The Miami Herald
Jun. 19, 2002

U.S. accused of coverup in Chile Man missing for 19 years

  Herald World Staff

  SANTIAGO, Chile - A Chilean judge is accusing the Bush administration of covering up vital information about the disappearance of American journalist
  Charles Horman, whose story inspired the 1982 movie Missing.

  Judge Juan Guzmán, who acts as both prosecutor and judge under Chilean law, said it's been almost a year since he asked the State Department to
  allow former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to answer written questions about the case under oath. But so far, there's been no response.

  ''I haven't had any help whatsoever from the United States government,'' said Guzmán, 63. ``I have the sensation that there is some sort of

  The Bush administration denies it is covering up information about Horman's disappearance in 1973. The State Department says it will respond to
  Guzmán's request.

  ''We are looking at it with an eye toward responding,'' said Charles Barclay, a State Department spokesman on South American affairs.

  Guzmán believes Kissinger has key information about communication between the United States and Chile's military government concerning the fate of
  Horman and another American who disappeared in the days after military coup. Kissinger served as President Richard Nixon's national security advisor
  from 1969 to 1973 and served as secretary of state from 1973-77.

  Guzmán wants Kissinger to tell the court what instructions he gave to the U.S. embassy concerning missing Americans who were rounded up in the first
  days of the U.S.-backed coup that toppled Chile's elected government.

  France and Spain also want to question Kissinger about the deaths of their nationals in Latin America in the 1970s under military regimes that the United
  States supported.

  Guzmán has 103 open cases into killings or disappearances during the rule of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, including Horman, a 31-year-old cartoonist and
  freelance journalist, and Frank Teruggi, an American Peace Corps volunteer believed tortured and killed in Chile's national soccer stadium.

  Horman disappeared six days after a military junta led by Pinochet seized power on Sept. 11, 1973, and days after stumbling on U.S. military personnel
  who bragged of helping the coup leaders. The Horman and Teruggi cases were not investigated until Horman's widow Joyce brought a criminal complaint
  in December 2000.

  ''I think any victim's family will tell you that the most denigrating thing is to be told it didn't happen, that nothing dreadful happened here and for this lie
  to exist is an indignity,'' Joyce Horman said from New York.

  FBI documents released last year showed Teruggi had been under surveillance in Chicago before moving to Chile in 1971. The documents further fueled
  suspicions that U.S. intelligence shared with the Chilean military led to the deaths of both Americans, a charge Horman's family has long maintained.

  In an April 24 speech to businessmen in London, Kissinger admitted mistakes ''quite possibly'' were made in Chile and elsewhere during anti-communism
  campaigns. But he noted the U.S. government, not its former officials, must respond to legal action over policy mistakes.

  ''The issue is whether 30 years after the events courts are the appropriate means by which determination is made,'' he said.

  Meanwhile, Americans who survived the turbulent times are being called to testify in Guzmán's court.

  Adam Schesch, a Wisconsin academic, returned to Chile for the first time since being tortured in the stadium 29 years ago. He recently testified that as
  many at 400 people may have been executed before firing squads while he was held in the stadium in the early weeks of the coup.