U.S. Department of State
Daily Press Briefing
Friday, June 30, 2000
Briefer: Richard Boucher
MR. BOUCHER: ... Okay, we had a question on Chile to go to.
QUESTION: The documents that are being released on the three American citizens who apparently were murdered there back in the '70s and '80s. Can you tell us what you expect the documents will reveal, you know, what really is the news there? And is anything being held back?
MR. BOUCHER: Well, unfortunately, as much as I would like to sometimes, you guys don't usually give me a chance to write the news. So I'm going to have to decline to tell you what I think the news is. You'll have to figure it out yourself.
This release of documents is an effort to help the families, in particular, understand the situation that occurred in the past and to help them see what happened to their loved ones and help the families and, second of all, to help the historians who will be writing about these periods. So it is an effort to be responsive to the families. There are numerous documents in the Department's holdings on the Horman and the Teruggi cases that have been previously released in the earlier tranches of the Chile documents. The most significant new information probably relates to the Weisfeiler case that occurred in 1985. Those documents will be covered extensively also in September. The release was called tranche three of these Chile documents.
I do want to make clear we continue to urge the Chilean Government to clarify what happened in all three of these cases of deaths of American citizens, and we would continue to do that.
The documents that were released - we've released some 7,300 documents to date on this, but what we found is the third tranche that we expected to be able to release by June 30th was not as small as we thought. It turns out to be more than twice as big as what we thought it was, so there is some 11,000 documents, more than the total of the previous two that forced a delay in completion of this whole project until September. But then we wanted to release documents to the family by June 30th, and that's what we've just done. We've released, I think, 471 documents to the families that relate particularly to the fate of their loved ones. And that's what we've done as of June 30th.
QUESTION: Is anything being held back by CIA or State?
MR. BOUCHER: There is a handful of documents related to this particular situation that are being held back because they deal with questions of sources and methods. But we can assure the families and the readers that those documents don't change in any way the substantive conclusions of the situation.
QUESTION: If I could just follow on a related matter, Armando Larios in Miami is purported to be an assassin in the Pinochet regime. This idea of an extradition - would the State Department - would State support that?
MR. BOUCHER: I'm afraid that's something we never comment on. We don't comment on extradition cases so I can't deal with that.