|Declassified documents by the United States government.-
FBI Report on Directorate of National Intelligence (DINA)
21 January 1982
Pinochet and Contreras dealings with
the italian maffia in Madrid in 1975
The murder of general Carlos Prats and wife
Attempting murder of Bernardo Leighton and wife
|January 21, 1982
INTELIGENCIA NACIONAL (DIRECTORATE OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE) (DINA)
DINA was the name of the Chilean
Intelligence Service until late 1977, when it was renamed the Centro Nacional de
Informaciones (National Information Center) (CNI).
Former Assistant United States
Attorney Eugene M. Propper, the chief prosecutor in the Orlando Letelier assassination
case, and author Taylor Branch are collaborating in writing a book detailing the United
States investigation of the assassination of Orlando Letelier, the former Chilean
Ambassador to the United States, who was killed on September 21, 1976, in Washington, D.C.
Propper and Branch advised that during their research they secured a number of letters
which were sent from the United States by self-admitted DINA agent, Michael Vernon
Townley, to Gustavo Etchepare, his DINA/CNI "cut-out" in Chile. They made copies
of these letters available to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in September,
1981. In many instances the letters were extremely cryptic and Townley utilized code words
and code names throughout. The subject matter of the letters, among other topics, covered
DINA activities circa 1974-1976.
Set forth below is a topical
summary of information in Townley's letters:
This document contains neither
recommendations nor conclusions of the FBI. It is de property of the FBI, and is loaned to
your agency; it and its contents are not to be distributed outside your agency.
|TOPICAL SUMMARY OF
Disinformation Forwarded to Chile by Townley:
Throughout his letters, Townley
furnished the recipients numerous items of disinformation which, for the most part, were
self-serving. Townley obviously has attempted to minimize damage to his and his families
interests as a result of information furnished by him to the U.S. Government concerning
DINA operations. In some instances, it appears that Townley may have knowingly lied.
II. Transmittal of Documents
to CNI by Townley:
In several letters, Townley made
veiled references to unspecified documents, which he apparently removed from the U.S.
Attorneys Office, Washington, D.C., and forwarded to Chile. Specific examples of such
communications are an undated letter from Townley to Chilean President Pinochet and a
letter to Gustavo Etchepare dated 6/24/78. Townley was interviewed at FBIHQ on 10/20/81 by
SAs L. Carter Cornick, Jr., and Robert W. Scherrer and was specifically asked to identify
the documents he removed from the U.S. Attorneys Office, Washington, D.C., and forwarded
to CNI in Chile. Townley claimed he could not specifically recall which documents he
forwarded to Chile; however, he did admit that he forwarded the text of a declaration
executed by U.S. Ambassador to Chile George W. Landau to CNI. Ambassador Landau's
declaration was incorporated into the U.S. Government's extradition request to the Chilean
Government for General Contreras, Colonel Espinosa and Captain Fernandez and became part
of the public Chilean court record.
III. Visit of Virgilio Paz to
Chile during 1976:
In addition to information
previously furnished by Townley during 1978 concerning Paz's visit to Chile, Townley,
during interview on 10/20/81, advised that when Paz arrived in Chile in Spring of 1976 he
brought with him a Colt .45 caliber automatic pistol, which was a special competition
model. Townley advised that Paz claimed that this weapon had recently been used by the
Cuban Nationalist Movement in a "hit" and that his purpose in bringing the
weapon to Chile was to dispose of same. Townley advised that he witnessed Paz break the
weapon into pieces with a sledge hammer and indicated that Paz subsequently disposed of
the broken parts in Santiago. Townley claimed he had not furnished this information
previously since he had completely forgotten the incident.
of Potential Evidence by Townley:
In a letter dated 11/24/78 to General Orozco in Chile, Townley
claimed that during August, 1978, when his attorney, Seymour Glanzer, turned over to the
U.S. Government officials in Washington, D.C., Townley's false U.S. passport in the name
of Kenneth Enyart, which Townley's wife had brought from Chile to the United States along
with other documentation, Townley was able to remove a second unidentified passport and
avoid having it turned over to the U.S. Government as evidence.
