Unraveling the lies: Pinochet & the “Chilean miracle”


Jan Slakov

Dear Renaissance Network,   Nov. 6

Thanks to 4 people in particular, (one who lives here in Nova Scotia too,
but reads South American & Spanish newspapers (James Crombie), one in Brazil
(César Roberto), a US citizen living in Bolivia (Thomas Kruse) and Micheal
P. from the MAI-not list) I have received a flood of good information on the
implications of the Pinochet case.

What points are important to retain from this "flood"?:

- something we already kknew: that the US government (mainly through the
CIA) knew of and helped engineer the dictatorships which killed thousands in
Latin America.

- that the US government also is implicated in Operacion Condor, a plan to
track down and kill dissidents who fled their homes in Latin America to
other nations, even the US, France and Spain. (Operacion Condor is also
referred to as "El Condor"   Note from César Roberto: The condor is the
largest bird in the world. 
The name of the bloody operation was probably derived from it because it 
flies at the high Andean altitudes and can so ideally "oversees" the whole 
South America.  But it is also a rapacious vulture!)

- that there are NOW grounds to suspect that an operation similar to
Operacion Condor is active.

- that there is some humour in the midst of all this terror: The forces
behind the terror are delightfully stupid at times.

As an introduction, here is a posting from Micheal P., including excerpts
from two _Guardian_ articles:

Date: Tue, 3 Nov 1998 22:12:47 -0800 (PST)
From: MichaelP <•••@••.•••>

Most folk won't know who Fred West is - neither do I. But this Guardian
piece provides some acid comment about the process in having the Brit
House of Lords examine the "sovereign immunity" doctrine as is is being
applied to Pinochet case.  When all is said and done, Mary Queen of Scots
was the last sovereign to have invoked the doctrine on English soil.
Napoleon was also a head of state when he did the things he was exiled for
to St.  Helena, so I don't think the doctrine did him much good. 

And whether the Law Lords decide Pinochet can't be arrested and tried for
his actions, there is a Euro Court to which the question can be taken.

As to the second piece, each person receiving this post is involved in
politics as much as the writer was a quarter cenntury ago in Chile.
Of course none of us expects to be imprisoned and tortured for our
politics -- after all what happened was under a different administration.

But the persons who devized the tortures are still unpunished, their
progeny still runs the training centers for their successors, and those
training centers are in the countries where we expect to express our
political ideas freely. For how much longer ?

                           Single transferable coup
                               By Mark Steel
Guardian (london)                         Wednesday November 4, 1998
      Fred West's lawyers must be kicking themselves. If only they had
      thought of the head of state loophole whereby you're immune from
    prosecution if you're an ex-head of state, even if you only attained
           that position by murdering the previous head of state.
       They could have advised West to take time off from burying his
   neighbours, bump off the Queen and Prime Minister, and announce he was
   taking over for a while. Furthermore, he'd have been assured of a good
    pay-out to cover expenses, which would have gone a long way towards
                              building costs.
     The Lords, many of whom have spent years screaming about hooligans
      being let off with light sentences, seem destined to let a mass
    murderer free with no sentence at all. Not even 40 hours' community
   service, or a weekend with social workers saying to him: "I see - and
      when you set up this military dictatorship - how did it make you
    The arguments for allowing Pinochet to go are almost poetic in their
   lack of logic. One is that he's a "frail old man". This could lead to
   a change in the law, with fitness replacing the crime as the criteria
      for the sentence. After a guilty verdict, the convict will do 10
   minutes on an exercise bike, and the more you wheeze, the shorter your
   sentence. Another argument is that Allende's government was as guilty
      as the generals who overthrew it. Andrew Neil wrote that it was
    Allende's supporters who had "Chilean blood on their hands". So the
   murderer and murdered are equally to blame. Presumably if Andrew Neil
   arrived at the house of a psycho, he could look at the lunatic with a
    chain saw, then at the head in the fridge and say: "Honestly, you're
                        both as mad as each other".
     One of Allende's faults, which Neil, amongst others points out, is
    that he was elected on only 36 per cent of the vote. So I wonder if
   they told Roy Jenkins about their own ideas on how to top-up the seats
   of the minority parties. It's much simpler than Jenkins' proposal: you
   take the first choice of the greatest number of electors and kill him.
                It's called "The single transferable coup".
   A common line has been that Pinochet is simply a "hate figure" for the
   left. Typical was the Daily telegraph editorial which complained about
     Peter Mandelson's "undergraduate ravings". Much better to conduct
     affairs in a mature manner, by pouring a chap a port and politely
   whispering: "Must say, that business with the electrodes was a rum old
   And there's the line that Pinochet helped Britain during the Falklands
    War, although at the time, part of the justification for the war was
     that Argentina was a military dictatorship. Besides, your average
   defendant in a murder trial wouldn't be advised to plead for clemency
    on the grounds that, apart from the offences he was charged with, he
           also helped his mate drown 300 people in an afternoon.
       The daftest argument of all is that to convict him would upset
    Chileans. Thousands of marchers defied water canon in Santiago last
    week, chanting: "It's a carnival - the dictator's in jail". And the
   families of the victims are unanimous in stating that they could cope
    better with their loss if the general were brought to justice. Their
    case is so much more powerful than the one to release him, so how is
   he on the edge of going home? The answer lies with Pinochet's reasons
                    for his actions in the first place.
    Allende's Popular Unity coalition came to power on a wave of strikes
    and peasant uprisings, his most popular policy being to nationalise
   the copper mines. The country was brought to chaos, when lorry owners
     went on strike to undermine the regime, and they were joined by a
     campaign in which industrialists closed factories, and lawyers and
   doctors stopped work. To appease them, Allende made the fatal mistake
   of inviting generals into his cabinet and they seized their chance. A
       military regime was installed, Allende and thousands of trade
    unionists were murdered and profits were safe again. The High Court
   judges, Thatcher, the Lords, the Daily Telegraph, Andrew Neil and the
     others who defend Pinochet will drink tea with anyone who defends
        profits. Either that, or the Chileans have just developed an
                           unfortunate coup gene.
     Pinochet succeeded when the Popular Unity government played by the
    rules of legal niceties while he was preparing a whole new game. Now
   it looks as if another set of legal niceties will allow him to escape
     again. So Jack Straw should announce that he's being locked up for
    being an evil bastard and if there's no legal basis for it, so much
    the better. In fact he's being done for not paying his TV licence as
   The worst scenario of all would be if he were convicted and sentenced
    by a British judge. Because they'd say: "There's only one thing that
             can do you any good my boy - a spell in the army."
** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest
in receiving the included information for research and educational
purposes. **


