Chile

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Overview
<p> Chile is a prosperous Latin American country that has rebounded from a dark period in the late 20th century that the United States helped instigate. In 1970, Chile elected a leftist president, Salvador Allende, whose socialist policies alarmed the Nixon administration and conservatives in Chile. Three years later, on September 11, 1973, General Augusto Pinochet led a military coup that overthrew Allende, leading to the president&rsquo;s death. Declassified US government documents have revealed that US officials welcomed the coup, and the CIA may have had a hand in carrying it out. Furthermore, FBI agents helped Chilean security locate leftists residing in the US after the fall of Allende, and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger may have known about plans by Chilean agents to assassinate Allende&rsquo;s former foreign minister in Washington, DC.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Pinochet ruled Chile for almost the next 20 years, during which time thousands of citizens were tortured or simply disappeared. He stepped down as president in 1990, but remained in power as the head of the military until 1998. US-Chilean relations have gradually grown stronger over the past two decades, culminating in a free trade agreement in 2003 that solidified the United States&rsquo; place as Chile&rsquo;s most important trading partner.</div>
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Basic Information
<p> <b>Lay of the Land</b>: In southwestern South America, Chile&#39;s string bean profile is conditioned almost entirely by the steep wall of the Andes Mountains dividing it from Argentina to the east.&nbsp;The Andes, towering to almost 23,000 feet and permanently snowcapped, are almost never out of sight, for Chile&#39;s average width is only about 110 miles, although the country is 2,650 miles long.&nbsp;Chile has several distinctly different areas. The Atacama Desert in the north, one of the world&#39;s driest, gives way to the pleasant central region of wheat fields and vineyards. Most of the people live here in the central valley between the low coastal range and the Andes. Santiago and the other major cities are located here. Further south, the open fields yield to dense forests and a much wetter climate. In the extreme south are glaciers, fjords, and mountain lakes. Easter Island and the Juan Fern&aacute;ndez, or &ldquo;Robinson Crusoe,&rdquo; islands in the Pacific are also Chilean territory.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Population</b>: 16.5 million</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Religions</b>: Catholic 70%, evangelical Protestant (predominately Pentecostal, also Wesleyan, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist) 15.1%, Jehovah&rsquo;s Witnesses 0.8%, Mormon 0.7%, Jewish 0.1%, other 4.4%, non-religious 8.3%.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Ethnic Groups</b>: White and white-Amerindian 95.4%, Mapuche 4%, other indigenous groups 0.6%.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Languages</b>: Spanish (official) 87.3%, Mapudungun 1.3%, Chilean Quechua 0.02%, Rapa Nui 0.02%Huilliche 0.01%, Central Aymara 0.001%, Qawasqar, Y&aacute;mana.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <p> &nbsp;</p>
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History
<div> Migrating Indians first settled in Chile 10,000 years ago. The Incas briefly extended their empire into what is now northern Chile. The first Europeans to arrive in Chile were Spanish conquistadors seeking gold in 1535. The Spanish encountered hundreds of thousands of Indians from various cultures in the area that modern Chile now occupies. These cultures supported themselves principally through slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting. The Spanish conquered the indigenous peoples within six years, and Spain maintained firm control of the region for the next 200 years.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The drive for independence from Spain began in 1808, when a national junta loyal to the deposed king of Spain proclaimed Chile an autonomous republic within the Spanish monarchy. Spain sought to regain control during the &ldquo;Reconquista&rdquo; which led to prolonged fighting that lasted until 1817 when an army led by Bernardo O&rsquo;Higgins, Chile&rsquo;s most renowned patriot, and Jos&eacute; San Mart&iacute;n, hero of Argentine independence, crossed the Andes into Chile and defeated the royalists. On February 12, 1818, Chile was proclaimed an independent republic under O&rsquo;Higgins&rsquo; leadership.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The political revolt brought little social change, as 19th Century Chilean society preserved the essence of the stratified colonial social structure, which was greatly influenced by family politics and the Roman Catholic Church. A strong presidency eventually emerged, but wealthy landowners remained extremely powerful. Toward the end of the 1800s, the government in Santiago consolidated its position in the south by ruthlessly suppressing the Mapuche Indians. In 1881, it signed a treaty with Argentina that gave Chile sovereignty over the Strait of Magellan. As a result of the War of the Pacific with Peru and Bolivia (1879-1883), Chile expanded its territory northward by almost one-third and acquired valuable nitrate deposits, the exploitation of which led to an era of national affluence.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Chile established a parliamentary democracy in the late 19th Century, but it quickly degenerated into a system protecting the interests of the ruling oligarchy. By the 1920s, the emerging middle and working classes were powerful enough to elect a reformist president, whose program was frustrated by a conservative congress. In the 1920s, Marxist groups with strong popular support arose. This development resulted in the country&rsquo;s first backlash from the military, as General Carlos Ibanez seized control of the government and ruled Chile until 1932.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The first half of the 20th century saw the political climate swing between right and left. Infrastructure development was slow, leading to rural poverty and poorly planned urbanization. During the 1960s social reforms were instituted by the Christian Democrats, who targeted housing, education, health and social services. Chile&rsquo;s politics became increasingly militant and polarized, culminating in Salvador Allende&rsquo;s leftist coalition victory in 1970. Allende introduced sweeping economic reforms, including the state takeover of many private enterprises and the wholesale redistribution of income. The country was plunged into economic chaos that continued for the next two years.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> By 1973 street demonstrations became almost daily events and turned increasingly violent. Rightwing and leftwing groups brandished arms, while militant workers formed committees in their neighborhoods and workplaces to press for accelerated social change. Conservatives opposed to Allende began turning to the military for a solution.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The regular armed forces halted an attempted coup by tank commanders in June 1973, but that didn&rsquo;t stop an even larger threat from within the military. Generals led by Augusto Pinochet planned a massive coup that was launched on September 11, 1973. Allende died during the attack against the presidential palace (La Moneda). Several cabinet ministers were also assassinated. Congress was dissolved and political parties banned. Pinochet appointed military officers as mayors of cities and towns throughout Chile. Retired military personnel were named rectors of universities, and they carried out vast purges of faculty members suspected of left-wing or liberal sympathies.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The press was censored, and labor strikes and unions were banned. A fearsome security apparatus known as the National Intelligence Directorate, or DINA, persecuted, tortured and killed Pinochet opponents within Chile and sometimes beyond its borders. A government-commissioned report issued in 2004 concluded that almost 28,000 people had been tortured during the general&rsquo;s rule.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Pinochet&rsquo;s monetary policies brought stability to the economy, much to the delight of foreign banks and Western development organizations. But by the late 1980s, the majority of the populace had grown tired of Pinochet&rsquo;s rule, and in a 1988 referendum to approve his presidency, voters rejected him. In the 1989 multiparty elections, Christian Democrat Patricio Aylwin beat Pinochet&rsquo;s candidate, Hernan Buchi, and power was peacefully transferred. Democracy returned to Chile, although Pinochet held on to his post of commander in chief of the army until 1998. With that power base, he exerted considerable influence over the democratically elected governments that replaced his iron-fisted rule.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Elected president in 1994, Eduardo Frei undertook the challenge of reconciling Chileans with their difficult past by accelerating human rights tribunals and inquiries into the fate of Chile&rsquo;s 3,000 disappeared. Unfortunately, resistance from the political arm of the military machine severely hampered his efforts. Frei&rsquo;s economic reforms, however, did help alleviate crushing poverty to some degree.</div> <div> In October 1998, while recuperating in a London clinic from a back operation, Pinochet was arrested by British authorities in response to an application from a Spanish judge seeking the general&rsquo;s extradition to Madrid to stand trial on charges of genocide, torture and kidnapping. A 16-month legal battle ensued, ending with a decision to send Pinochet back to Chile in March 2000 because his physical and mental ailments made him unfit to stand trial. Days after his return, Ricardo Lagos, the first Socialist to be elected president since the 1973 overthrow of Allende, assumed office.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> For the rest of his life, Pinochet had to fight off lawsuits and accept the humiliation of constant news reports about widespread brutality under his rule. President Lagos allowed the hundreds of criminal complaints filed against Pinochet to run their course in the courts. He was succeeded in March 2006 by another Socialist, Michelle Bachelet, a former political prisoner and the first woman to lead Chile. Her father, an air force general loyal to Allende, had been jailed by his colleagues, tortured and he died in prison.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Pinochet spent his final years in near seclusion, dying on December 10, 2006.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/cltoc.html" target="_blank">Library of Congress Country Study</a></div> <div> <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1209914.stm">Pinochet Timeline - BBC</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.fas.org/irp/world/chile/allende.htm">Allende&#39;s Leftist Regime</a> (Federation of American Scientists)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.derechos.org/nizkor/chile/doc/covert.html">Covert Action in Chile 1963-1973)</a> (staff report of the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/11/world/americas/11pinochet.html">Augusto Pinochet, Dictator Who Ruled by Terror in Chile, Dies at 91</a> (by Jonathon Kandell, New York Times)</div> <div> <span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></div> <p> &nbsp;</p>
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Chile's Newspapers
<p> <a href="http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/chile.htm">Chile&rsquo;s Newspapers</a></p> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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History of U.S. Relations with Chile
<p> Numerous accounts have been written implicating the United States in the overthrow of Allende and its support of Augusto Pinochet&rsquo;s brutal reign. The Nixon administration was alarmed by the ascension of a Socialist in Chile, fearing the growth of Communism in the Western Hemisphere during the Cold War. Also, the United States had important economic interests in Chile, especially within the copper industry. In 1971, the Chilean government completely nationalized foreign copper firms, which were mainly owned by two US companies, Kennecott and Anaconda. Nixon&rsquo;s top foreign policy adviser was Henry Kissinger, who was adamant that the United States had to prevent Chile &ldquo;from going down the drain&rdquo; under Allende&rsquo;s leadership.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Some have accused the CIA of helping the coup that deposed Allende, and American intelligence officers may have helped Pinochet&rsquo;s government track down &ldquo;radicals&rdquo; in Chile. Likewise, the FBI tried to track suspected associates of Chilean leftists in the United States in the 1970s on behalf of the Pinochet government.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> It also has been written (see <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Pinochet-File-Declassified-Atrocity-Accountability/dp/1565849361/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;s=books&amp;qid=1224056660&amp;sr=1-1">The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability</a>, </i>edited by Peter Kornbluh) that the US knew in advance about the assassination of Chile&rsquo;s chief of staff, General Ren&eacute; Schneider, in 1970 and the assassination in Washington, D.C., of Orlando Letelier, the former Chilean foreign minister, in 1976.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The widespread violations of human rights in Chile, combined with a strong rejection of covert activities engaged in abroad by the Nixon administration, galvanized United States congressional opposition to US ties with Chile&rsquo;s military government. With the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976, the United States took an openly hostile attitude toward the Chilean military government, publicly condemning human rights violations and pressing for the restoration of democracy.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> When Ronald Reagan assumed the Oval Office, the US government again took a more favorable attitude toward Pinochet&rsquo;s staunchly anti-Communist efforts. This was consistent with the Reagan administration&rsquo;s other Latin American policies, such as overt and covert support given to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. While American officials didn&rsquo;t entirely cease pointing out Chile&rsquo;s human rights problems, the US government reestablished normal ties with the dictatorship.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> But then riots broke out in Santiago, Chile, in 1983, provoking a reassessment by some administration officials over the long-term implications of backing Pinochet. By Reagan&rsquo;s second term in office, the United States was actively backing Pinochet&rsquo;s opposition.