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Chile Documentation Project

Chile: 16,000 Secret Documents Declassified
CIA Acknowledges Ties to Pinochetís Repression: Chilean Secret Police Chief was a CIA Asset
History Held Hostage: The CIA's refusal to declassify the covert record on Chile
New information on the murders of U.S. citizens Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi by the Chilean military
CIA Intelligence Report tied Pinochet to Letelier assassination
State Department release on Chile shows suspicions of CIA involvement in Charles Horman "Missing" case 
CIA, STATE, NSC Documents Declassified on Chile: Administration Release Applauded; Concern Expressed on Withheld U.S. Records 
Chile and the United States: Declassified Documents Related to the Military Coup of September 11, 1973
March 6, 2001
State Department Cable, U.S. Ambassador Robert White (Paraguay) to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Subject: Second Meeting with Chief of Staff re Letelier Case, October 20, 1978, Confidential, 1 p.

 
CIA Cable, [Brazil's Role in Operation Condor], Excerpt, August 12, 1976, 1 p.
NOTE: Pages 1 and 3 of this document were not released.

On March 6, 2001, The New York Times reported the existence of a recently declassified State Department document revealing that the United States facilitated communications among South American intelligence chiefs who were working together to eliminate left-wing opposition groups in their countries as part of a covert program known as Operation Condor.

The document, a 1978 cable from Robert E. White, the U.S. ambassador to Paraguay, was discovered by Professor J. Patrice McSherry of Long Island University, who has published several articles on Condor.  She called the cable "another piece of increasingly weighty evidence suggesting that U.S. military and intelligence officials supported and collaborated with Condor as a secret partner or sponsor."

In the cable, Ambassador White relates a conversation with General Alejandro Fretes Davalos, chief of staff of Paraguay's armed forces, who told him that the South American intelligence chiefs involved in Condor "keep in touch with one another through a U.S. communications installation in the Panama Canal Zone which covers all of Latin America."  This installation is "employed to co-ordinate intelligence information among the southern cone countries."  White, whose message was sent to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, is concerned that the U.S. connection to Condor might be revealed during the then ongoing investigation into the deaths of former Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier and his American colleague Ronni Moffitt who were killed by a car bomb in Washington, D.C.  "It would seem advisable," he suggests, "to review this arrangement to insure that its continuation is in U.S. interest."

The document was found among 16,000 State, CIA, White House, Defense and Justice Department records released last November on the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, and Washingtonís role in the violent coup that brought his military regime to power.  The release was the fourth and final "tranche" of records released under the Clinton Administration's special Chile Declassification Project.

"This document opens a pandora's box of questions on the U.S. knowledge of, and role in, Operation Condor," said Senior Analyst Peter Kornbluh, director of the National Security Archive's Chile Documentation Project.

The Archive published a second document - a page from a CIA cable regarding Brazil's role in Operation Condor - that Kornbluh said contained information that could shed light on this issue.  The undated page refers to "CondorTel" - the "communications network established by the Condor countries."  Kornbluh pointed out that the entire next line has been censored by the CIA.

The National Security Archive called on the U.S. Intelligence Community - NSA, CIA, DIA and other Defense Department bureaus at the U.S. Southern Command - to fully divulge their files on communications assistance to the military regimes in the southern cone.


State Department Cable, U.S. Ambassador Robert White (Paraguay) to Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, Subject: Second Meeting with Chief of Staff re Letelier Case, October 20, 1978, Confidential, 1 p.

 
CIA Cable, [Brazil's Role in Operation Condor], Excerpt, August 12, 1976, 1 p.
NOTE: Pages 1 and 3 of this document were not released.
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