From Wed May 31 08:49:22 2000
Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 23:59:56 -0500 (CDT)
From: Michael Eisenscher <>
Subject: Condor: Brazil Taught Pinochet's Torturers
Article: 96230
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Brazil taught torture to Pinochet's police

By Jeremy Smith, Reuters, 14 May 2000

RIO DE JANEIRO, May 14 (Reuters)—Brazil's former military rulers taught interrogation and torture techniques to Chile's feared secret police after a bloody 1973 coup that brought Gen. Augusto Pinochet to power, a Brazilian newspaper said on Sunday.

The O Globo daily—one of Brazil's leading newspapers—said it had obtained U.S. Central Intelligence Agency documents showing Pinochet modelled his DINA secret police on Brazil's then equivalent, the National Information Service (SNI).

From December 1973, Globo said, Brazilian officers held classes for their Chilean counterparts in interrogation, communications interception and torture techniques, in three specialised camps in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Manaus.

The (data) prove that the DINA high command and hundreds of Chilean officers attended classes in three training camps in Brazil, O Globo said in a front-page story.

Last month, the CIA pledged to acknowledge all covert actions relating to Chile that it conducted between 1962 and 1975, although adding that the information was unlikely to be made public before June.

Pinochet's authoritarian rule began in Chile with the ouster of elected socialist President Salvador Allende in September 1973 -- a coup in which O Globo alleged Brazil's military rulers also acted as advisers to the anti-socialist forces.

Brazil was ruled by iron-fisted military governments from 1964 until 1985.

While hundreds of political activists died in Brazil, more than 3,000 are thought to have been killed in Chile. In Argentina, human rights groups say 30,000 people were killed or disappeared by the military government.

O Globo cited CIA documents it said indicated the active collaboration of Brazil's SNI with other military dictatorships in South America as well.

The SNI cooperated with the logistics and missions of hunt and destroy of the adversaries of Latin Americas dictatorships in the 1970s, in a partnership which involved Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay, the paper wrote.

The data gathered ... show that the SNI also provided manpower—agents for the torture and extermination of enemies inside and outside national territory—as well as a broad espionage resource base to Operation Condor, it said.

Operation Condor was the alleged conspiracy by South American dictators to kill leftist leaders hiding in neighbouring countries.

Brazil is to open an investigation next week to establish if its ex-military rulers were involved.

Besides agents, instructors and weapons, the Brazilian dictatorship exported instruments of torture to the other integral countries of Operation Condor, the paper said.

Pinochet is alleged to have led the conspiracy, which was supposedly named for Chile's national bird, the condor.

While Pinochet, now 84, enjoys immunity from prosecution because he is a lifetime senator, Chile's justice system is debating whether to put him on trial for crimes committed during his 1973 to 1990 rule.

Reports of the network emerged in 1992 when a Paraguayan lawyer uncovered a so-called Archive of Terror detailing Paraguays illegal swap of disappeared prisoners among South American nations during its own dictatorship.

But no other country has yet turned over its files for review, despite many requests from human rights groups.