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.
Federal investigators have uncovered evidence that some of them believe is sufficient to indict Gen. Augusto Pinochet for conspiracy to commit murder in the 1976 car bombing that killed Orlando Letelier on Washington's Embassy Row.
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.
Researchers and relatives of victims of human rights abuses in Chile charged yesterday that the CIA is withholding information about its covert operations in that country, contrary to a White House directive.
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.