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WikiLeaks: Vatican Dismissed Reports of Violence Under Pinochet as “Communist Propaganda”

HeadlineApr 09, 2013

A diplomatic cable posted by the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks on Monday shows the Vatican dismissed reports of violence under the brutal rule of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet as “Communist propaganda.” In a cable sent to U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1973, five weeks after democratically elected President Salvador Allende was toppled in a U.S.-backed coup, a Vatican official was quoted expressing “his and the pope’s grave concern over successful international leftist campaign to misconstrue completely realities of Chilean situation.” Thousands of people were killed under Pinochet’s regime, and many more were tortured. The cables show the Vatican later realized the abuses were taking place, but continued diplomatic relations with Chile and refused to criticize Pinochet publicly. The documents were released by WikiLeaks in a new searchable database dubbed “The Kissinger Cables.” The files also include notes from a 1975 conversation where then-Secretary of State Kissinger is quoted saying: “The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer.”

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