Declassified documents reveal the British Foreign Office’s support for Pinochet’s “Other 9/11” Coup

11.09.2013 - Silvia Swinden

Declassified documents reveal the British Foreign Office’s support for Pinochet’s “Other 9/11” Coup
(Image by Image by Telam)

According to research carried out by Grace Livingstone for The Guardian, declassified documents show intense concern from the public about the violations of human rights taking place in Chile after the 1973 coup. However “British diplomats reserved their harshest criticism for human rights campaigners and journalists trying to alert the world to the “disappearance” and torture of thousands of Chileans”…

…”Intelligence officers were sent to infiltrate the Chile Solidarity Campaign, a movement backed by Labour MPs, trade unions, students and church groups. The secret service reports, declassified earlier this year, can now be seen at the National Archives in Kew. Journalists were another Foreign Office target. Complaining of “black propaganda against the Chilean armed services”, British officials tried to manipulate the news. When a team from the BBC Panorama programme visited Chile in November 1973, staff at the British embassy secured them “maximum co-operation from the junta”.

Although the Labour Government broke diplomatic relations with Chile under the military regime, in 1979 Margaret Thatcher came to power and renewed relationships, arms contracts and sent economic advisers who together with Milton Friedman and the “Chicago Boys” established the neo-liberal economy of Chile from which it has still not recovered. She also invited Pinochet for tea when Spain was trying to extradite him to face charges of genocide.

Images from the 1973 Coup can be seen in the Telam site.

Categories: Human Rights, South America
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