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Minister Alberto van Klaveren attends ceremony in honor of Orlando Letelier

Saturday, September 23rd 2023

In Washington D.C., the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alberto van Klaveren, was part of the tribute to former Foreign Affairs Minister Orlando Letelier, who was assassinated on September 21, 1976, with Ronni Moffit, in an attack perpetrated by the National Intelligence Directorate.

The ceremony was attended by President Gabriel Boric and took place at Sheridan Circle, the place where the assassination took place. The President emphasized the importance of the tribute, which was held in the context of the 50th anniversary of the coup d'état.

"After almost a year as a prisoner in Dawson Island, Orlando deployed his famous energy and capacity to bring positions closer, to weave alliances, to persuade high officials of foreign governments that the crimes committed against the people of Chile deserved to be punished and that what was happening was unacceptable," said the President in his speech.

"From Chile and on behalf of the Government of Chile, we honor his memory, working day by day to strengthen and take care of that democracy. Raising our voices in the face of human rights violations, regardless of the political color of those who violate it. And fighting for a more humane, more free, more just, more equitable and happier world", he concluded.

Later, the President, accompanied by Minister Alberto van Klaveren, Chile's Ambassador to the United States, Juan Gabriel Valdés, and the sons of the former Minister, Juan Pablo, Francisco and Cristian Letelier, laid a wreath at the monolith commemorating Orlando Letelier.

Orlando Letelier served as Chilean Ambassador to the United States and Minister of Foreign Affairs during the government of Salvador Allende. After the coup d'état he went into exile in the United States.

After the attack that took his life, the U.S. Congress attributed responsibility to the intelligence services of the military regime, and in 1995 the Chilean Supreme Court convicted retired General Manuel Contreras and Brigadier Pedro Espinoza as the principal perpetrators.

It should be noted that the U.S. government recently declassified a series of documents related to the coup d'état in Chile and, during the Barack Obama administration, a compendium of documents containing information on human rights violations committed during the military regime was delivered.