                               Blood cries out

    Pinochet's men did terrible things to me and my friends. How can we
                           let him go free today?

                             By Sheila Cassidy
Guardian (london)                         Wednesday November 4, 1998

   It was 24 years ago today that I was lying on on my bunk in the Villa
    Grimaldi, Chile's best-known interrogation centre. With me, in that
   small room, were 3 companions: Lelia, Francisca and Anna Maria. I was
      37, and they were in their late teens and early 20s; university
              students who had become "involved in politics".

    Stiff and sore from the electric shocks, I was bleeding heavily, my
     own blood mingling with the dried blood on my jeans: the blood of
    Ennquetta, the Columbian Fathers' housekeeper who was killed when I
                               was arrested.


   I feel sick as I write, and the comforting shape of my room recedes. I
        feel dizzy, spaced out. But I don't worry, for the physical
    manifestations of anxiety are all too familiar and I know they will
             pass. The flashbacks too, have virtually stopped.

     I remember some of them vividly: once I was driving to the hospice
    where I now work, and just before I passed a woman with a pram, the
    elastic in her slip went and it fell to her ankles. My mind made an
   immediate connection and I heard again in Spanish: "Sacarse su ropa" -
     take off your clothes - which is what my interrogators said when I
                          arrived at the Grimaldi.

    I remember too, the Lenten suppers in the convent where I was later
    misguidedly trying to become a nun. The dry bread stuck in my throat
      just as it had when I was in solitary confinement. The sensation
   triggered the memory and I sat there in tears, as alone as I had been
                                 in prison.

    And now, 24 years later, I am about to board the train to London to
     meet the barrister who will speak at the House of Lords hearing on
       behalf of those of us who wish to bring a prosecution against

     He will also speak on behalf of the family of William Beausire, an
      Anglo-Chilean businessman arrested in Buenos Aires and returned
   secretly to Chile. William was seen in the Grimaldi in January 1975 by
   one of my fellow-prisoners. His sister is to be in London tonight, and
      the wife of the young American whose story was told in the film

   We the living, the articulate, must be the voice of the thousands who
   have no voice: the family of the 2,000 "disappeared". I have lived to
       tell my story of torture at the Villa Grimaldi, of my sadistic
      transfer to Cuatro Alamos, of the 3 weeks in solitary and then a
                       further 5 weeks in detention.                
     But many who were seen at the Grimaldi were never seen again. They
   were "disappeared". Perhaps some were run over as I feared I would be.
   Some were likely shot. Others died under torture. But their loved ones
   live on. That kind of grief does not resolve, but remains as a chronic

    The British courts have it in their power to make an important stand
      for justice. How in God's name, in the names of the dead and the
   grieving, can they quibble over an outdated law? How can America feel
      it right to bomb Saddam Hussein, and England set free a similar
      tyrant? I believe that British justice stands in the dock today.

