THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 13, 2000
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
Today the Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency, the
Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National
Archives and Records Administration, and the Department of Justice are
releasing newly declassified and other documents related to events in Chile
from 1968-91. These documents are part of a discretionary review of U.S.
government files related to human rights abuses, terrorism, and other acts
of political violence prior to and during the Pinochet era in Chile.
National Security Council staff coordinated this interagency effort on
behalf of the President.
Agencies made an initial release of approximately 5,800 documents on
June 30, 1999, concentrating on the period from 1973-78, which corresponds
to the period of the most flagrant human rights abuses in Chile. A second
release of over 1,100 documents concentrating on the years 1968-73 followed
on October 8, 1999. While the focus for this final release was on
documents dated from 1978-91, additional documents from the earlier periods
also are being released today.
This third and final release consists of more than 16,000 documents,
including approximately 13,050 from the Department of State, 1,550 from the
CIA, 620 from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 370 from the Department
of Defense, 310 from the National Archives, 110 from the National Security
Council, and 50 from the Department of Justice. Information has been
withheld from some of the released documents to protect the privacy of
individuals, sensitive law enforcement information, and intelligence
sources and methods; or to prevent serious harm to ongoing diplomatic
activities of the United States.
One goal of the project is to put original documents before the public
so that it may judge for itself the extent to which U.S. actions undercut
the cause of democracy and human rights in Chile. Actions approved by the
U.S. government during this period aggravated political polarization and
affected Chile?s long tradition of democratic elections and respect for the
constitutional order and the rule of law.
The Chilean people deserve our praise and respect for courageously
reclaiming their proud history as one of the world?s oldest democracies.
Healing the painful wounds of the past, Chileans from across the political
spectrum have rededicated themselves to rebuilding representative
institutions and the rule of law. The United States will continue to work
closely with the people of Chile -- as their friend and partner -- to
strengthen the cause of democracy in Latin America and around the world.
A complete set of the released documents is available for public
review at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. They also are
being released simultaneously in Chile. Copies of the documents will be
available on the Internet at http://foia.state.gov. Also available at this
website are copies of the September 2000 Hinchey Report on ?CIA
Activities in Chile? and the relevant 1975 Church Committee reports on