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U.S. Documents May Point to Chileans

November 14, 2000 GMT

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) _ The government said Tuesday it was analyzing thousands of documents on Chile declassified by the United States and that the contents could lead to charges against some Chileans.

The 16,000 documents released by the U.S. State Department Monday come from various agencies, including the CIA, the FBI and the State and Justice Departments.

They deal, among other things, with CIA covert operations in Chile during the government of Marxist President Salvador Allende, toppled in the bloody 1973 coup led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

Interior Minister Jose Miguel Insulza said the government does not plan to protest the U.S. intervention in Chilean affairs disclosed in the documents, because they occurred under previous U.S. administrations.

Others reacted different.

``I think the United States owes an explanation to Chile,″ said Sen. Ricardo Nunez, president of the pro-government Socialist Party.

Congressman Eugenio Tumna, also a socialist, urged the government to file a formal protest with Washington.

The government described the documents as ``thousands of pages, a number of books the size of telephone books.″

Noting that the documents include information on Chilean intelligence service involvement in human rights violations under Pinochet, the Foreign Ministry said some cases cited could be taken to court.

``The responsibility of the Chilean government is to make an analysis of the information and make decisions, especially to relay to the courts of justice some documents in the cases deemed necessary,″ a ministry statement said.

It did not elaborate and said the review will take several weeks.

The documents include information already known here, including the CIA’s covert efforts against Allende.

But some disclosures were surprising, including a memorandum indicating that a notorious member of Pinochet’s secret police at one point considered killing Patricio Aylwin, the first civilian elected president after the end of the Pinochet regime en 1990. Aylwin ruled until 1994.

Aylwin said he was not aware of such a plot, which he described as ``madness.″

He said that if the plan existed, it was likely a personal initiative of the former agent mentioned in the memorandum, retired army Maj. Alvaro Corbalan, who is serving a life sentence for another political assassination.