     Dr Cassidy was arrested in Chile in 1975 (for treating an injured

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest
in receiving the included information for research and educational
purposes. **

This message from James Crombie describes some of the important revelations
coming out as a result of the Pinochet case:

To: •••@••.••• (R.Magellan)
From: •••@••.••• (James Crombie)
Subject: Some angles on the Pinochet Case and Operation Condor
Cc: Jan Slakov <•••@••.•••>
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 1998 20:25:20 -0400

Hello Cesar Roberto!

Jan sent me a copy of the message you sent her re: Pinochet.

Here, in turn, is a copy of the message I sent to the Cyberjournal.

Like you -- and about 75% of about 29000 readers of El Pais 
(Madrid) polled on the Internet, I am extremely pleased 
about the prospect of Pinochet being judged in an open 
court of law -- in Spain or anywhere else.

As you can see, you answer some of my questions -- like the 
one about WHERE the four tons of documents are.  It seems as 
if they are now in the hands of Jair Kirsche, the head of a Human Rights
Committee sponsored by the Roman Catholic Church in Porto Alegre, Brazil.  I
will definitely add Brazil to the participants in El Condor.

A subsequent article in La Jornada also links George Bush to the 
Prats assassination.  He was then head of the CIA.

!Hasta luego!

James Crombie

********** copy of message follows ****************

I have just returned from a conference in Spain, where the 
papers are publishing about three pages every day on the 
Pinochet Case.  Here are some of the angles you may not 
have heard or read about:

The US State Department is keeping basically mum, perhaps 
fearing the details which may come out concerning the 
assassination, in Washington, of Orlando Letelier, who was 
about to testify before Congress.

The argument of the UK judges who decided that Pinochet enjoys 
immunity because he was head of state when he committed the 
"alleged" murders, etc., is flawed -- since Pinochet was not actually 
declared to be Chilean head of state until after most of 
the alleged 4000 offences had already occurred.  One can also argue 
that torture and murder are not part of the functions of a "head of 
state" (as such).

Margaret Thatcher, in a public statement, says that the UK should 
let Pinochet go, basically as a token of gratitude for the assistance 
he provided to the UK during the Falklands War against Argentina.
(I will not comment on this argument.  It is clear how Thatcher will
vote in the House of Lords.)

El Pais, a daily newspaper published in Madrid, in its Nov. 2 
edition, reveals that Pinochet was in the UK not merely for cancer 
treatment, but also as part of a Chilean team on an arms purchase 
mission.  Guarantees had been sought -- and obtained -- by the 
Chileans that Pinochet would not be arrested.  Apparently there 
was a foul-up...  The question is, what will the House of Lords 
do now?  Protect the reputation of the British arms industry? or support 
international legality and the movement to bring the perpetrators of 
mass murder, terrorism and violence to trial?

La Jornada of Mexico City, in its Oct. 31 edition, published a report 
by its Buenos Aires correspondent, Stella Calloni, concerning 
involvement of the Chilean secret police, the Dina, in crimes 
committed outside of Chile, referring to an article (which I have 
not seen) published by Jack Anderson almost twenty years ago 
in the Washington Post (Aug. 2, 1979): "El Condor ...".

Further support for these allegations stem from the discovery, on 
Dec. 22, 1992 in a suburb of Asuncion, Paraguay, of four tons of 
documents concerning Operation Condor.

Does anyone know any more about these documents?  Four TONS?  
Where are they now?

Operation Condor was a program by which the dictatorships in
power in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay [and Brazil] exchanged 
information and prisoners -- for example when the dissidents from 
one of these countries took refuge in another.

The international aspect of Operation Condor extended beyond 
these four countries, however.  Calloni quotes statements by FBI 
agent Robert Sherrer to the effect that one of the phases of Operation 
Condor included reprisals against (and assassination of) supposed 
"terrorists" -- even when the latter travelled to countries which did not 
participate in Operation Condor.

One of the victims of these operations, apparently, was the Uruguayan 
Colonel Ramon Trajal, assassinated in Paris on Dec. 19, 1974.


It would be interesting to hear from other [RN] subscribers concerning how 
the local media in various countries are treating this whole affair (if at all)!

