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203
On another occasion, Hevia sat with Mitrione in the latter's house, and over a
few drinks the American explained to the Cuban his philosophy of interrogation. Mitrione
considered it to be an art. First there should be a softening-up period, with the usual
beatings and insults. The object is to humiliate the prisoner, to make him realize his
helplessness, to cut him off from reality. No questions, only blows and insults. Then, only
blows in silence.
Only after this, said Mitrione, is the interrogation. Here no pain should be
produced other than that caused by the instrument which is being used. "The precise pain,
in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect," was his motto.
During the session you have to keep the subject from losing all hope of life,
because this can lead to stubborn resistance. "You must always leave him some hope ...
a distant light."
"When you get what you want, and I always get it," Mitrione continued, "it may
be good to prolong the session a little to apply another softening-up. Not to extract
information now, but only as a political measure, to create a healthy fear of meddling in
subversive activities."
The American pointed out that upon receiving a subject the first thing is to
determine his physical state, his degree of resistance, by means of a medical examination.
"A premature death means a failure by the technician ... It's important to know in advance
if we can permit ourselves the luxury of the subject's death."18
Not long after this conversation, Manual Hevia disappeared from Montevideo
and turned up in Havana. He had been a Cuban agent”a double agent”all along.
About half a year later, 31 July 1970 to be exact, Dan Mitrione was kidnapped by
the Tupamaros. They did not torture him. They demanded the release of some 150
prisoners in exchange for him. With the determined backing of the Nixon
administration, the Uruguayan government refused. On 10 August, Mitrione's dead
body was found on the back seat of a stolen car. He had turned 50 on his fifth day as a
prisoner.
Back in Mitrione's home town of Richmond, Indiana, Secretary of State
William Rogers and President Nixon's son-in-law David Eisenhower attended the
funeral for Mitrione, the city's former police chief. Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis came
to town to stage a benefit show for Mitrione's family.
And White House spokesman, Ron Ziegler, solemnly stated that "Mr.
Mitrione's devoted service to the cause of peaceful progress in an orderly world will
remain as an example for free men everywhere."19
"A perfect man," his widow said.
"A great humanitarian," said his daughter Linda.20

The military's entry into the escalating conflict signaled the beginning of the end for
the Tupamaros. By the end of 1972, the curtain was descending on their guerrilla theatre.
Six months later, the military was in charge, Congress was dissolved, and everything not
prohibited was compulsory. For the next 11 years, Uruguay competed strongly for the
honor of being South America's most repressive dictatorship. It had, at one point, the
largest number of political prisoners per capita in the world. And, as every human rights
organization and former prisoner could testify, each one of them was tortured. "Torture,"
said an activist priest, "was routine and automatic."21
No one was dancing in Uruguay.




204
In 1981, at the Fourteenth Conference of American Armies, the Uruguayan
Army offered a paper in which it defined subversion as "actions, violent or not, with
ultimate pur-poses of a political nature, in all fields of human activity within the internal
sphere of a state and whose aims are perceived as not convenient for the overall political
system."22

The dissident Uruguayan writer, Eduardo Galeano, summed up his country's era
of dictatorship thusly: "People were in prison so that prices could be free."23

The film "State of Siege" appeared in 1972. It centered around Mitrione and
the Tupamaros and depicted a Uruguayan police officer receiving training at a secret
bomb school in the United States, though the film strove more to provide a composite
picture of the role played by the US in repression throughout Latin America. A
scheduled premier showing of the film at the federally-funded John F. Kennedy Arts
Center in Washington was canceled. There was already growing public and congressional
criticism of this dark side of American foreign policy without adding to it. During the
mid-1970s, however, Congress enacted several pieces of legislation which abolished the
entire Public Safety Program. In its time, OPS had provided training for more than one
million policemen in the Third World. Ten thousand of them had received advance
training in the United States. An estimated $150 million worth of equipment had been
shipped to police forces abroad.24 Now, the "export of repression" was to cease.
That was on paper. The reality appears to be somewhat different.
To a large extent, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) simply picked
up where OPS had left off. The drug agency was ideally suited for the task, for its agents
were already deployed all over Latin America and elsewhere overseas in routine liaison
with foreign police forces. The DEA acknowledged in 1975 that 53 "former" employees of
the CIA were now on its staff and that there was a close working relationship between the
two agencies. The following year, the General Accounting Office reported that DEA
agents were engaging in many of the same activities the OPS had been carrying out.
In addition, some training of foreign policemen was transferred to FBI schools in
Washington and Quantico, Virginia; the Defense Department continued to supply police-
type equipment to military units engaged in internal security operations; and American
arms manufacturers were doing a booming business furnishing arms and training to Third
World governments. In some countries, contact between these companies and foreign law
enforcement officials was facilitated by the US Embassy or military mission. The largest
of the arms manufacturers, Smith and Wesson, ran its own Academy in Springfield,
Massachusetts, which provided American and foreign "public and industrial security forces
with expert training in riot control".25
Said Argentine Minister Jose Lopez Rega at the signing of a US-Argentina anti-
drug treaty in 1974: "We hope to wipe out the drug traffic in Argentina. We have caught
guerrillas after attacks who were high on drugs. The guerillas are the main drug users
in Argentina. Therefore, this anti-drug campaign will automatically be an anti-guerrilla
campaign as well."26
And in 1981, a former Uruguayan intelligence officer declared that US manuals
were being used to teach techniques of torture to his country's military. He said that most
of the officers who trained him had attended classes run by the United States in Panama.
Among other niceties, the manuals listed 35 nerve points where electrodes could be
applied.27




