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SANTIAGO, Chile — Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who overthrew Chile's democratically elected Marxist president in a bloody coup and ruled this Andean nation for 17 years, died Sunday, dashing hopes of victims of his regime's abuses that he would be brought to justice. He was 91.
(AR) NEW YORK -- The secret government files on Chile, which the Clinton Administration says will be opened to the Spanish prosecutor of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, will prove a major embarrassment for Henry Kissinger, the American most tied to the U.S.-assisted plot to the 1973 overthrow the elected government of President Salvador.
They will show how, in the months and years following the 1973 coup, Kissinger covered up U.S. information about atrocities in Chile and sought to persuade Pinochet that the U.S. government did not consider his behavior a major problem.
A newly declassified memorandum about Kissinger's only meeting with Pinochet, in 1976, details just how hard the former Secretary of State under President Gerald Ford tried to shield the Chilean general from criticism. [Versions of this report also appear in El Pais in Madrid and The Observer, in London.] Kissinger also served as Secretary of State from 1973 to 1974 under former President Richard Nixon.
M.K.: "Henry - Hi, how are you?... You're getting all the publicity you could want in the New York Times, but not the kind you want... I also think it's very, very dubious for the administration to simply say yes, they'll release these papers... no... no, absolutely... no... no...well, hmmm, yeah. We did it until quite recently, and he did prevail... Well, I don't think there's any question about that, as uncomfortable as it may be.... Henry, this is totally outrageous... yeah.... Also the jurisdiction. This is a Spanish judge appealing to an English court about a Chilean head of state. So it's, it.... Also Spain has no rational jurisdiction over events in Chile anyway so that makes absolutely no sense.... Well, that's probably true.... If you would. I think that would far and away be the best....