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> With the 1990 election of Patricio Aylwin as president of Chile, relations between the two countries improved greatly. The administration of George H. W. Bush welcomed Chile&rsquo;s commitment to free-market policies, while praising the new government&rsquo;s embracing of democracy. The United States also supported the Aylwin government&rsquo;s human rights policies and came to a resolution of the Letelier assassination by agreeing to a bilateral mediation mechanism and compensation of the victims&rsquo; families.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> A few issues have complicated United States-Chile relations, including the removal of Chilean fruit from United States supermarkets in 1991 by the Food and Drug Administration, after tainted grapes were allegedly discovered. The United States also objected to Chile&#39;s intellectual property legislation, particularly the copying of drug patents. However, these issues pale by comparison with the strong ties between the two countries and the admiration that United States officials have expressed for Chile&rsquo;s economic performance. In 1991, the US replaced Japan as Chile&rsquo;s largest trading partner. The US and Chile signed a free trade agreement on June 6, 2003.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <a href="http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20031101fareviewessay82615/kenneth-maxwell/the-other-9-11-the-united-states-and-chile-1973.html">The Other 9/11: The United States and Chile, 1973</a> (by Kenneth Maxwell, Foreign Affairs)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB255/index.htm">New Kissinger &lsquo;Telcons&rsquo; Reveal Chile Plotting At Highest Levels Of U.S. Government</a> (National Security Archive)</div> <div> <a href="https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/docs/v47i3a03p.htm">CIA Machinations in Chile in 1970</a> (by Kristian C. Gustafson, Central Intelligence Agency)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.country-studies.com/chile/relations-with-the-united-states.html">Chilean Relations with the United States</a> (Library of Congress)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/americas/021099pinochet-fbi.html">F.B.I. Helped Chile Search for Leftists, Files Show</a> (by Tim Weiner, New York Times)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB8/nsaebb8.htm">Chile and the United States: Declassified Documents relating to the Military Coup, 1970-1976</a> (George Washington University)</div> <div> <a href="http://untreaty.un.org/cod/riaa/cases/vol_XXV/1-19.pdf">Dispute concerning responsibility for the deaths os Letelier and Moffitt</a> (United Nations arbitration report) (PDF)</div> <div> <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2004/dec/17/opinion/oe-letelier17">My Case Against Pinochet</a> (by Francisco Letelier, Los Angeles Times)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Current U.S. Relations with Chile
<p> US relations with Chile improved considerably after the nation returned to democracy in 1990. Overall, the two countries have a strong relationship, characterized by strong commercial ties and extensive consultation between the two governments on bilateral and other issues of mutual concern.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2003, the United States and Chile signed an agreement that will lead to completely duty-free bilateral trade within 12 years. By 2007, just three years after signing the agreement, total bilateral trade between the two countries jumped by 154%.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Currently, Chile has more than 300 soldiers participating in the peacekeeping operation in Haiti, a priority of United States foreign policy in the Caribbean.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> According to the <a href="http://www.coha.org/category/chile/">Council on Hemispheric Affairs</a>, Chile&rsquo;s close ties with the US haven&rsquo;t always meant smooth sailing for the government. For example, the Bush administration was unwilling to support Jos&eacute; Miguel Insulza&rsquo;s candidacy for secretary general of the Organization of American States, a key factor in his decision to withdraw his bid (He later resubmitted his candidacy and was elected). Also, Chile recalled its ambassador to the UN, Juan Gabriel Vald&eacute;s, after the diplomat adamantly refused to back the White House&rsquo;s timetable on invading Iraq in 2003. The Chilean government reportedly made this move in order to win approval of the bilateral trade agreement with Washington.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> According to the most recent Census data, 68,849 Chileans live in the US. Although Pinochet&rsquo;s persecution drove masses of refugees out of the country, most moved to neighboring countries or to Europe, with only a small portion of &eacute;migr&eacute;s moving to the United States.&nbsp;Most of the Chileans did not come as political refugees, but sought economic opportunity. When democracy was reestablished in 1990, the new government encouraged exiled Chileans to return home, adding financial incentives and programs to teach Spanish as a second language for the children of Chileans who grew up without their parents&rsquo; tongue. In the United States, Chileans have settled in urban areas with strong Latin-American influence, especially in California. After California, the largest Chilean communities are in New York, Florida, New Jersey and Texas.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2005, 183,833 Americans visited Chile. The number of Americans visiting Chile has increased significantly every year since 2000, when 130,568 Americans traveled to the South American country.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2006, 110,143 Chileans visited the US. The number of Chileans tourists has fluctuated between a low of 95,389 (2003) and a high of 115,359 (2002) since 2002.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/us-chile.htm">United States-Chile Relations</a> (Latin American Studies.org)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.coha.org/2004/10/as-chile-and-us-relationship-grows-increasingly-close-lagos-risks-further-isolation-in-latin-america/" title="Permanent Link: As Chile and U.S. Relationship Grows Increasingly Close, Lagos Risks Further Isolation in Latin America">As Chile and U.S. Relationship Grows Increasingly Close, Lagos Risks Further Isolation in Latin America</a> (Council on Hemispheric Affairs)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=27076">Chairman Says U.S.-Chile Relations Key to Haitian Success</a> (By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/crs/rl30035.pdf">Chile: Political and Economic: Conditions and U.S. Relations</a> (by Mark Sullivan, Congressional Research Service) (PDF)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Where Does the Money Flow
<p> Chile&rsquo;s most important trade partner is the United States. Total trade with the US was $15.7 billion in 2007 as compared to $14.8 billion in 2006. In 2007, United States imports from Chile totaled $8.4 billion, representing a 10% decrease compared to 2006 ($9.3 billion). As has been the case for many years, copper continues to be Chile&rsquo;s most valuable export to the US, totaling $3.3 billion in 2007 (The state-owned firm CODELCO is the world&rsquo;s largest copper-producing company, with recorded copper reserves of 200 years). Second in line among imports from Chile are fruits, totaling $1.3 billion, then fish and shellfish at $1.03 billion.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The United States&rsquo; most important export to Chile is fuel oil, bringing in $1.07 billion. Other top exports include civilian aircraft ($505 million), materials handling equipment ($401 million), excavating machinery ($361 million), plastic materials ($343 million) and computers ($309 million).</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> According to the State Department, the US sent Chile $1.4 million in aid in 2007. All aid was dedicated to Peace and Security, and was divided between International Military Education and Training ($662,000), Foreign Military Financing ($500,000), and Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, De-mining and Related Programs ($275,000). The 2008 budget estimate apportioned $1.5 million in aid to Chile, with a further increase to $1.6 million in 2009. In 2009, as in previous years, all funding will be dedicated to Peace and Security. Foreign Military Financing will receive $750,000, International Military Education and Training will receive $525,000, and Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, De-mining and Related Programs will get $300,000.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> These figures understate the true nature of the military relationship between Chile and the US. According to the Congressional Research Service, Chile was the leading purchaser of US defense articles and services among all Western Hemispheric nations from 1999-2002, totaling $555 million. The highlight of this time period was the announcement that the US would sell advanced fighter jets to Chile (see Controversies).</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL34291.pdf">US Arms Sales: Agreements with and Deliveries to Major Clients, 1999-2006</a> (by Richard Grimmett, Congressional Research Service) (PDF)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/imports/c3370.html">Imports from Chile</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/exports/c3370.html">Exports from Chile</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/t/pm/64492.htm">Chile: Security Assistance</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/101368.pdf">Congressional Budget for Foreign Operations (pages 665-666)</a> (PDF)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.ustr.gov/Trade_Agreements/Bilateral/Chile_FTA/Section_Index.html">U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement</a> (Office of the United States Trade Representative)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Controversies
<p> <b>Bush Proposal Rankles Chilean OAS Representative</b></p> <div> In 2005, the US submitted a proposal at a meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) that would justify intervention in the affairs of Western Hemisphere nations. The idea, purportedly to help Latin American states improve opportunities for democracy, rankled the leaders of several South American countries, including Chile. The United States did not establish how or where the OAS should intervene, but one likely target was Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Ch&aacute;vez, has been a persistent critic of the United States.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Chile introduced a counter-proposal backed by at least 10 other OAS nations. The Chilean plan, described as offering a &ldquo;middle-ground,&rdquo; asked OAS Secretary-General Jos&eacute; Miguel Insulza to study how the organization has used the Democratic Charter since its inception and recommend ways to make it more effective. Insulza, who has embraced some of the Bush administration&#39;s ideas for strengthening the OAS to more actively promote democracy, said he did not believe the organization should intervene in any country without the agreement of that nation&rsquo;s government. &ldquo;We can never use any mechanism without the consent of the country,&rdquo; Insulza said. &ldquo;If the states don&rsquo;t want something, then nothing will be done.&rdquo;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/americas/06/06/oas/index.html">OAS members balk at U.S. intervention plan </a>(CNN)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Powell Slip Revives Controversy over US role in Chilean Coup</b></div> <div> While serving as Secretary of State in 2003, Colin Powell expressed regrets over the United States&rsquo; role in the 1973 military coup that brought dictator Augusto Pinochet to power. &ldquo;It is not a part of American history that we&rsquo;re proud of,&rdquo; Powell said.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Powell&rsquo;s remark was startling, given that no US official had ever confirmed what has long been suspected about the actions of the Nixon administration in the early 1970s. William Rogers, who served under Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1975-76 as the department&rsquo;s top official on Latin America, took offense to Powell&rsquo;s claim that the US had anything to do with the overthrow of leftist President Salvador Allende. Rogers said the belief that US officials, primarily the CIA, had a hand in the coup was pure &ldquo;legend.&rdquo;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In a highly unusual move, the State Department issued a statement that put distance between the department and its top official. The statement asserted that the US government &ldquo;did not instigate the coup that ended Allende&rsquo;s government in 1973.&rdquo;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> At the time of Powell&rsquo;s remark, a lawsuit was pending against the federal government, brought by 11 residents of Chile seeking damages for deaths and other rights abuses by the Pinochet government. The suit, filed in US District Court in Washington, also named Michael Townley, a US-born former Chilean intelligence agent.</div> <div> <a href="http://www.globalpolicy.org/intljustice/wanted/2003/0416reg.htm">Powell Regrets 1973 US Actions in Chile</a> (by George Gedda, Associated Press)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB8/nsaebb8.htm">Chile and the United States: Declassified Documents relating to the Military Coup, 1970-1976</a> (George Washington University)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Chile Buys U.S. Fighter Jets</b></div> <div> The Bush administration agreed in 2002 to sell Chile 10 F-16 fighter jets in a sale valued at $660 million. The sale of the Lockheed Martin jets represented the first time in two decades that Washington had approved the transfer of sophisticated weapons to a Latin American country. In 1998, the Clinton administration lifted a ban on such sales, saying it would consider them on a case-by-case basis. Chile&rsquo;s search to upgrade its aging air force drew criticism because of the cost involved and because it signaled that there was still a powerful military behind the scenes of the democratically elected Socialist government. The sale also stirred concerns that Chile, by introducing long-range fighters into the region, would touch off an arms race with its neighbors, particularly Peru and Argentina.</div> <div> <a href="http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE5DA1F3AF932A05752C0A9649C8B63">In Unusual Deal, Chile Will Buy Advanced U.S. Fighter Jets</a> (by Christopher Marquis, New York Times)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Human Rights
