30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

South America

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.”

Jul 21, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., July 21, 2020 – Forty-four years after the Argentine military began disappearing thousands of citizens following the March 24, 1976, coup, human rights investigators have located one of the first clandestine torture sites used by state intelligence operatives. The clandestine center was identified after the declassification of thousands of U.S.

Apr 6, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, DC, April 6, 2020 – Cold War concerns about another Communist Cuba in Latin America drove President John F. Kennedy to approve a covert CIA political campaign to rig national elections in British Guiana, then a British colony but soon to be independent, according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive.

Mar 10, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., March 10, 2020 - Franklin Allen “Tex” Harris , the former political officer who took charge of reporting on human rights at the U.S. Embassy in Argentina between 1977 and 1979 and was the first official to document the disappearance of thousands of Argentine citizens during the military dictatorship, passed away on February 23, 2020. He was 81 years old.

Feb 11, 2020 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., February 11, 2020 - The U.S. intelligence community actively monitored for decades the diplomatic and military communications of numerous Latin American nations through encryption machines supplied by a Swiss company that was secretly owned by the CIA and the German intelligence agency, BND, according to reports today by the German public television channel, ZDF and the Washington Post.

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