V. Interception of Townley'
Mail in Chile:
In several of his letters,
Townley expressed concern that someone was intercepting his mail in Chile. Specific
references in this regard are contained in Townley's letter to his wife dated 6/18/78 and
in letters dated 3/17/79 and 6/29/79 to Gustavo Etchepare. In the latter communication,
Townley informed Etchepare that his Chilean attorney, Manual Acuna, informed him that
General Contreras was responsible for the interception of Townley's mail in Chile and that
Contreras still had contacts in the Chilean Post Office who were in positions to continue
intercepting Townley's mail. Townley's letters, which were intercepted by Contreras and
subsequently utilized by him in the response to the U.S. Government's extradition
requests, are identified below:
5/25/78 letter to his wife,
6/15/78 and 6/18/78 letters to Etchepare.
VI. Townley's Concern Regarding
the Prosin Limited Checking Account at the Southeast First National Bank, Miami Florida:
The above account was maintained
at the Southeast First National Bank by Townley in order to transact DINA business. In the
following letters from Townley to his contacts in Chile, Townley expresses concern that
the U.S. Government will uncover damaging information (not further specified) against him
12/14/78 letter to Manual Acuna,
his 6/29/79, 8/23/79, 9/7/79 and 9/10/79 letters to Gustavo Etchepare.
In his 12/14/78 letter to Acuna,
Townley suggested that someone in Chile be officially named as an agent for Prosin
Limited. Townley added "It would be best if this person appear one day and thereafter
disappear forever." Townley's reason for the foregoing suggestion was not clear.
|In the other
letters to Etchepare, listed above, Townley indicated that the Prosin Limited account
would disclose checks reflecting payments to fugitive Virgilio Paz's wife. In addition,
Townley also claimed that information contained in the Prosin Limited account might lead
to the discovery of the whereabouts of fugitives Virgilio Paz and Jose Dionioso Suarez.
Townley also expressed concern that information in the Prosin Limited account would lead
to the discovery of details regarding "Project Andrea."
Records of the Prosin Limited account
were subpoenaed through the U.S. Attorneys Office, Washington, D.C. in September, 1979. A
thorough review of transactions in the account contained absolutely no information
indicating payments to Paz's wife or any information that would assist in establishing the
whereabouts of fugitives Paz and Suarez. The account contained no information related to
VII. Visit of Chilean
President Pinochet to Spain During November, 1975, with General Contreras Where They Met
with "ALFA," an Italian Terrorist:
According to former Assistant
U.S. Attorney Eugene M. Propper and author Taylor Branch, ALFA is identical with an
Italian terrorist whose true name is Stefano Delle Chiaie.
Townley made reference to ALFA,
although he did not disclose his true identity, in the following communications to Gustavo
Letters dated 4/26/79, 6/11/79,
6/16/79, 8/23/79, 8/29/79 and 9/2/79.
In his 4/26/79 letter to
Etchepare, Townley, speaking of General Contreras, stated "There were meetings
between him (Contreras), his Excellency (President Pinochet) and the Italians in Spain
after Franco died. Also the Italians carried out numerous acts of military espionage
against the Peruvians and Argentines not only in Europe, but also in Peru and
In his 8/23/79 letter to
Etchepare, Townley stated "I haven't spoken about the Italians. I have no idea where
they are nor where they have been nor do I care to know! ALFA got mixed up with various
people to do business in Argentina. Some of them had very bad backgrounds whom Argentine
law enforcement agencies were seeking. Among other
|things they tried
to cash a check from Luis Felipe for $25,000, also they owed several thousand dollars
including a $40,000 debt to Daniel, also he was mixed up in dirty deals in Spain...."
"The problem with the Italians is serious, very serious! Mamo got married to them
some time back and he married them in a manner much more indissolvable than with the
Cubans. For your information, Pinochet had a meeting with Mamo and ALFA in Spain some time
back. ALFA can be much more embarrassing for Mamo and the government in the long run than
perhaps the Cubans. One thing obviously is that ALFA doesn't have anywhere to go and you
know that as well as I do. Ask Chico or Don Cristian who ran ALFA about it."
Propper and Branch identified
"Daniel" as Albert Spaggiari, a French master criminal who is a member of the
OAS and also active in fascist activities in France. According to Propper and Branch,
Spaggiari was arrested for the July, 1976, $10 million robbery of the Societe Generale
Bank in Nice, France.
In Townley's 8/29/79 letter to
Etchepare, Townley indicated that he was attaching a clipping from a local Denver,
Colorado, area newspaper (the actual newspaper clipping was not attached to the copy of
Townley's letter provided to the FBI by Propper and Branch). In his letter, Townley
commented as follows: "I ask the question is it or is it not? This is the style of
Daniel...." "I am very sorry about ALFA, whatever happened happened and the
reasons which brought him problems. Sometime back he told me how much he wanted to get out
of everything. He wanted to find himself an island or some other sanctuary without having
to worry about his responsibilities toward his people."