<p> The Chilean government has a much better human rights record than the one that ruled during the 1970s and 1980s. However, according to the State Department, there are still &ldquo;isolated reports of excessive use of force and mistreatment by police forces, of physical abuse in jails and prisons, and of generally substandard prison conditions.&rdquo;</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Prison conditions generally were poor. Prisons often were overcrowded and antiquated, with substandard sanitary conditions. There were approximately 48,000 prisoners in prisons designed to hold 28,700 inmates. Prisons in the Santiago Metropolitan Region were at nearly double design capacity. The 2007 Diego Portales University School of Law Annual Report on Human Rights reiterated that prison conditions remained substandard. Three new prisons were opened during the year in Santiago, Valdivia and Puerto Montt, bringing the total of new facilities opened since 2005 to six. However, since the prison population grew by approximately 6,000 over the past two years, overcrowding remained a problem despite the new facilities.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Human rights groups and press associations criticized the existence and application of laws that prohibit insulting state institutions, including the presidency, the legislature, and judicial bodies, and those that allow government officials to bring charges against journalists who insult or criticize them. Military courts may charge and try civilians for defamation of military personnel and for sedition, but their rulings can be appealed to the Supreme Court.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There were several reports of anti-Semitic incidents, including spray-painted graffiti of swastikas and derogatory comments directed at Jewish individuals and institutions. Stores in Chill&aacute;n with Jewish proprietors were painted with swastikas, anti-Semitic reading material was placed in the vicinity of a Jewish home for the elderly, anti-Semitic messages were sent to the Santiago office of a Jewish organization, and the Sephardic website was hacked and defaced.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Neo-Nazi and skinhead groups engaged in gang-type criminal activities and violence against immigrants, homosexuals, punk rockers and anarchists. While these groups share the anti-Semitic rhetoric of neo-Nazi groups, there were no reports of neo-Nazi attacks targeting the Jewish community. Police arrested persons involved in neo-Nazi attacks, and neo-Nazis have been dismissed from the armed forces and Carabineros.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Domestic violence against women remained a serious problem. A 2004 National Women&rsquo;s Service (SERNAM) study reported that 50% of married women had suffered spousal abuse. More than 74,000 cases of family violence were reported to police during the first nine months of 2007, compared with 95,829 such reports in all of 2006. During the year, 61 women were killed as a result of domestic or sexual violence.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100632.htm">U.S. State Department</a></div> <div> <a href="http://hrw.org/doc/?t=americas&amp;c=chile">Human Rights Watch</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/americas/south-america/chile">Amnesty International</a></div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors
<p> Heman Allen<br /> Appointment: Jan 27, 1823<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Apr 23, 1824<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 31, 1827</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Samuel Larned<br /> Appointment: Feb 29, 1828<br /> Presentation of Credentials: On or before Nov 9, 1828<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Oct 29, 1829</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> John Hamm<br /> Appointment: May 26, 1830<br /> Presentation of Credentials: May 24, 1831<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Oct 19, 1833</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Richard Pollard<br /> Appointment: Jun 28, 1834<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Mar 13, 1835</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Requested passports, from Valparaiso, May 12, 1842</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> John S. Pendleton<br /> Appointment: Aug 16, 1841<br /> Presentation of Credentials: May 24, 1842<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile soon after Jun 6, 1844</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William Crump<br /> Appointment: Apr 10, 1844<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 18, 1845<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Nov 1, 1847</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Seth Barton<br /> Appointment: May 27, 1847<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jan 5, 1848<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, May 22, 1849</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Balie Peyton<br /> Appointment: Aug 9, 1849<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Feb 16, 1850<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Sep 26, 1853</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Samuel Medary<br /> Appointment: May 24, 1853<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate. Took oath of office, but did not proceed to post. </span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> David A. Starkweather<br /> Appointment: Jun 29, 1854<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 22, 1854<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Aug 26, 1857</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> John Bigler<br /> Appointment: Apr 2, 1857<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 5, 1857<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Oct 4, 1861</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Thomas H. Nelson<br /> Appointment: Jun 1, 1861<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 4, 1861<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Mar 12, 1866</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Judson Kilpatrick<br /> Appointment: Nov 11, 1865<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Mar 12, 1866<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Aug 3, 1870</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Joseph P. Root<br /> Appointment: Sep 15, 1870<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Dec 2, 1870<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 27, 1873</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Cornelius A. Logan<br /> Appointment: Mar 17, 1873<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 27, 1873<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 10, 1876</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Thomas A. Osborn<br /> Appointment: May 31, 1877<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 28, 1877<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 25, 1881</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Judson Kilpatrick<br /> Appointment: May 19, 1881<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jul 25, 1881<br /> Termination of Mission: Died at post, Dec 2, 1881</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Cornelius A. Logan<br /> Appointment: Mar 15, 1882<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 7, 1882<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 16, 1885</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William R. Roberts<br /> Appointment: Apr 2, 1885<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jul 4, 1885<br /> Termination of Mission: Probably presented recall on or before Aug 9, 1889</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Patrick Egan<br /> Appointment: Mar 30, 1889<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 9, 1889<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 4, 1893</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> James D. Porter<br /> Appointment: Apr 4, 1893<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jul 4, 1893<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 14, 1894</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Edward H. Strobel<br /> Appointment: Dec 13, 1894<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Feb 6, 1895<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Aug 17, 1897</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Henry L. Wilson<br /> Appointment: Jun 9, 1897<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 14, 1897<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Jul 18, 1904</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> John Hicks<br /> Appointment: Jul 14, 1905<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 5, 1905<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, May 11, 1909</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Thomas C. Dawson<br /> Appointment: Apr 21, 1909<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 20, 1909<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 16, 1909</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Henry P. Fletcher<br /> Appointment: Dec 21, 1909<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 9, 1910<br /> Termination of Mission: Promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Henry P. Fletcher<br /> Appointment: Oct 1, 1914<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 19, 1914<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Mar 9, 1916</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Joseph H. Shea<br /> Appointment: Mar 6, 1916<br /> Presentation of Credentials: May 30, 1916<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, May 5, 1921</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William Miller Collier<br /> Appointment: Jun 29, 1921<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 29, 1921<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Aug 6, 1928</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William S. Culbertson<br /> Appointment: Jun 19, 1928<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 16, 1928<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 19, 1933</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Hal H. Sevier<br /> Appointment: Aug 19, 1933<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 25, 1933<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, May 4, 1935</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Hoffman Philip<br /> Appointment: Jul 22, 1935<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 7, 1935<br /> Termination of Mission: Appointment terminated, Oct 31, 1937</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Norman Armour<br /> Appointment: Jan 17, 1938<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Apr 21, 1938<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jun 10, 1939</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Claude G. Bowers<br /> Appointment: Jun 22, 1939<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 7, 1939<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Sep 2, 1953</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Willard L. Beaulac<br /> Appointment: Aug 22, 1953<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 5, 1953<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, May 28, 1956<br /> <span>Note:A nomination of Aug 2, 1953 was not confirmed by the Senate.<br /> Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jan 26, 1954.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Cecil B. Lyon<br /> Appointment: May 10, 1956<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 15, 1956<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 25, 1958</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Walter Howe<br /> Appointment: Apr 22, 1958<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 1, 1958<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 15, 1961</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Robert F. Woodward<br /> Appointment: Apr 18, 1961<br /> Presentation of Credentials: May 5, 1961<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 6, 1961</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Charles W. Cole<br /> Appointment: Sep 22, 1961<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 21, 1961<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Sep 27, 1964</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Ralph A. Dungan<br /> Appointment: Nov 24, 1964<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Dec 10, 1964<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 2, 1967</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Edward M. Korry<br /> Appointment: Aug 23, 1967<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 16, 1967<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 12, 1971</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Nathaniel Davis<br /> Appointment: Sep 30, 1971<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 20, 1971<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 1, 1973</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> David H. Popper<br /> Appointment: Dec 19, 1973<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Feb 22, 1974<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, May 22, 1977</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> George W. Landau<br /> Appointment: Sep 21, 1977<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov. 1977<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 16, 1982</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> James D. Theberge<br /> Appointment: Mar 2, 1982<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Mar 8, 1982<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 2, 1985</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Harry George Barnes, Jr.<br /> Appointment: Jul 12, 1985<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 18, 1985<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 26, 1988</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Charles A. Gillespie, Jr.<br /> Appointment: Oct 17, 1988<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Dec 20, 1988<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Dec 10, 1991</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Curtis Warren Kamman<br /> Appointment: Dec 2, 1991<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jan 14, 1992<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Oct 21, 1994</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Gabriel Guerra-Mondragon<br /> Appointment: Oct 5, 1994<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 24, 1994<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 13, 1998</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> John O&#39;Leary<br /> Appointment: Jun 29, 1998<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 19, 1998<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 29, 2001</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William R. Brownfield<br /> Appointment: Jan 30, 2002<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Mar 25, 2002<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 19, 2004</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Craig A. Kelly<br /> Appointment: May 12, 2004<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 9, 2004<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 3, 2007</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/po/com/10453.htm">Former U.S. Ambassadors to Chile</a></div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Chile's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Fermandois, Arturo

