CIA Documents: Chile: Implications of the Letelier Case   [open html - 679KB]

In May of 1978, the CIA's National Foreign Assessment Center issued this comprehensive analysis of the Pinochet regime's responses to being identified as responsible for the most significant act of international terrorism ever committed in the United States - the September 21, 1976 car bomb assassination of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt in Washington DC. This eight-page assessment, classified Secret/Sensitive, addressed the impact inside the regime if "proof of Pinochet's complicity in the Letelier slaying" came to light. At the time, the FBI had identified Pinochet's secret police, DINA, as responsible for the crime. The CIA assessment notes that Pinochet will have a difficult time disassociating himself from DINA, and its chieftain, Col. Manuel Contreras. "The former secret police chief is known to have reported directly to the President [Pinochet], who had exclusive responsibility for the organization's activities." The report states that Contreras' guilt "would be almost certain to implicate Pinochet... None of the government's critics and few of its supporters would be willing to swallow claims that Contreras acted without presidential concurrence."

1978 Transnational Institute. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.
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