Source: The Guardian Unlimited
The Obama administration has declassified documents showing that the Chilean dictator personally ordered the assassination of Orlando Letelier in 1976
General Augusto Pinochet directly ordered the 1976 assassination of a Chilean diplomat who was killed in a car bomb in Washington DC, according top secret US intelligence documents declassified by the Obama administration.
The documents, which were handed to the Chilean president, Michelle Bachelet, on Tuesday in Santiago by the US secretary of state, John Kerry, also show that the former dictator was so concerned with covering up his role in the murder that he planned to assassinate his own head of intelligence, General Manuel Contreras.
Orlando Letelier, a former defence and foreign minister under President Salvador Allende, was tortured and incarcerated after Pinochet’s 1973 coup. He later fled to the US and worked at the Institute of Policy Studies in Washington DC.
Letelier, who had once been Chile’s ambassador to the US, was murdered on 21 September 1976 by a car bomb planted under the driver’s seat of his vehicle just a mile from the White House.
Ronni Moffitt, an American colleague, was also killed in the blast. Her husband Michael survived but was badly wounded.
Letelier’s son, Senator Juan Pablo Letelier, confirmed to the Guardian that he had received copies of the newly released documents, which are understood to include papers from the CIA.