Chile’s ambassador to the United States since June 21, 2010, Arturo Fermandois Vöhringer is an attorney, professor and lover of music who plays in a rock band.

 
Born on October 14, 1962, in Santiago, Fermandois graduated in 1987 with a law degree from Catholic University of Chile, where he received the Monsignor Carlos Casanueva Award for outstanding academic achievement and student leadership.
 
His early career was as a lawyer in the legal division of Banco del Estado de Chile from 1987-1996, where he also was secretary of the board. During this time, he received a Fulbright scholarship in 1993 that allowed him to study at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He graduated with an MA in 1994.
 
After returning home, Fermandois joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement negotiating team, his first work in diplomatic affairs.
 
In 1996, he founded Fermandois, Evans and Co., LLP, a law firm specializing in administrative and constitutional law. That same year he was appointed Professor of Constitutional Law and Advanced Constitutional Law at Catholic University in Santiago.
 
In 2004-2005, he spent a semester as a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School and became a member of the Dean’s Alumni Leadership Council at the Kennedy School.
 
Back in Chile, his affiliations have included being a member of the Legal Circle of ICARE, an organization that promotes entrepreneurship and business administration. He also has been a member of the Chilean Association of Constitutional Law and an arbitrator at the Center of Arbitration and Mediation of the Santiago Chamber of Commerce since 2009.
 
Fermandois has written several books, among them: Economic Constitutional Law (1st edition 2001, 2nd edition 2006) and Applied Constitutional Law (2008). He is co-author of Constitutional Reform 2005 and editor of an annual volume of top Chilean judicial decisions, Supreme and Constitutional Court Review (years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008). 
 
He has published more than 40 articles in Chilean and foreign law reviews, and written weekly legal commentaries on jurisprudence in the daily constitutional newsletter Informe Constitucional for five years.
 
In addition to studying the violin for five years, Fermandois sings and plays electric guitar in Rockasaurios, a classic rock band he founded. He and his wife, Carolina Santa Cruz, have five children.
 
Official Biography (Embassy of Chile)

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Chile's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
<p> <a href="http://www.chile-usa.org/">Chile&rsquo;s Embassy in the U.S.</a></p> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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U.S. Ambassador to Chile

Hammer, Michael
ambassador-image

Nominated by President Barack Obama on June 21 to be the next U.S. ambassador to Chile, Mike Hammer has been assistant secretary of state for public affairs since March 30, 2012, having served as acting assistant secretary since the March 13, 2011, resignation of P.J. Crowley, who was forced out after he characterized the harsh confinement of whistleblower Pfc. Bradley Manning as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” Hammer had been principal deputy assistant secretary since January 2011. If confirmed by the Senate, Hammer would succeed Alejandro D. Wolff, who has served in Santiago since September 2010.

 

Born December 26, 1963, in Washington, DC, to parents Michael P. and Magdalena Hammer, Michael A. Hammer spent much of his childhood in Latin America, specifically Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil, where his father was working for the American Institute for Free Labor Development, a CIA front group that worked to undermine spontaneous radicalism and channel workers into corporate-funded, conservative labor groups. The elder Hammer was gunned down in a hotel dining room in San Salvador on January 3, 1981, by Salvadoran National Guard agents who had been trained at the Pentagon’s notorious School of the Americas. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, with both Secretary of State Edmund Muskie and Vice President Walter Mondale in attendance. He was probably a CIA agent.

 

Not long after his father’s murder, Hammer enrolled at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, earning a B.S. in Foreign Service in 1985, an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 1987, and an M.S. from the National War College at the National Defense University in 2007.

 

A career member of the Senior Foreign Service who entered the diplomatic corps in 1988, Hammer served early overseas postings in Iceland and Denmark. In Washington, he has served in the State Department’s Operations Center and as special assistant to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman.

 

From 1999 to 2001, Hammer served at the National Security Council, first as deputy spokesman from 1999 to 2000 and then as director of Andean affairs from 2000 to 2001.

 

Hammer served as a political/economic counselor at the embassy in Oslo, Norway, from 2003 to 2006.

 

After completing his studies at the National War College during the 2006-2007 academic year, Hammer served as political aide to ambassador Phillip Goldberg in La Paz, Bolivia, from 2007 to September 2008, when Goldberg was expelled after a series of incidents suggested that the embassy was engaged in espionage and fomenting discontent against the government.

 

Back in Washington, Hammer was again detailed to the National Security Council, serving at the White House as special assistant to President Obama, senior director for press and communications, and NSC spokesman from January 2009 to January 2011.

 

Hammer is fluent in Spanish and speaks French and Icelandic as well.

 

Hammer is married to Margret Bjorgulfsdottir, whom he met while both were studying at Tufts, and they have three children, Monika, Mike Thor, and Brynja. 

-Matt Bewig

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

Interview of Assistant Secretary Michael Hammer Public Affairs Bureau with Journalists of Kyrgyzstan (State Dept. transcript)

Testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (pdf)

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Chile

Simons, Paul
ambassador-image

Paul E. Simons was confirmed as US Ambassador to Chile on October 26, 2007. Simons received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his MBA in finance from New York University Stern School of Business in 1982.  He speaks Spanish and French. 
 
Before joining the State Department, Simons served as assistant vice president for international corporate lending at a New York-based commercial bank. 
 
Early in his government career, Simons served as lead economist on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, as an international economist in the Treasury Department, and at US Embassies in Malawi and Colombia.
 
From 1992 through 1996, Simons served as economic counselor at the US Embassy in Quito, Ecuador. He served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Israel; as Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs; and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy, Sanctions, and Commodities. On February 7, 2003, Simons was one of three State Department officials who submitted a memo, still partially classified, warning of gaps in Bush administration plans for Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
 
Simons is married to Victoria Cárdenas-Simons, a World Bank official. 
 
