A new exhibit has opened at Chile's Museum of Memory and Human Rights, featuring more declassified documents detailing the U.S. role in Chile's 1973 coup. Nathan Frandino reports.
In the dark halls of Chile's Museum of Memory and Human Rights, dark secrets are coming to light. A new exhibit called Secrets of the State is displaying thousands of declassified documents from the early 1970s...when, with the help of the United States, a violent military coup overthrew democratically elected President Salvador Allende. Museum director Javier Estevez. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DIRECTOR OF THE MUSEUM OF MEMORY AND HUMAN RIGHTS, JAVIER ESTEVEZ, SAYING: "These documents speak. They speak of everything that was the CIA operation in its moment, in 1970, with the knowledge of Nixon and Henry Kissinger to keep from assuming the Presidency of the Republic." The exhibit includes transcripts of conversations between then President Richard Nixon and his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger... as well as CIA documents implicating the U.S. backing of brutal dictator General Augusto Pinochet. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DIRECTOR OF THE MUSEUM OF MEMORY AND HUMAN RIGHTS, JAVIER ESTEVEZ, SAYING: "This is a drama. It really touched the whole world. And of course, you cannot understand how a country like the United States participated so openly in a military coup like the one that happened in Chile." During Pinochet's rule, some 3,000 people died or disappeared in Chile. Thousands more were tortured or exiled....and now, ordinary Chileans can see first hand, the part played by the United States.