James Crombie
James wrote another message with information on an CURRENT operation which
seems to ressemble Operacion Condor:

To: •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••
From: •••@••.••• (James Crombie)
Subject: Pinochet, Condor, Berrios, Years of the Wolf: 3rd of Calloni's Articles
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998 06:46:43 -0400

The current publicity concerning the Pinochet years may help prevent 
the "Years of the Wolf" from returning!

Those of you who read Spanish may be interested in the third of a series 
of three articles by Stella Calloni, the Buenos Aires correspondent of 
La Jornada concerning the operations of El Condor and the CIA.  (In the 
Nov. 3, 1998 issue.)

Go to

Click on
Ejemplares Anteriores

Then get to the Nov. 3 backissue and go to the Contraportada

Stella Calloni's article,

"EU podría aclarar la Operación Cóndor si desclasifica documentos"

is the third title under the larger headline

"Orden internacional de arresto contra


The article gives the titles of  books written by survivors 
of Operation Condor, along with brief summaries of the 
experiences described.  


Calloni closes her article with the speculation that a new 
organization -- Coordinación de Seguridad Hemisférica -- is 
being set up under US control to combat "conflictos sociales, 
rebeliones campesinas e indígenas por la tierra'', and states 
that this in turn has given rise to a "fuerte movilización en 
Argentina y otros países para evitar que regresen los 
años del lobo" -- a mobilization to prevent the "Years of the 
Wolf" from returning.  I have no idea what form this 
"mobilization" is taking...


Happy reading,
James Crombie

This _Village Voice_ article reminds us of the "Financial Warfare" (cf. the
article by that title by Michel Chossudovsky) concept, obviously still a
threat to many if not most of the world's people:

Date: Tue, 03 Nov 1998 15:33:58 -0400
From: Thomas Kruse <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Pinocho file: Village Voice article

Detention of former Chilean Dictator Augusto Pinochet could signal a Latin
American Nuremberg
Village Voice, October 28 - November 3, 1998 

Washington -- The arrest of 82-year-old Chilean despot Augusto Pinochet in
London October 16 at the request of Spanish authorities has the human rights
community here inspired by the possibility that it could be the precursor to
a Latin American/Cold War Nuremberg.

Needless to say, the U.S. right and elements within the intelligence
community are not happy about such a scenario. Despite mainstream reports to
the contrary, the U.S. government has been less than helpful to Spanish
investigators who have been on the trail of Pinochet and other Latin
American war criminals. "The U.S. government does in fact have information"
pertinent to the Spanish investigation "but has withheld it so far,"
Representative George Miller said last week.

Marc Raskin, cofounder of the Institute for Policy Studies, is fervently
hoping that the information in question will be released. Raskin has deeply
personal reasons for his feelings.

It was raining, Raskin remembers, when he got the call. It was September
1976, and the news wasn't entirely unexpected:

In 1968, u.s. general Robert W. Porter publicly outlined a strategy for
combatting Communism in South America: "In order to facilitate the
coordinated employment of internal security forces within and among Latin
American countries, we are . . . endeavoring to foster inter- service and
regional cooperation by assisting in the organization of integrated command
and control centers; the establishment of common operating procedures; and
the conduct of joint and combined training exercises."

The working result of this seemingly inane jargon coalesced in Operation
Condor, a state terror network that rivaled anything today's Mideast "rogue
states" could serve up. A function of six South American dictatorships,
Condor was orchestrated by DINA and, as Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson
found in a mid-'80s journalistic investigation, was based on the warped
notion that all dissidents were Communists bent on world domination and had
to be neutralized. Anyone fleeing from secret police in one country was
subject to assassination by a reciprocal security service. And Condor
operations weren't restricted to the six member countries; if someone fled
to, say, Europe or the U.S., they, too, would be pursued and killed.

According to John Dinges and Saul Landau's Assassination on Embassy Row, an
investigation of the Letelier murder (which, they noted, bore the hallmarks
of a Condor operation), the CIA knew that assassins were en route to
Washington, but didn't share the information with the FBI. The CIA, they
also found, inundated the FBI with names of left-wing suspects after the
bombing, postulating that "the left killed Letelier to create a martyr."