Prewar Memo Warned of Gaps in Iraq Plans (by Bradley Graham, Washington Post)
 

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News
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Overview
<p> Chile is a prosperous Latin American country that has rebounded from a dark period in the late 20th century that the United States helped instigate. In 1970, Chile elected a leftist president, Salvador Allende, whose socialist policies alarmed the Nixon administration and conservatives in Chile. Three years later, on September 11, 1973, General Augusto Pinochet led a military coup that overthrew Allende, leading to the president&rsquo;s death. Declassified US government documents have revealed that US officials welcomed the coup, and the CIA may have had a hand in carrying it out. Furthermore, FBI agents helped Chilean security locate leftists residing in the US after the fall of Allende, and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger may have known about plans by Chilean agents to assassinate Allende&rsquo;s former foreign minister in Washington, DC.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Pinochet ruled Chile for almost the next 20 years, during which time thousands of citizens were tortured or simply disappeared. He stepped down as president in 1990, but remained in power as the head of the military until 1998. US-Chilean relations have gradually grown stronger over the past two decades, culminating in a free trade agreement in 2003 that solidified the United States&rsquo; place as Chile&rsquo;s most important trading partner.</div>
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Basic Information
<p> <b>Lay of the Land</b>: In southwestern South America, Chile&#39;s string bean profile is conditioned almost entirely by the steep wall of the Andes Mountains dividing it from Argentina to the east.&nbsp;The Andes, towering to almost 23,000 feet and permanently snowcapped, are almost never out of sight, for Chile&#39;s average width is only about 110 miles, although the country is 2,650 miles long.&nbsp;Chile has several distinctly different areas. The Atacama Desert in the north, one of the world&#39;s driest, gives way to the pleasant central region of wheat fields and vineyards. Most of the people live here in the central valley between the low coastal range and the Andes. Santiago and the other major cities are located here. Further south, the open fields yield to dense forests and a much wetter climate. In the extreme south are glaciers, fjords, and mountain lakes. Easter Island and the Juan Fern&aacute;ndez, or &ldquo;Robinson Crusoe,&rdquo; islands in the Pacific are also Chilean territory.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Population</b>: 16.5 million</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Religions</b>: Catholic 70%, evangelical Protestant (predominately Pentecostal, also Wesleyan, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist) 15.1%, Jehovah&rsquo;s Witnesses 0.8%, Mormon 0.7%, Jewish 0.1%, other 4.4%, non-religious 8.3%.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Ethnic Groups</b>: White and white-Amerindian 95.4%, Mapuche 4%, other indigenous groups 0.6%.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Languages</b>: Spanish (official) 87.3%, Mapudungun 1.3%, Chilean Quechua 0.02%, Rapa Nui 0.02%Huilliche 0.01%, Central Aymara 0.001%, Qawasqar, Y&aacute;mana.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <p> &nbsp;</p>
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History
<div> Migrating Indians first settled in Chile 10,000 years ago. The Incas briefly extended their empire into what is now northern Chile. The first Europeans to arrive in Chile were Spanish conquistadors seeking gold in 1535. The Spanish encountered hundreds of thousands of Indians from various cultures in the area that modern Chile now occupies. These cultures supported themselves principally through slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting. The Spanish conquered the indigenous peoples within six years, and Spain maintained firm control of the region for the next 200 years.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The drive for independence from Spain began in 1808, when a national junta loyal to the deposed king of Spain proclaimed Chile an autonomous republic within the Spanish monarchy. Spain sought to regain control during the &ldquo;Reconquista&rdquo; which led to prolonged fighting that lasted until 1817 when an army led by Bernardo O&rsquo;Higgins, Chile&rsquo;s most renowned patriot, and Jos&eacute; San Mart&iacute;n, hero of Argentine independence, crossed the Andes into Chile and defeated the royalists. On February 12, 1818, Chile was proclaimed an independent republic under O&rsquo;Higgins&rsquo; leadership.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The political revolt brought little social change, as 19th Century Chilean society preserved the essence of the stratified colonial social structure, which was greatly influenced by family politics and the Roman Catholic Church. A strong presidency eventually emerged, but wealthy landowners remained extremely powerful. Toward the end of the 1800s, the government in Santiago consolidated its position in the south by ruthlessly suppressing the Mapuche Indians. In 1881, it signed a treaty with Argentina that gave Chile sovereignty over the Strait of Magellan. As a result of the War of the Pacific with Peru and Bolivia (1879-1883), Chile expanded its territory northward by almost one-third and acquired valuable nitrate deposits, the exploitation of which led to an era of national affluence.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Chile established a parliamentary democracy in the late 19th Century, but it quickly degenerated into a system protecting the interests of the ruling oligarchy. By the 1920s, the emerging middle and working classes were powerful enough to elect a reformist president, whose program was frustrated by a conservative congress. In the 1920s, Marxist groups with strong popular support arose. This development resulted in the country&rsquo;s first backlash from the military, as General Carlos Ibanez seized control of the government and ruled Chile until 1932.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The first half of the 20th century saw the political climate swing between right and left. Infrastructure development was slow, leading to rural poverty and poorly planned urbanization. During the 1960s social reforms were instituted by the Christian Democrats, who targeted housing, education, health and social services. Chile&rsquo;s politics became increasingly militant and polarized, culminating in Salvador Allende&rsquo;s leftist coalition victory in 1970. Allende introduced sweeping economic reforms, including the state takeover of many private enterprises and the wholesale redistribution of income. The country was plunged into economic chaos that continued for the next two years.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> By 1973 street demonstrations became almost daily events and turned increasingly violent. Rightwing and leftwing groups brandished arms, while militant workers formed committees in their neighborhoods and workplaces to press for accelerated social change. Conservatives opposed to Allende began turning to the military for a solution.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The regular armed forces halted an attempted coup by tank commanders in June 1973, but that didn&rsquo;t stop an even larger threat from within the military. Generals led by Augusto Pinochet planned a massive coup that was launched on September 11, 1973. Allende died during the attack against the presidential palace (La Moneda). Several cabinet ministers were also assassinated. Congress was dissolved and political parties banned. Pinochet appointed military officers as mayors of cities and towns throughout Chile. Retired military personnel were named rectors of universities, and they carried out vast purges of faculty members suspected of left-wing or liberal sympathies.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The press was censored, and labor strikes and unions were banned. A fearsome security apparatus known as the National Intelligence Directorate, or DINA, persecuted, tortured and killed Pinochet opponents within Chile and sometimes beyond its borders. A government-commissioned report issued in 2004 concluded that almost 28,000 people had been tortured during the general&rsquo;s rule.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Pinochet&rsquo;s monetary policies brought stability to the economy, much to the delight of foreign banks and Western development organizations. But by the late 1980s, the majority of the populace had grown tired of Pinochet&rsquo;s rule, and in a 1988 referendum to approve his presidency, voters rejected him. In the 1989 multiparty elections, Christian Democrat Patricio Aylwin beat Pinochet&rsquo;s candidate, Hernan Buchi, and power was peacefully transferred. Democracy returned to Chile, although Pinochet held on to his post of commander in chief of the army until 1998. With that power base, he exerted considerable influence over the democratically elected governments that replaced his iron-fisted rule.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Elected president in 1994, Eduardo Frei undertook the challenge of reconciling Chileans with their difficult past by accelerating human rights tribunals and inquiries into the fate of Chile&rsquo;s 3,000 disappeared. Unfortunately, resistance from the political arm of the military machine severely hampered his efforts. Frei&rsquo;s economic reforms, however, did help alleviate crushing poverty to some degree.</div> <div> In October 1998, while recuperating in a London clinic from a back operation, Pinochet was arrested by British authorities in response to an application from a Spanish judge seeking the general&rsquo;s extradition to Madrid to stand trial on charges of genocide, torture and kidnapping. A 16-month legal battle ensued, ending with a decision to send Pinochet back to Chile in March 2000 because his physical and mental ailments made him unfit to stand trial. Days after his return, Ricardo Lagos, the first Socialist to be elected president since the 1973 overthrow of Allende, assumed office.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> For the rest of his life, Pinochet had to fight off lawsuits and accept the humiliation of constant news reports about widespread brutality under his rule. President Lagos allowed the hundreds of criminal complaints filed against Pinochet to run their course in the courts. He was succeeded in March 2006 by another Socialist, Michelle Bachelet, a former political prisoner and the first woman to lead Chile. Her father, an air force general loyal to Allende, had been jailed by his colleagues, tortured and he died in prison.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Pinochet spent his final years in near seclusion, dying on December 10, 2006.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/cltoc.html" target="_blank">Library of Congress Country Study</a></div> <div> <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1209914.stm">Pinochet Timeline - BBC</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.fas.org/irp/world/chile/allende.htm">Allende&#39;s Leftist Regime</a> (Federation of American Scientists)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.derechos.org/nizkor/chile/doc/covert.html">Covert Action in Chile 1963-1973)</a> (staff report of the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/11/world/americas/11pinochet.html">Augusto Pinochet, Dictator Who Ruled by Terror in Chile, Dies at 91</a> (by Jonathon Kandell, New York Times)</div> <div> <span style="font-size: small;">&nbsp;</span></div> <p> &nbsp;</p>
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Chile's Newspapers
<p> <a href="http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/chile.htm">Chile&rsquo;s Newspapers</a></p> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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History of U.S. Relations with Chile
<p> Numerous accounts have been written implicating the United States in the overthrow of Allende and its support of Augusto Pinochet&rsquo;s brutal reign. The Nixon administration was alarmed by the ascension of a Socialist in Chile, fearing the growth of Communism in the Western Hemisphere during the Cold War. Also, the United States had important economic interests in Chile, especially within the copper industry. In 1971, the Chilean government completely nationalized foreign copper firms, which were mainly owned by two US companies, Kennecott and Anaconda. Nixon&rsquo;s top foreign policy adviser was Henry Kissinger, who was adamant that the United States had to prevent Chile &ldquo;from going down the drain&rdquo; under Allende&rsquo;s leadership.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Some have accused the CIA of helping the coup that deposed Allende, and American intelligence officers may have helped Pinochet&rsquo;s government track down &ldquo;radicals&rdquo; in Chile. Likewise, the FBI tried to track suspected associates of Chilean leftists in the United States in the 1970s on behalf of the Pinochet government.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> It also has been written (see <i><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Pinochet-File-Declassified-Atrocity-Accountability/dp/1565849361/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;s=books&amp;qid=1224056660&amp;sr=1-1">The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability</a>, </i>edited by Peter Kornbluh) that the US knew in advance about the assassination of Chile&rsquo;s chief of staff, General Ren&eacute; Schneider, in 1970 and the assassination in Washington, D.C., of Orlando Letelier, the former Chilean foreign minister, in 1976.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The widespread violations of human rights in Chile, combined with a strong rejection of covert activities engaged in abroad by the Nixon administration, galvanized United States congressional opposition to US ties with Chile&rsquo;s military government. With the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976, the United States took an openly hostile attitude toward the Chilean military government, publicly condemning human rights violations and pressing for the restoration of democracy.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> When Ronald Reagan assumed the Oval Office, the US government again took a more favorable attitude toward Pinochet&rsquo;s staunchly anti-Communist efforts. This was consistent with the Reagan administration&rsquo;s other Latin American policies, such as overt and covert support given to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. While American officials didn&rsquo;t entirely cease pointing out Chile&rsquo;s human rights problems, the US government reestablished normal ties with the dictatorship.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> But then riots broke out in Santiago, Chile, in 1983, provoking a reassessment by some administration officials over the long-term implications of backing Pinochet. By Reagan&rsquo;s second term in office, the United States was actively backing Pinochet&rsquo;s opposition.