35+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

South America

Apr 29, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 29, 2021 – John F. Kennedy may have secretly warned Fidel Castro against executing survivors of the Bay of Pigs invasion 60 years ago this month while also dangling a pledge of strict non-intervention if the Cuban leader spared their lives, according to new evidence posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.  Kennedy’s secret channel to Castro, the records suggest, was the president of Brazil, João Goulart.

Mar 31, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., March 31, 2021 – The Chilean ambassador to Brazil, Raúl Rettig, sent an alarming cable in March 1971 to his foreign ministry titled “Brazilian Army possibly conducting studies on guerrillas being introduced into Chile.” Multiple sources had informed the Embassy that the Brazilian military regime was evaluating how to instigate an insurrection to overthrow the Allende government.

Mar 23, 2021 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 23, 2021 - On the eve of the 45th anniversary of the military coup in Argentina, the National Security Archive is today posting declassified documents revealing what the U.S. government knew, and when it knew it, in the weeks preceding the March 24, 1976, overthrow of Isabel Peron’s government. The documents provide evidence of multiple contacts between the coup plotters and U.S. officials. “[Admiral] Massera sought opportunity to speak privately with me,” U.S.

Jan 27, 2021 | News
Washington D.C., January 26, 2021 – The celebrated Chilean judge, Juan Guzmán Tapia, best known for his principled stand against human rights abuses and his pioneering prosecutions of former Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, died on January 22, 2021. 

Nov 3, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., November 3, 2020 - Several days after Salvador Allende’s history-changing November 3, 1970, inauguration, Richard Nixon convened his National Security Council for a formal meeting on what policy the U.S. should adopt toward Chile’s new Popular Unity government. Only a few officials who gathered in the White House Cabinet Room knew that, under Nixon’s orders, the CIA had covertly tried, and failed, to foment a preemptive military coup to prevent Allende from ever being inaugurated.

Oct 22, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., October 22, 2020 - On October 23, 1970, one day after armed thugs intercepted and mortally wounded the Chilean army commander-in-chief, General Rene Schneider, as he drove to work in Santiago, CIA Director Richard Helms convened his top aides to review the covert coup operations that had led to the attack.

Oct 9, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, October 9, 2020 – Fifty-three years ago, at 1:15 p.m. on October 9, 1967, Argentine-born revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara was executed in the hills of Bolivia after being captured by a U.S.-trained Bolivian military battalion. A CIA operative, Felix Rodriguez, was present. U.S. officials had been tracking Guevara’s whereabouts ever since he disappeared from public view in Cuba in 1965.

Sep 15, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., September 15, 2020 – On September 15, 1970, during a twenty-minute meeting in the Oval Office between 3:25 pm and 3:45 pm, President Richard Nixon ordered the CIA to foment a military coup in Chile. According to handwritten notes taken by CIA Director Richard Helms, Nixon issued explicit instructions to prevent the newly elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende, from being inaugurated in November—or to create conditions to overthrow him if he did assume the presidency.

Sep 4, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., September 4, 2020 – “Chile voted calmly to have a Marxist-Leninist state, the first nation in the world to make this choice freely and knowingly,” U.S. Ambassador Edward Korry dramatically reported to Washington in a cable titled “Allende Wins” on September 4, 1970. “[W]e have suffered a grievous defeat; the consequences will be domestic and international; the repercussions will have immediate impact in some lands and delayed effect in others.”

Aug 31, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., August 31, 2020 – Under house arrest in a case linking him to a feared paramilitary bloc, former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe Vélez, perhaps the most important political figure in Colombian history, finds his legacy hanging in the balance. Declassified documents published today reveal new details about his suspected links to narcotraffickers and the paramilitary groups who called him “El Viejo.”

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