2015 October 10

CIA Documents Reveal Chilean Role in 1976 Assassination on U.S Soil, Role of CIA, President Reagan in Cover-up


Recently declassified State Department records, it was reported today, confirmed the role of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in ordering the 1976 assassination of  former Chilean official and his American colleague on U.S. soil, and also the role of the CIA and President Ronald Reagan in covering up Pinochet’s role.

Former Chilean Ambassador Orlando Letelier and his American colleague Ronni Moffit were killed in a bomb blast in Washington, DC in 1976. At the time, many suspected that Pinochet had ordered the killing of critics of his dictatorial regime. The recently declassified State Department documents include a 1987 CIA memo that “convincing evidence” of Pinochet’s personal role in ordering the murder. The CIA memo was written to President Ronald Reagan and then-Secretary of State George P. Shultz. Thus, Reagan, Schultz and the CIA participated in a cover-up of the murder of an American citizen on American soil in order to protect Pinochet’s right-wing dictatorship.

Pinochet came to power in Chile in a military coup-d’etat on September 11, 1973, which most observers believe was secretly backed by the U.S., working through the CIA. In power, Pinochet engaged in systematic repression of all opposition and many human rights abuses.

The cover-up was one of many human rights violations by the U.S. and the CIA in the name of anti-communism during the Cold War.

Learn about the history of the CIA: Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (2007)

Read the Church Committee report on CIA’s own assassination plots: http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/contents/church/contents_church_reports_ir.htm

Learn more: Hugh Wilford, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (2008)


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