205
Philip Agee, after he left Ecuador, was stationed in Uruguay from March 1964
to August 1966. His account of CIA activities in Montevideo is further testimony to the
amount of international mischief money can buy. Amongst the multifarious dirty tricks
pulled off with impunity by Agee and his Agency cohorts, the following constitute an inter-
esting sample:28
A Latin American students' conference with a leftist leaning, held in Montevideo,
was undermined by promoting the falsehood that it was nothing more than a creature
of the Soviet Union”originated, financed and directed by Moscow. Editorials on this
theme authored by the CIA appeared in leading newspapers to which the Agency had daily
access. This was followed by publication of a'forged letter of a student leader thanking the
Soviet cultural attache for his assistance. A banner headline in one paper proclaimed:
"Documents for the Break with Russia", which was indeed the primary purpose of the
operation.
An inordinate amount of time, energy and creativity was devoted, with moderate
success, to schemes aimed at encouraging the expulsion of an assortment of Russians, East
Germans, North Koreans, Czechs, and Cubans from Uruguayan soil, if not the breaking of
relations with these countries. In addition to planting disparaging media propaganda, the
CIA tried to obtain incriminating information by reading the mail and diplomatic cables to
and from these countries, tapping embassy phones, and engaging in sundry bugging and
surreptitious entry. The Agency would then prepare "Intelligence" reports, containing
enough factual information to be plausible, which then made their way innocently into the
hands of officials of influence, up to and including the president of the republic.
Anti-communist indoctrination of secondary-level students was promoted by
financing particular school organizations and publications.
A Congress of the People, bringing together a host of community groups, labor
organizations, students, government workers, etc., Communist and non-Communist,
disturbed the CIA because of the potential for a united front being formed for electoral
purposes. Accordingly, newspaper editorials and articles were generated attacking the
Congress as a classic Communist takeover/duping tactic and calling upon non-
Communists to refrain from participating; and a phoney handbill was circulated in which
the Congress called upon the Uruguayan people to launch an insurrectional strike with
immediate occupation of their places of work. Thousands of the handbills were handed
out, provoking angry denials from the Congress organizers, but, as is usual in such cases,
the damage was already done.
The Uruguayan Communist Party planned to host an international conference to
express solidarity with Cuba. The CIA merely had to turn to their (paid) friend, the
Minister of the Interior, and the conference was banned. When it was shifted to Chile, the
CIA station in Santiago performed the same magic.
Uruguay at this time was a haven for political exiles from repressive regimes such
as in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. The CIA, through surveillance and
infiltration of the exile community, regularly collected information on exiles' activities,
associates, etc., to be sent to CIA stations in the exiles' homelands with likely transmission
to their governments, which wanted to know what these troublemakers were up to and
which did not hesitate to harass them across frontiers.
"Other operations," wrote Agee, "were designed to take control of the streets
away from communists and other leftists, and our squads, often with the participation of
off-duty policemen, would break up their meetings and generally terrorize them. Torture of
communists and other extreme leftists was used in interrogation by our liaison agents
in the police."



206
The monitoring and harassment of Communist diplomatic missions by the CIA, as
described above, was standard Agency practice throughout the world. This rarely stemmed
from anything more than a juvenile cold-war reflex: making life hard for the commies.



Postscript: In 1998, Eladio Moll, a retired Uruguayan navy rear admiral and former
intelligence chief, testifying before a commission of the Uruguayan Chamber of Deputies,
stated that during Uruguay's "dirty war" (1972-1983), orders came from the United States
to kill captive members of the Tupamaros after interrogating them. "The guidance that
was sent from the US," said Moll, "was that what had to be done with the captured
guerrillas was to get information, and that afterwards they didn't deserve to live."29



