30+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

South America

May 2, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., May 2, 2017 – Chiquita’s Colombia-based staff questioned the company’s payments to illegal armed groups, and asked whether Chiquita had gone beyond extortion and was directly funding the activities of leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary groups, even while top company executives became “comfortable” with the idea.

Apr 25, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 25, 2017Media mogul Agustin Edwards Eastman, who was widely regarded as the Rupert Murdoch of Chile, died on April 24, at age 89, leaving a legacy of close collaboration with Henry Kissinger and the CIA in instigating and supporting the September 11, 1973, military coup.  Edwards was the only Chilean—civilian or military—known to meet face-to-face with CIA Director Richard Helms in September 1970 in connection with plans to instigate regime change against Socialist leader Salvador Allende, who had just been elected president.

Apr 24, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington, D.C., April 24, 2017 - Ten years ago, Chiquita Brands International became the first U.S.-based corporation convicted of violating a U.S. law against funding an international terrorist group—the paramilitary United Self-defense Forces of Colombia (AUC). But punishment for the crime was reserved only for the corporate entity, while the names of the individual company officials who engineered the payments have since remained hidden behind a wall of impunity.

Mar 15, 2017 | Blog Post
This posting initially appeared in Volume 49 of NACLA Report on the Americas.  Poet, musician, theater director, teacher, and activist, Víctor Jara was the creative heart of the movement in Chile seeking social change under President Salvador Allende, and an early victim of Augusto Pinochet’s terror regime. Jara was 40 years old when he died […]

Jan 17, 2017 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., January 17, 2017 –  A tribunal in Rome, Italy, today sentenced two former heads of state and two ex-chiefs of security forces from Bolivia and Peru, and a former Uruguayan foreign minister to life imprisonment for their  involvement in the coordinated, cross-border system of repression known as “Operation Condor.”  The National Security Archive, which provided testimony and dozens of declassified documents as evi

Dec 16, 2016 | Blog Post
Today, Colombians mark 25 years of impunity for members of the police implicated in the December 16, 1991, killing of 20 members of the Colombian Nasa-Paez indigenous group in the Caloto, Cauca, massacre. With Colombia now poised to enter a long period of transitional justice, cases like Caloto are emblematic of how Colombian courts have largely failed to […]

Dec 14, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., December 14, 2016 - Operation Condor, the trans-border, multinational effort by Southern Cone secret police services to track down and “liquidate” opponents of their regimes in the 1970s, targeted officials of Amnesty International as well as other human rights groups, and planned overseas missions in Paris and London, according to a comprehensive CIA report on Condor operations just released by the Obama administration. “The basic mission of Condor teams to be sent overseas,” according to the CIA, was “to liquidate top-level terrorist leaders.

Dec 2, 2016 | Blog Post
Chiquita Terrorist Funding A federal judge in Florida ruled that “victims of Colombian paramilitary death squads funded by Chiquita” have a right to have their case heard in the United States rather than Colombia, “clearing the way for the historic case to advance toward trial.” The ruling comes nearly a decade after Chiquita pled guilty […]

Sep 23, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., September 23, 2016 – A CIA special intelligence assessment in 1987 concluded that Chilean General Augusto Pinochet ordered an “act of state terrorism” on the streets of Washington, D.C., that took the lives of former Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier, and his 25-year-old colleague, Ronni Moffitt, forty years ago this week. “A review of our files on the Letelier assassination,” the CIA reported, “has provided what we regard as convincing evidence that President Pinochet personally ordered his intelligence chief to carry out the murder.”  The assessment added that Pinochet later “decided to stonewall on the case to hide his involvement and, ultimately, to protect his hold on the presidency.”

Sep 9, 2016 | Briefing Book
Washington D.C., September 9, 2016 – Forty-three years after the U.S.-supported military coup in Chile, the Central Intelligence Agency continues to withhold information on what it knew about planning for the putsch, and what intelligence it shared with President Richard Nixon, according to redacted documents posted today by the National Security Archive. The documents, among the hundreds of President’s Daily Briefs (PDBs) the CIA declassified last month, excise material that almost certainly has already been released to the public years ago.

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