Recently disclosed US State Department and CIA records cast a new light on the Letelier assassination, revealing that the US had extensive awareness of a secret assassination operation and suggesting that US officials called off actions that might have stopped it.
After 27 years of withholding details about covert activities following the 1973 military coup in Chile, the CIA released a report acknowledging its close relations with General Augusto Pinochet’s violent regime.
CIA Director George Tenet is refusing to declassify hundreds of records on CIA covert intervention to destabilize the democratically elected government of Allende and support the violent consolidation of the Pinochet dictatorship.
As Augusto Pinochet continues to fight extradition from England to face charges of crimes against humanity, the historical record of US support for the former Chilean dictator remains disappeared, like so many victims of his violent regime.
While recently declassified documents are conspicuously lacking in information about the US role in helping Pinochet take and consolidate power, they are rich in detail about the inner workings of his bloody regime.
The prosecution of Pinochet, whose name became a virtual synonym for state-sponsored terror during his seventeen-year regime, has become a historic turning point for international and national efforts to hold him and other tyrants accountable.