.I.A. Says Chilean General in '76 Bombing Was Informer." New York Times, 19 Sep. 2000. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to documents released on 18 September 2000 by the CIA in a declassified report to Congress, Gen. Manuel Contreras Sepulveda, the former chief of Chile's secret police (DINA), was an Agency "informer" from 1974 to 1977. This means that the CIA maintained contact with the Chilean General even after he and his deputy, Brig. Gen. Pedro Espinoza Bravo, masterminded a lethal car bombing on Embassy Row in Washington in 1976.

The main conclusion of the CIA report, entitled "CIA Activities in Chile" and dated 18 September 2000, is that: "We find no information -- nor did the Church Committee -- that CIA or the Intelligence Community was involved in the death of Chilean President Salvador Allende.... The major CIA effort against Allende came earlier in 1970 in the failed attempt to block his election and accession to the Presidency."

McSherry, J. Patrice.

1. "Operation Condor: Clandestine Inter-American System." Social Justice 26, no. 4 (Winter 1999): 144-175.

This article traces "[a]nti-insurrection collusion among the intelligence services of the 'southern cone' countries of Argentina, Brazil and Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay." Swenson, IJI&C 16.1/127/fn25.

2. Predatory States: Operation Condor and Covert War in Latin America. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.

From publisher: "Operation Condor was a military network created in the 1970s to eliminate political opponents of Latin American regimes. Its key members were the anticommunist dictatorships of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil, later joined by Peru and Ecuador, with covert support from the U.S. government." The author draws "on a wealth of testimonies, declassified files, and Latin American primary sources." McSherry "shows how ... Operation Condor hunted down, seized, and executed political opponents across borders."

Shenon, Philip. "U.S. Releases Files on Abuses in Pinochet Era." New York Times, 1 Jul. 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 30 June 1999, the U.S. Government released 5,800 formerly classified documents, almost 20,000 pages, dealing with Chilean affairs from 1973 to 1978. Most of the documents -- "5,000 of the 5,800 -- came from the files of the State Department. The CIA released 490 documents, the FBI 100 and the Pentagon 60." Documents concerning the 1976 car-bomb assassination in Washington of former Chilean ambassador to the United States, Orlando Letelier, were withheld because the Justice Department considers that investigation to be ongoing.

Karen DeYoung and Vernon Loeb, "Documents Show U.S. Knew Pinochet Planned Crackdown in '73," Washington Post, 1 Jul. 1999, A23, adds that [t]he documents are primarily status overviews and intelligence reports on the situation in Chile, and they add little of substance to scholarly and congressional reviews of the period." See also, Deb Riechmann, "Later Pinochet Reports by CIA Say Abuses Were Exaggerated," Washington Times National Weekly Edition, 5-11 Jul. 1999, 15.

Sigmund, Paul E. The Overthrow of Allende and the Politics of Chile 1964-1976. Pittsburgh, PA:  Pittsburgh University Press, 1977.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. CIA Activities in Chile. 18 Sep. 2000 [https://www.cia.gov/library/reports/general-reports-1/chile/index.html]

U.S. Congress. Senate. Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. Staff Report. Covert Action in Chile: 1963-1973. Washington, DC: GPO, 1975. [http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/pdfs94th/94chile.pdf]

Conclusion: "Was the United States DIRECTLY involved, covertly, in the 1973 coup in Chile? The Committee has found no evidence that it was."

Weiner, Tim. "F.B.I. Helped Chile Search for Leftists, Files Show." New York Times, 10 Feb. 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"The FBI tried to track suspected associates of Chilean leftists in the United States in the 1970s on behalf of the government of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the Chilean dictator, newly declassified documents show."

Weiner, Tim. "In Tapes, Nixon Talks of Plans for Foreign Embassy Break-Ins." New York Times, 26 Feb. 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"Newly released transcripts of secretly recorded White House tapes show President Richard M. Nixon ... twice discuss[ing] authorizing break-ins at foreign embassies.... In May 1973,... he told his legal aide, J. Fred Buzhardt, 'When we get down, for example, to the break-in, the Chilean Embassy -- that thing was a part of the burglars' plan, as a cover . . . [ellipses in original] a CIA cover.'

"The transcript appears to refer to a break-in at the Chilean Embassy in Washington by Nixon's secret White House team, known as the plumbers. That team conducted the June 1972 burglary at Democratic Party offices in the Watergate complex.... A break-in at the Chilean Embassy in Washington on May 13, 1972, was reported to Washington police. No link was made to the White House at the time, and none has been made since." See also George Lardner, Jr., and Walter Pincus, "Watergate Burglars Broke Into Chilean Embassy as Cover, Tapes Show," Washington Post, 26 Feb. 1997, A9.

 

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