News Release

Still “Missing”: Truth About Chile


A front page New York Times story reported Sunday on passages of State Department documents which show that the U.S. government knew far more than it acknowledged about the murder of two U.S. citizens in Chile. Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi, who supported the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende, were detained and murdered in September 1973 in the days following Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s bloody military coup backed by the U.S. government. Their execution was the subject of the film “Missing.” The following people are available for interviews:

National Security Archive senior analyst Kornbluh, who has led the campaign for the release of documents on the U.S. role in Chile, said today: “The Horman case is at the core of the hidden history of U.S. involvement in Pinochet’s coup and the repression that followed. After years of being covered up, it is imperative that all documents relating to the death of Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi — particularly those of the CIA and the Defense Department — finally be declassified.”
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The widow of Charles Horman, who has worked to uncover the facts about his murder for 26 years, said today: “I want to know who gave the order — and why. We have now learned that the State Department shared our view in the late ’70s that there was culpability within the U.S. government in the murder of Charlie Horman. If we had known that at the time, we would have continued our legal case against Henry Kissinger and other State Department officials. The CIA now says that it will release its documents. I hope that’s true this time. We need to know who committed the murder and who should be held accountable. There needs to be release of documents; congressional pressure can help make that happen. The U.S. government should ask the government of Chile to release all information they have — and to provide an official explanation of the circumstances of the murder of Charles Horman. The new government, which seems to represent a solid rooting of democracy in Chile, should be more helpful in telling the truth of what happened to Charlie.”

Lawyer for Joyce Horman since 1976, Weiss is with the Center for Constitutional Rights. He said today: “It is ironic that we recall our ambassador to Austria for pro-Nazi statements by a government official, but are unwilling to reveal the truth of our complicity in Nazi-type acts against U.S. citizens in Chile. When asked why he did nothing to help save Charlie [who he gave a ride to], Captain Ray E. Davis, head of the U.S. military mission to Chile at the time of the coup, told the Times, ‘We weren’t down there to cause trouble.’ He is wrong — they were there to cause trouble. It is time that U.S. complicity in this crime be revealed.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167