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Key CIA files documenting the U.S. coup
against Salvador Allende

Handwritten notes (PDF, 113 kB), taken by CIA director Richard Helms, recording the orders of U.S. President Richard Nixon to foster a coup in Chile.

Minutes (PDF, 139 kB) recording the first meeting between CIA director Richard Helms and high agency officials on covert operations against Allende.

A two-page memorandum of conversation (PDF, 167 kB), the final paragraph of which concludes with Henry Kissinger ordering the CIA to "continue keeping the pressure on every Allende weak spot in sight."

A four-page cable (PDF, 408 kB) from CIA deputy director of plans, Thomas Karamessines, who conveys Henry Kissinger's orders to CIA station chief in Santiago, Henry Hecksher: "It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup." The "operating guidance" makes it clear that these operations are to be conducted so as to hide the "American hand," and that the CIA is to ignore any orders to the contrary from Ambassador Korry who has not been informed of Track II operations.

Three cables (PDF, 469 kB) between CIA headquarters in Langley, VA., and the CIA Station in Santiago addressing the secret shipment of weapons and ammunition for use in the plot to kidnap the Chilean military commander, General Rene Schneider.

An options paper (PDF, 1.73 MB), prepared for Henry Kissinger and the National Security Council on the day of Allende's inauguration, laying out U.S. objectives, interests and potential policy toward Chile. U.S. interests were defined as preventing Chile from falling under Communist control and preventing the rest of Latin America from following Chile "as a model."

A CIA report (PDF, 1.55 MB) summarizing its efforts to prevent Allende's ratification as president and to foment a coup in Chile.

Strategy papers (PDF, 4.38 MB) prepared by an inter-agency Ad Hoc Working Group on Chile in response to a directive from Kissinger, showing that the Richard Nixon administration had engaged in an invisible economic blockade against Allende and intervened at the World Bank.

A situation report (PDF, 447 kB) prepared by U.S. Naval attache Patrick Ryan which reports positively on events in Chile during the coup. Ryan characterizes September 11 as "our D-Day"; states that the coup was “close to perfect"; and provides glowing commentary on the character of the Pinochet’s regime.

A memo (PDF, 570 kB) on ‘Chilean Executions’ sent to the Secretary of State by Jack Kubisch which states that summary executions in the nineteen days following the coup totalled 320 - more than three times the publicly acknowledged figure.

A memo (PDF, 326 kB) in which Henry Kissinger lists the "serious threats" he perceived Allende to pose to U.S. interests in the region and the world, including $1 billion worth of U.S. investments that could be lost.

A memorandum of conversation (PDF, 425 kB) in which Henry Kissinger tells the dictator Augusto Pinochet in a face-to-face meeting that “In the United States, as you know, we are sympathetic with what you are trying to do here.”

A formerly secret transcript of a telephone conversation (PDF, 369 kB) in which Henry Kissinger admits “we helped them” in the coup and that “[deleted reference] created conditions as great as possible”.