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> With the 1990 election of Patricio Aylwin as president of Chile, relations between the two countries improved greatly. The administration of George H. W. Bush welcomed Chile&rsquo;s commitment to free-market policies, while praising the new government&rsquo;s embracing of democracy. The United States also supported the Aylwin government&rsquo;s human rights policies and came to a resolution of the Letelier assassination by agreeing to a bilateral mediation mechanism and compensation of the victims&rsquo; families.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> A few issues have complicated United States-Chile relations, including the removal of Chilean fruit from United States supermarkets in 1991 by the Food and Drug Administration, after tainted grapes were allegedly discovered. The United States also objected to Chile&#39;s intellectual property legislation, particularly the copying of drug patents. However, these issues pale by comparison with the strong ties between the two countries and the admiration that United States officials have expressed for Chile&rsquo;s economic performance. In 1991, the US replaced Japan as Chile&rsquo;s largest trading partner. The US and Chile signed a free trade agreement on June 6, 2003.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <a href="http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20031101fareviewessay82615/kenneth-maxwell/the-other-9-11-the-united-states-and-chile-1973.html">The Other 9/11: The United States and Chile, 1973</a> (by Kenneth Maxwell, Foreign Affairs)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB255/index.htm">New Kissinger &lsquo;Telcons&rsquo; Reveal Chile Plotting At Highest Levels Of U.S. Government</a> (National Security Archive)</div> <div> <a href="https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/docs/v47i3a03p.htm">CIA Machinations in Chile in 1970</a> (by Kristian C. Gustafson, Central Intelligence Agency)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.country-studies.com/chile/relations-with-the-united-states.html">Chilean Relations with the United States</a> (Library of Congress)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/library/world/americas/021099pinochet-fbi.html">F.B.I. Helped Chile Search for Leftists, Files Show</a> (by Tim Weiner, New York Times)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB8/nsaebb8.htm">Chile and the United States: Declassified Documents relating to the Military Coup, 1970-1976</a> (George Washington University)</div> <div> <a href="http://untreaty.un.org/cod/riaa/cases/vol_XXV/1-19.pdf">Dispute concerning responsibility for the deaths os Letelier and Moffitt</a> (United Nations arbitration report) (PDF)</div> <div> <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2004/dec/17/opinion/oe-letelier17">My Case Against Pinochet</a> (by Francisco Letelier, Los Angeles Times)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Current U.S. Relations with Chile
<p> US relations with Chile improved considerably after the nation returned to democracy in 1990. Overall, the two countries have a strong relationship, characterized by strong commercial ties and extensive consultation between the two governments on bilateral and other issues of mutual concern.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2003, the United States and Chile signed an agreement that will lead to completely duty-free bilateral trade within 12 years. By 2007, just three years after signing the agreement, total bilateral trade between the two countries jumped by 154%.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Currently, Chile has more than 300 soldiers participating in the peacekeeping operation in Haiti, a priority of United States foreign policy in the Caribbean.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> According to the <a href="http://www.coha.org/category/chile/">Council on Hemispheric Affairs</a>, Chile&rsquo;s close ties with the US haven&rsquo;t always meant smooth sailing for the government. For example, the Bush administration was unwilling to support Jos&eacute; Miguel Insulza&rsquo;s candidacy for secretary general of the Organization of American States, a key factor in his decision to withdraw his bid (He later resubmitted his candidacy and was elected). Also, Chile recalled its ambassador to the UN, Juan Gabriel Vald&eacute;s, after the diplomat adamantly refused to back the White House&rsquo;s timetable on invading Iraq in 2003. The Chilean government reportedly made this move in order to win approval of the bilateral trade agreement with Washington.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> According to the most recent Census data, 68,849 Chileans live in the US. Although Pinochet&rsquo;s persecution drove masses of refugees out of the country, most moved to neighboring countries or to Europe, with only a small portion of &eacute;migr&eacute;s moving to the United States.&nbsp;Most of the Chileans did not come as political refugees, but sought economic opportunity. When democracy was reestablished in 1990, the new government encouraged exiled Chileans to return home, adding financial incentives and programs to teach Spanish as a second language for the children of Chileans who grew up without their parents&rsquo; tongue. In the United States, Chileans have settled in urban areas with strong Latin-American influence, especially in California. After California, the largest Chilean communities are in New York, Florida, New Jersey and Texas.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2005, 183,833 Americans visited Chile. The number of Americans visiting Chile has increased significantly every year since 2000, when 130,568 Americans traveled to the South American country.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2006, 110,143 Chileans visited the US. The number of Chileans tourists has fluctuated between a low of 95,389 (2003) and a high of 115,359 (2002) since 2002.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/us-chile.htm">United States-Chile Relations</a> (Latin American Studies.org)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.coha.org/2004/10/as-chile-and-us-relationship-grows-increasingly-close-lagos-risks-further-isolation-in-latin-america/" title="Permanent Link: As Chile and U.S. Relationship Grows Increasingly Close, Lagos Risks Further Isolation in Latin America">As Chile and U.S. Relationship Grows Increasingly Close, Lagos Risks Further Isolation in Latin America</a> (Council on Hemispheric Affairs)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=27076">Chairman Says U.S.-Chile Relations Key to Haitian Success</a> (By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/crs/rl30035.pdf">Chile: Political and Economic: Conditions and U.S. Relations</a> (by Mark Sullivan, Congressional Research Service) (PDF)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Where Does the Money Flow
<p> Chile&rsquo;s most important trade partner is the United States. Total trade with the US was $15.7 billion in 2007 as compared to $14.8 billion in 2006. In 2007, United States imports from Chile totaled $8.4 billion, representing a 10% decrease compared to 2006 ($9.3 billion). As has been the case for many years, copper continues to be Chile&rsquo;s most valuable export to the US, totaling $3.3 billion in 2007 (The state-owned firm CODELCO is the world&rsquo;s largest copper-producing company, with recorded copper reserves of 200 years). Second in line among imports from Chile are fruits, totaling $1.3 billion, then fish and shellfish at $1.03 billion.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The United States&rsquo; most important export to Chile is fuel oil, bringing in $1.07 billion. Other top exports include civilian aircraft ($505 million), materials handling equipment ($401 million), excavating machinery ($361 million), plastic materials ($343 million) and computers ($309 million).</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> According to the State Department, the US sent Chile $1.4 million in aid in 2007. All aid was dedicated to Peace and Security, and was divided between International Military Education and Training ($662,000), Foreign Military Financing ($500,000), and Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, De-mining and Related Programs ($275,000). The 2008 budget estimate apportioned $1.5 million in aid to Chile, with a further increase to $1.6 million in 2009. In 2009, as in previous years, all funding will be dedicated to Peace and Security. Foreign Military Financing will receive $750,000, International Military Education and Training will receive $525,000, and Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, De-mining and Related Programs will get $300,000.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> These figures understate the true nature of the military relationship between Chile and the US. According to the Congressional Research Service, Chile was the leading purchaser of US defense articles and services among all Western Hemispheric nations from 1999-2002, totaling $555 million. The highlight of this time period was the announcement that the US would sell advanced fighter jets to Chile (see Controversies).</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL34291.pdf">US Arms Sales: Agreements with and Deliveries to Major Clients, 1999-2006</a> (by Richard Grimmett, Congressional Research Service) (PDF)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/imports/c3370.html">Imports from Chile</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/exports/c3370.html">Exports from Chile</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/t/pm/64492.htm">Chile: Security Assistance</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/101368.pdf">Congressional Budget for Foreign Operations (pages 665-666)</a> (PDF)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.ustr.gov/Trade_Agreements/Bilateral/Chile_FTA/Section_Index.html">U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement</a> (Office of the United States Trade Representative)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Controversies
<p> <b>Bush Proposal Rankles Chilean OAS Representative</b></p> <div> In 2005, the US submitted a proposal at a meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) that would justify intervention in the affairs of Western Hemisphere nations. The idea, purportedly to help Latin American states improve opportunities for democracy, rankled the leaders of several South American countries, including Chile. The United States did not establish how or where the OAS should intervene, but one likely target was Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Ch&aacute;vez, has been a persistent critic of the United States.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Chile introduced a counter-proposal backed by at least 10 other OAS nations. The Chilean plan, described as offering a &ldquo;middle-ground,&rdquo; asked OAS Secretary-General Jos&eacute; Miguel Insulza to study how the organization has used the Democratic Charter since its inception and recommend ways to make it more effective. Insulza, who has embraced some of the Bush administration&#39;s ideas for strengthening the OAS to more actively promote democracy, said he did not believe the organization should intervene in any country without the agreement of that nation&rsquo;s government. &ldquo;We can never use any mechanism without the consent of the country,&rdquo; Insulza said. &ldquo;If the states don&rsquo;t want something, then nothing will be done.&rdquo;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/americas/06/06/oas/index.html">OAS members balk at U.S. intervention plan </a>(CNN)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Powell Slip Revives Controversy over US role in Chilean Coup</b></div> <div> While serving as Secretary of State in 2003, Colin Powell expressed regrets over the United States&rsquo; role in the 1973 military coup that brought dictator Augusto Pinochet to power. &ldquo;It is not a part of American history that we&rsquo;re proud of,&rdquo; Powell said.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Powell&rsquo;s remark was startling, given that no US official had ever confirmed what has long been suspected about the actions of the Nixon administration in the early 1970s. William Rogers, who served under Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1975-76 as the department&rsquo;s top official on Latin America, took offense to Powell&rsquo;s claim that the US had anything to do with the overthrow of leftist President Salvador Allende. Rogers said the belief that US officials, primarily the CIA, had a hand in the coup was pure &ldquo;legend.&rdquo;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In a highly unusual move, the State Department issued a statement that put distance between the department and its top official. The statement asserted that the US government &ldquo;did not instigate the coup that ended Allende&rsquo;s government in 1973.&rdquo;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> At the time of Powell&rsquo;s remark, a lawsuit was pending against the federal government, brought by 11 residents of Chile seeking damages for deaths and other rights abuses by the Pinochet government. The suit, filed in US District Court in Washington, also named Michael Townley, a US-born former Chilean intelligence agent.</div> <div> <a href="http://www.globalpolicy.org/intljustice/wanted/2003/0416reg.htm">Powell Regrets 1973 US Actions in Chile</a> (by George Gedda, Associated Press)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB8/nsaebb8.htm">Chile and the United States: Declassified Documents relating to the Military Coup, 1970-1976</a> (George Washington University)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Chile Buys U.S. Fighter Jets</b></div> <div> The Bush administration agreed in 2002 to sell Chile 10 F-16 fighter jets in a sale valued at $660 million. The sale of the Lockheed Martin jets represented the first time in two decades that Washington had approved the transfer of sophisticated weapons to a Latin American country. In 1998, the Clinton administration lifted a ban on such sales, saying it would consider them on a case-by-case basis. Chile&rsquo;s search to upgrade its aging air force drew criticism because of the cost involved and because it signaled that there was still a powerful military behind the scenes of the democratically elected Socialist government. The sale also stirred concerns that Chile, by introducing long-range fighters into the region, would touch off an arms race with its neighbors, particularly Peru and Argentina.</div> <div> <a href="http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE5DA1F3AF932A05752C0A9649C8B63">In Unusual Deal, Chile Will Buy Advanced U.S. Fighter Jets</a> (by Christopher Marquis, New York Times)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Human Rights