34. Chile 1964-1973
A hammer and sickle stamped on your child's forehead
When Salvador Allende, a committed Marxist, came within three percent of
winning the Chilean presidency in 1958, the United States decided that the next election,
in 1964, could not be left in the hands of providence, or democracy.
Washington took it all very gravely. At the outset of the Kennedy administration
in 1961, an electoral committee was established, composed of top-level officials from the
State Department, the CIA and the White House. In Santiago, a parallel committee of
embassy and CIA people was set up.1
"U.S. government intervention in Chile in 1964 was blatant and almost obscene,"
said one intelligence officer strategically placed at the time. "We were shipping people off
right and left, mainly State Dept. but also CIA, with all sorts of covers." All in all, as
many as 100 American operatives were dedicated to the operation.2
They began laying the groundwork for the election years ahead, a Senate
investigating committee has disclosed, "by establishing operational relationships with
key political parties and by creating propaganda and organizational mechanisms
capable of influencing key sectors of the population." Projects were undertaken "to help
train and organize 'anti-comrnunists'" among peasants, slum dwellers, organized
labor, students, the media, etc.3
After channeling funds to several non-leftist parties, the electoral team eventually
settled on a man of the center, Eduardo Frei, the candidate of the Chtistian Democratic
Party, as the one most likely to block Allende's rise to power. The CIA underwrote more
than half the party's total campaign costs,4 one of the reasons that the Agency's overall
electoral operation reduced the U.S. Treasury by an estimated $20 million5”much more
per voter than that spent by the Johnson and Goldwater campaigns combined in the same
year in the United States. The bulk of the expenditures went toward propaganda. As the
Senate committee described it:
In addition to support for political parties, the CIA mounted a massive anti-communist propa-
ganda campaign. Extensive use was made of the press, radio, films, pamphlets, posters, leaflets,
direct mailings, paper streamers, and wall painting. It was a "scare campaign", which relied
heavily on images of Soviet tanks and Cuban firing squads and was directed especially to
women. Hundreds of thousands of copies of the anti-communist pastoral letter of Pope Pius XI
were distributed by Christian Democratic organizations. They carried the designation, "printed
privately by citizens without political affiliation, in order more broadly to disseminate its con-



207
tent." "Disinformation" and "black propaganda"”material which purported to originate from
6
another source, such as the Chilean Communist Party”were used as well.

The scare campaign played up to the fact that women in Chile, as elsewhere in
Latin America, are traditionally more religious than men, more susceptible to being
alarmed by the specter of "godless, atheist communism". One radio spot featured the
sound of a machine gun, followed by a woman's cry: "They have killed my child”the
communists." The announcer then added in impassioned tones: "Communism offers only
blood and pain. For this not to happen in Chile, we must elect Eduardo Frei president."7
Other scare tactics centered around warnings of Russian control, and that the
left would confiscate everything near, dear and holy.
The committee report continued:
The propaganda campaign was enormous. During the first week of intensive propaganda activity
(the third week of June 1964), a CIA-funded propaganda group produced twenty radio spots per
day in Santiago and on 44 provincial stations; twelve-minute news broadcasts five times daily on
three Santiago stations and 24 provincial outlets; thousands of cartoons, and much paid press
advertising. By the end of June, the group produced 24 daily newscasts in Santiago and the
provinces, 26 weekly "commentary" programs, and distributed 3,000 posters daily.8

One poster which appeared in the thousands showed children with a hammer and
sickle stamped on their foreheads.9
Newspaper articles from elsewhere in Latin America which supported the political
lines of the CIA campaign were collected and reprinted in Chile. Undoubtedly, many of
these articles had been written in the first place by CIA stations in the particular countries.
There were also endorsements of Frei solicited from famous personages abroad,
advertisements such as a "message from the women of Venezuela",10 and a vitriolic anti-
communist radio broadcast by Juanita Castro, sister of Fidel, who was on a CIA-organized
speaking tour of South America: "If the Reds win in Chile," she said, "no type of religious
activity will be possible ... Chilean mother, I know you will not allow your children to be
taken from you and sent to the Communist bloc, as in the case of Cuba."11
The Senate committee also revealed that:
In addition to buying propaganda piecemeal, the [CIA] Station often purchased it wholesale by
subsidizing Chilean media organizations friendly to the United States. Doing so was propaganda
writ large. Instead of placing individual items, the CIA supported”or even founded”friendly
media outlets which might not have existed in the absence of Agency support.
From 1953 through 1970 in Chile, the Station subsidized wire services, magazines written for
intellectual circles, and a right-wing weekly newspaper.12

Of one subsidized newspaper, a State Department veteran of the campaign recalls
that "The layout was magnificent. The photographs were superb. It was a Madison
Avenue product far above the standards of Chilean publications."13
The same could be said about the electioneering itself. Besides tunning political
action projects on its own in a number of important voting blocks, the CIA directed the
Christian Democrats' campaign along American-style lines, with voter registration, get-
out-the-vote drives, and professional management firms to carry out public opinion
surveys.14 To top it all off, they sent for a ringer”an election specialist from the staff of
that eminent connoisseur and guardian of free elections, Mayor Richard Daley of
Chicago.15 What the function of Daley's man in Chile was, can only be guessed at.

Several of the grassroots programs funded by the CIA were those run by Roger
Vekemans, a Belgian Jesuit priest who arrived in Chile in 1957 and founded a network
of social-action organizations, one of which grew to have 100 employees and a $30
million annual budget. By his own declaration in 1963, Vekemans received $5 million


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