Despite previous investigations, the possibility remains that
still-classified documents might show more CIA involvement in Condor-related
operations. Murray Karpen, Ronni Moffitt's father, remains convinced of CIA
complicity in his daughter's death. "Obviously, the CIA had to have known
about it," he says. "I don't know if there's anyone left in government who
had something to do with it, but if there are, they should be tried too,

Since stepping down as President in 1990, Pinochet has spent the last eight
years being received around the world as a right-wing icon. In the U.S., he
is a revered figure among libertarian conservatives, who adore the
dictator's embrace of Milton Friedman's economic theories, which, many
believe, led to an economic renaissance in Chile. Or, as The Washington Post
put it in an October 20 editorial, while Pinochet "did remove a
democratically elected government and see to the killing of thousands and
the detention of tens of thousands," he also "rescued [Chile] from a chaos
to which he was only one contributor, and to its controlled evolution into a
prosperous Latin democracy."

Such statements drive Larry Birns, director of the Council on Hemispheric
Affairs, into a rage. "That is, simply, a journalistic obscenity," says
Birns, who was once a UN official posted to Chile. Indeed, he adds, had it
not been for the U.S., Chile's economy might never have tanked in the first

"It came out very clearly in the Church hearings that it was the aim of U.S.
policy to economically asphyxiate Chile under Allende--not only was there a
successful concerted effort to make certain that no bank would lend Chile
money, but the CIA also was paying off truckers to strike," Birns says.
"Under Pinochet's labor laws--which are still in force--the trade unions
suffered incredibly, losing their rights to strike, to collectively bargain,
to have a reliable financial base. Whatever Chilean 'economic miracle' there
is was built on the backs of the poor."

Interestingly, one of the architects of the "Chilean miracle," José Piñera,
is today ensconced at Washington's libertarian Cato Institute as co-chair of
its Social Security privatization effort. The fruits of Pinochet's economic
policy also have found favor with the Clinton administration, which has been
very bullish on Chile, even though a recent report by the Inter-American
Development Bank found that Chile has one of the most skewed concentrations
of wealth in the hemisphere.

"The administration approves of collective amnesia--their stance is, 'Get on
with it, forgive and forget, don't sink into being maudlin about the past
when there are market reforms at stake,'" says Birns. "Yet when it comes to
someone bombing our embassies, it's, 'We'll hunt those terrorists down where
they are.'"

Research: Lauren Reynolds

Tom Kruse / Casilla 5812 / Cochabamba, Bolivia
Tel/Fax: (591-4) 248242
Email: •••@••.•••
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 22:07:57 -0200
To: •••@••.•••
From: •••@••.••• (R.Magellan)
Subject: Keep Pinochet well locked !

The Bolsonaro syndrome
Thomas Kruse also has already said something about the "collateral damage" 
caused by the Pinochet affair in Bolivia.  Outside Chile it is spreading 
swiftly what I call  "the Bolsonaro syndrome".

In Brazil, for instance, the main representative of the military right wing 
in the national parliament, retired captain Jair Bolsonaro, has become 
hysterical about the detention of Pinochert and even asked for the trial of 
the king of Spain    ---who was just now visiting Brazil, by the way!---    
to answer for the massacre of Amerindians in the continent during the 
colonial times...   Nevertheless, this guy has been criticizing the 
demarcation of Amerindian reservoirs  (though there are very few surviving 
Amerindians in Brazil) and promised a massacre of leftists if someday the 
Workers Party arrives to the Presidency (an interview given in May, 1997, to 
one of the most important national weekly magazines).  

They are AFRAID rather than indignant, that is why they are growing pretty 

The civilian version of the Bolsonaro syndrome was shown in the incredible 
eagerness of the junior Frei, the president of Chile, in asking several 
South American presidents, who met in Brasília together with king Juan 
Carlos from Spain, to join in a common declaration urging the immediate and 
unconditional release of the tyrant in the name of the Chilean sovereignty. 
He was so in a hurry that he dared the diplomatic blunder of proposing it in 
front of the king himself.  Later the Chilean government denied such an 
awkward move.

Frei's shameful initiative received a rotund "NO" from the host, the 
Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who lived as an exile in 
Chile before becoming a neoliberal.  A few hours after the gaffe, the Health 
Minister José Serra, a close ally of Cardoso and his disguised speaker, who 
also was an exile in Chile during the Allende's term, conceded a blatant 
interview in which he warmly supported the prison and judgement of Pinochet.

Jan: As the above makes clear, suspicions that the US (and other members of
NATO) were involved in the human rights violations are not unfounded.

These suspicions continue. For more information on what is happening NOW, I
recommend these:

- cj#807> Rwanda: it all started with the IMF... a perspective

- cj#835 1/2 & 2/2> Chossudovsky: FINANCIAL WARFARE

- the  Washington Post series on "special operations"

- rn:Lest we forget: we ARE at war (July 27, 1998)

I can forward any of these messages to those who are interested.

all the best, Jan