<p> The Chilean government has a much better human rights record than the one that ruled during the 1970s and 1980s. However, according to the State Department, there are still &ldquo;isolated reports of excessive use of force and mistreatment by police forces, of physical abuse in jails and prisons, and of generally substandard prison conditions.&rdquo;</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Prison conditions generally were poor. Prisons often were overcrowded and antiquated, with substandard sanitary conditions. There were approximately 48,000 prisoners in prisons designed to hold 28,700 inmates. Prisons in the Santiago Metropolitan Region were at nearly double design capacity. The 2007 Diego Portales University School of Law Annual Report on Human Rights reiterated that prison conditions remained substandard. Three new prisons were opened during the year in Santiago, Valdivia and Puerto Montt, bringing the total of new facilities opened since 2005 to six. However, since the prison population grew by approximately 6,000 over the past two years, overcrowding remained a problem despite the new facilities.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Human rights groups and press associations criticized the existence and application of laws that prohibit insulting state institutions, including the presidency, the legislature, and judicial bodies, and those that allow government officials to bring charges against journalists who insult or criticize them. Military courts may charge and try civilians for defamation of military personnel and for sedition, but their rulings can be appealed to the Supreme Court.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There were several reports of anti-Semitic incidents, including spray-painted graffiti of swastikas and derogatory comments directed at Jewish individuals and institutions. Stores in Chill&aacute;n with Jewish proprietors were painted with swastikas, anti-Semitic reading material was placed in the vicinity of a Jewish home for the elderly, anti-Semitic messages were sent to the Santiago office of a Jewish organization, and the Sephardic website was hacked and defaced.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Neo-Nazi and skinhead groups engaged in gang-type criminal activities and violence against immigrants, homosexuals, punk rockers and anarchists. While these groups share the anti-Semitic rhetoric of neo-Nazi groups, there were no reports of neo-Nazi attacks targeting the Jewish community. Police arrested persons involved in neo-Nazi attacks, and neo-Nazis have been dismissed from the armed forces and Carabineros.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Domestic violence against women remained a serious problem. A 2004 National Women&rsquo;s Service (SERNAM) study reported that 50% of married women had suffered spousal abuse. More than 74,000 cases of family violence were reported to police during the first nine months of 2007, compared with 95,829 such reports in all of 2006. During the year, 61 women were killed as a result of domestic or sexual violence.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100632.htm">U.S. State Department</a></div> <div> <a href="http://hrw.org/doc/?t=americas&amp;c=chile">Human Rights Watch</a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/americas/south-america/chile">Amnesty International</a></div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors
<p> Heman Allen<br /> Appointment: Jan 27, 1823<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Apr 23, 1824<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 31, 1827</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Samuel Larned<br /> Appointment: Feb 29, 1828<br /> Presentation of Credentials: On or before Nov 9, 1828<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Oct 29, 1829</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> John Hamm<br /> Appointment: May 26, 1830<br /> Presentation of Credentials: May 24, 1831<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Oct 19, 1833</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Richard Pollard<br /> Appointment: Jun 28, 1834<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Mar 13, 1835</div> <div> Termination of Mission: Requested passports, from Valparaiso, May 12, 1842</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> John S. Pendleton<br /> Appointment: Aug 16, 1841<br /> Presentation of Credentials: May 24, 1842<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile soon after Jun 6, 1844</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William Crump<br /> Appointment: Apr 10, 1844<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 18, 1845<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Nov 1, 1847</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Seth Barton<br /> Appointment: May 27, 1847<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jan 5, 1848<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, May 22, 1849</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Balie Peyton<br /> Appointment: Aug 9, 1849<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Feb 16, 1850<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Sep 26, 1853</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Samuel Medary<br /> Appointment: May 24, 1853<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate. Took oath of office, but did not proceed to post. </span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> David A. Starkweather<br /> Appointment: Jun 29, 1854<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 22, 1854<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Aug 26, 1857</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> John Bigler<br /> Appointment: Apr 2, 1857<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 5, 1857<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Oct 4, 1861</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Thomas H. Nelson<br /> Appointment: Jun 1, 1861<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 4, 1861<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Mar 12, 1866</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Judson Kilpatrick<br /> Appointment: Nov 11, 1865<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Mar 12, 1866<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Aug 3, 1870</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Joseph P. Root<br /> Appointment: Sep 15, 1870<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Dec 2, 1870<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 27, 1873</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Cornelius A. Logan<br /> Appointment: Mar 17, 1873<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 27, 1873<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 10, 1876</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Thomas A. Osborn<br /> Appointment: May 31, 1877<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 28, 1877<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 25, 1881</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Judson Kilpatrick<br /> Appointment: May 19, 1881<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jul 25, 1881<br /> Termination of Mission: Died at post, Dec 2, 1881</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Cornelius A. Logan<br /> Appointment: Mar 15, 1882<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 7, 1882<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jun 16, 1885</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William R. Roberts<br /> Appointment: Apr 2, 1885<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jul 4, 1885<br /> Termination of Mission: Probably presented recall on or before Aug 9, 1889</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Patrick Egan<br /> Appointment: Mar 30, 1889<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 9, 1889<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Jul 4, 1893</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> James D. Porter<br /> Appointment: Apr 4, 1893<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jul 4, 1893<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 14, 1894</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Edward H. Strobel<br /> Appointment: Dec 13, 1894<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Feb 6, 1895<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Aug 17, 1897</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Henry L. Wilson<br /> Appointment: Jun 9, 1897<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 14, 1897<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Jul 18, 1904</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> John Hicks<br /> Appointment: Jul 14, 1905<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 5, 1905<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, May 11, 1909</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Thomas C. Dawson<br /> Appointment: Apr 21, 1909<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 20, 1909<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 16, 1909</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Henry P. Fletcher<br /> Appointment: Dec 21, 1909<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 9, 1910<br /> Termination of Mission: Promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Henry P. Fletcher<br /> Appointment: Oct 1, 1914<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 19, 1914<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Mar 9, 1916</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Joseph H. Shea<br /> Appointment: Mar 6, 1916<br /> Presentation of Credentials: May 30, 1916<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, May 5, 1921</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William Miller Collier<br /> Appointment: Jun 29, 1921<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 29, 1921<br /> Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Aug 6, 1928</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William S. Culbertson<br /> Appointment: Jun 19, 1928<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 16, 1928<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 19, 1933</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Hal H. Sevier<br /> Appointment: Aug 19, 1933<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 25, 1933<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, May 4, 1935</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Hoffman Philip<br /> Appointment: Jul 22, 1935<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 7, 1935<br /> Termination of Mission: Appointment terminated, Oct 31, 1937</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Norman Armour<br /> Appointment: Jan 17, 1938<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Apr 21, 1938<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jun 10, 1939</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Claude G. Bowers<br /> Appointment: Jun 22, 1939<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 7, 1939<br /> Termination of Mission: Left Chile, Sep 2, 1953</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Willard L. Beaulac<br /> Appointment: Aug 22, 1953<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 5, 1953<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, May 28, 1956<br /> <span>Note:A nomination of Aug 2, 1953 was not confirmed by the Senate.<br /> Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Jan 26, 1954.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Cecil B. Lyon<br /> Appointment: May 10, 1956<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 15, 1956<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 25, 1958</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Walter Howe<br /> Appointment: Apr 22, 1958<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 1, 1958<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 15, 1961</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Robert F. Woodward<br /> Appointment: Apr 18, 1961<br /> Presentation of Credentials: May 5, 1961<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 6, 1961</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Charles W. Cole<br /> Appointment: Sep 22, 1961<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 21, 1961<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Sep 27, 1964</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Ralph A. Dungan<br /> Appointment: Nov 24, 1964<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Dec 10, 1964<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 2, 1967</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Edward M. Korry<br /> Appointment: Aug 23, 1967<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 16, 1967<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 12, 1971</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Nathaniel Davis<br /> Appointment: Sep 30, 1971<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 20, 1971<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 1, 1973</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> David H. Popper<br /> Appointment: Dec 19, 1973<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Feb 22, 1974<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, May 22, 1977</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> George W. Landau<br /> Appointment: Sep 21, 1977<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov. 1977<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 16, 1982</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> James D. Theberge<br /> Appointment: Mar 2, 1982<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Mar 8, 1982<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 2, 1985</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Harry George Barnes, Jr.<br /> Appointment: Jul 12, 1985<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 18, 1985<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 26, 1988</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Charles A. Gillespie, Jr.<br /> Appointment: Oct 17, 1988<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Dec 20, 1988<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Dec 10, 1991</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Curtis Warren Kamman<br /> Appointment: Dec 2, 1991<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jan 14, 1992<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Oct 21, 1994</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Gabriel Guerra-Mondragon<br /> Appointment: Oct 5, 1994<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 24, 1994<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 13, 1998</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> John O&#39;Leary<br /> Appointment: Jun 29, 1998<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 19, 1998<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 29, 2001</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William R. Brownfield<br /> Appointment: Jan 30, 2002<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Mar 25, 2002<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 19, 2004</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Craig A. Kelly<br /> Appointment: May 12, 2004<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 9, 2004<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 3, 2007</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/po/com/10453.htm">Former U.S. Ambassadors to Chile</a></div> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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Chile's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Fermandois, Arturo

