THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Chicago, Illinois) ________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release June 30, 1999
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
Today the Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Archives are releasing newly declassified and other documents related to events in Chile from 1973-78. 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 are coordinating this interagency effort on behalf of the President.
Virtually all of the documents in the initial release cover the period from 1973-78, which corresponds to the period of the most flagrant human rights abuses in Chile. The process of review continues, and additional documents from 1973-78 will be released later this year, along with documents dated 1968-1973. In a subsequent phase, agencies will review and release documents from the later years of Pinochet's rule.
This initial release consists of over 5,800 documents, including approximately 5,000 from the Department of State, 490 from the CIA, 200 from the National Archives, 100 from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and 60 from the Department of Defense. A limited number of documents have not been released at this time, primarily because they relate to an ongoing Justice Department investigation of the murder of Ronni Moffitt and Orlando Letelier. Information also 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.
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. In the near future, copies of the documents will be available on the internet at http://foia.state.gov.