Chile’s ambassador to the United States since June 21, 2010, Arturo Fermandois Vöhringer is an attorney, professor and lover of music who plays in a rock band.

 
Born on October 14, 1962, in Santiago, Fermandois graduated in 1987 with a law degree from Catholic University of Chile, where he received the Monsignor Carlos Casanueva Award for outstanding academic achievement and student leadership.
 
His early career was as a lawyer in the legal division of Banco del Estado de Chile from 1987-1996, where he also was secretary of the board. During this time, he received a Fulbright scholarship in 1993 that allowed him to study at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He graduated with an MA in 1994.
 
After returning home, Fermandois joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement negotiating team, his first work in diplomatic affairs.
 
In 1996, he founded Fermandois, Evans and Co., LLP, a law firm specializing in administrative and constitutional law. That same year he was appointed Professor of Constitutional Law and Advanced Constitutional Law at Catholic University in Santiago.
 
In 2004-2005, he spent a semester as a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School and became a member of the Dean’s Alumni Leadership Council at the Kennedy School.
 
Back in Chile, his affiliations have included being a member of the Legal Circle of ICARE, an organization that promotes entrepreneurship and business administration. He also has been a member of the Chilean Association of Constitutional Law and an arbitrator at the Center of Arbitration and Mediation of the Santiago Chamber of Commerce since 2009.
 
Fermandois has written several books, among them: Economic Constitutional Law (1st edition 2001, 2nd edition 2006) and Applied Constitutional Law (2008). He is co-author of Constitutional Reform 2005 and editor of an annual volume of top Chilean judicial decisions, Supreme and Constitutional Court Review (years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008). 
 
He has published more than 40 articles in Chilean and foreign law reviews, and written weekly legal commentaries on jurisprudence in the daily constitutional newsletter Informe Constitucional for five years.
 
In addition to studying the violin for five years, Fermandois sings and plays electric guitar in Rockasaurios, a classic rock band he founded. He and his wife, Carolina Santa Cruz, have five children.
 
Official Biography (Embassy of Chile)

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Chile's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
<p> <a href="http://www.chile-usa.org/">Chile&rsquo;s Embassy in the U.S.</a></p> <div> &nbsp;</div>
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U.S. Ambassador to Chile

Hammer, Michael
ambassador-image

Nominated by President Barack Obama on June 21 to be the next U.S. ambassador to Chile, Mike Hammer has been assistant secretary of state for public affairs since March 30, 2012, having served as acting assistant secretary since the March 13, 2011, resignation of P.J. Crowley, who was forced out after he characterized the harsh confinement of whistleblower Pfc. Bradley Manning as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” Hammer had been principal deputy assistant secretary since January 2011. If confirmed by the Senate, Hammer would succeed Alejandro D. Wolff, who has served in Santiago since September 2010.

 

Born December 26, 1963, in Washington, DC, to parents Michael P. and Magdalena Hammer, Michael A. Hammer spent much of his childhood in Latin America, specifically Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil, where his father was working for the American Institute for Free Labor Development, a CIA front group that worked to undermine spontaneous radicalism and channel workers into corporate-funded, conservative labor groups. The elder Hammer was gunned down in a hotel dining room in San Salvador on January 3, 1981, by Salvadoran National Guard agents who had been trained at the Pentagon’s notorious School of the Americas. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, with both Secretary of State Edmund Muskie and Vice President Walter Mondale in attendance. He was probably a CIA agent.

 

Not long after his father’s murder, Hammer enrolled at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, earning a B.S. in Foreign Service in 1985, an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 1987, and an M.S. from the National War College at the National Defense University in 2007.

 

A career member of the Senior Foreign Service who entered the diplomatic corps in 1988, Hammer served early overseas postings in Iceland and Denmark. In Washington, he has served in the State Department’s Operations Center and as special assistant to Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman.

 

From 1999 to 2001, Hammer served at the National Security Council, first as deputy spokesman from 1999 to 2000 and then as director of Andean affairs from 2000 to 2001.

 

Hammer served as a political/economic counselor at the embassy in Oslo, Norway, from 2003 to 2006.

 

After completing his studies at the National War College during the 2006-2007 academic year, Hammer served as political aide to ambassador Phillip Goldberg in La Paz, Bolivia, from 2007 to September 2008, when Goldberg was expelled after a series of incidents suggested that the embassy was engaged in espionage and fomenting discontent against the government.

 

Back in Washington, Hammer was again detailed to the National Security Council, serving at the White House as special assistant to President Obama, senior director for press and communications, and NSC spokesman from January 2009 to January 2011.

 

Hammer is fluent in Spanish and speaks French and Icelandic as well.

 

Hammer is married to Margret Bjorgulfsdottir, whom he met while both were studying at Tufts, and they have three children, Monika, Mike Thor, and Brynja. 

-Matt Bewig

 

To Learn More:

Official Biography

Interview of Assistant Secretary Michael Hammer Public Affairs Bureau with Journalists of Kyrgyzstan (State Dept. transcript)

Testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (pdf)

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Chile

Simons, Paul
ambassador-image

Paul E. Simons was confirmed as US Ambassador to Chile on October 26, 2007. Simons received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University and his MBA in finance from New York University Stern School of Business in 1982.  He speaks Spanish and French. 
 
Before joining the State Department, Simons served as assistant vice president for international corporate lending at a New York-based commercial bank. 
 
Early in his government career, Simons served as lead economist on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, as an international economist in the Treasury Department, and at US Embassies in Malawi and Colombia.
 
From 1992 through 1996, Simons served as economic counselor at the US Embassy in Quito, Ecuador. He served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Israel; as Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs; and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy, Sanctions, and Commodities. On February 7, 2003, Simons was one of three State Department officials who submitted a memo, still partially classified, warning of gaps in Bush administration plans for Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
 
Simons is married to Victoria Cárdenas-Simons, a World Bank official. 
 
Prewar Memo Warned of Gaps in Iraq Plans (by Bradley Graham, Washington Post)
 

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