Propper and Branch made
available a copy of an article which appeared in the 8/21/79 issue of the "Rocky
Mountain News" captioned "Tunnel Builders 'Robbed' of Rich Haul in France,"
which they claimed was the article attached to Townley's 8/29/79 letter. The article
described the arrest by French law enforcement authorities of a group of bank robbers who
were tunneling into the Left Bank branch of the Societe Generale in France. The article
compared this attempted bank robbery with the 1976 robbery of the Societe Generale branch
in Nice, which was masterminded by Albert Spaggiari.
Townley made reference to
"Daniel" in one additional communication, presumably to Etchepare, which was
undated and bore the heading "SIGO CON COMPUTACION." In this
Townley requested information as to what happened to "Daniel."
In another communication, Townley
informed Etchepare that Enrique Arrancibia traveled from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to
California during the Fall of 1977 on banking business for ALFA.
According to Propper and Branch,
both ALFA and "Daniel" conducted operations on behalf of DINA.
VIII. Internal DINA
Based on the content of several
of Townley's letters, it appears that CNI requested Townley and his wife to provide any
derogatory information that could be used against General Contreras. Townley expressed his
reluctance to provide such information and provided Etchepare with the identities of
former DINA personnel who had detailed personal knowledge of irregularities and
illegalities committed by Contreras and other DINA officials. In his 4/26/79 letter to
Etchepare, Townley provided the following such individuals:
In the above letter, Townley
informed Etchepare that Colonel Valdivieso stole money from DINA accounts. Townley also
informed Etchepare that Sonia, last name not mentioned, Valdivieso's DINA secretary,
helped him to organize a network of secretaries within DINA who reported everything coming
to their knowledge to Valdivieso. In the same communication to Etchepare, Townley also
suggested that Valdivieso and Contreras were involved in extorting money from ITT in
Chile, as well as the Racal Company in England in connection with contacts participated in
by these companies for the purchase of equipment at the "Blogueo de Maipu."
IX. Townley's Concern
Regarding the Assassination of Chilean Army General Carlos Prats and his Wife, Carmen, in
Buenos Aires, Argentina on 9/30/74 and the Attempted Assassination of Former Chilean Vice
President Bernardo Leighton and his Wife, Anita, in Rome, Italy, on 10/6/75:
Retired Chilean Army General
Carlos Prats Gonzalez and his wife, Carmen, were assassinated in Buenos Aires on 9/30/74,
when a bomb was detonated underneath their car as they approached their residence. At the
time of his assassination, General Prats had been critical of the Pinochet Government for
interfering in the Chilean
process and allegedly he was writing a book documenting his criticisms.
Former Chilean Vice President Bernardo
Leighton and his wife, Anita, were shot several times in a downtown Rome street on
10/6/75, as they approached their residence on foot. Leighton is a prominent member of the
Chilean Christian Democratic Party and at the time of his attempted assassination in 1975,
was an outspoken critic of the Pinochet Government.
In numerous communications,
which are listed below, Townley expressed concern that the "Italians" and the
"Argentines" would submit Letters Rogatory seeking information from him
concerning the Prats assassinations and the attempted assassination of the Leightons.
Townley expressed fear that the "Italians," specifically ALPHA, and General
Contreras would provide information concerning the attempted assassination of the
Leightons which would contradict what Townley might say in responding to Letters Rogatory
from the Italian Government, thereby placing Townley in the position of perjuring himself.
Townley expressed similar concern that unidentified elements of one of the Argentine
security services and Enrique Arrancibia would furnish information concerning the Prats
assassination, which would contradict what Townley might say in responding to Letters
Rogatory from the Argentine Government, thereby placing Townley in the position of
perjuring himself. Townley concluded that the solution to his dilemma would be to take the
Fifth Amendment in responding to Letters Rogatory from the Italian and Argentine
Governments. However, Townley noted that by taking the Fifth Amendment, guilt on his part
would be implied.
The letters in which Townley
mentioned his concern over Letters Rogatory from the Italian and Argentine Governments
concerning the Leighton and Prats matters are listed below:
Letters to Gustavo Etchepare
dated 6/23/78, 11/25/78, 4/18/79, 4/26/79, 6/4/79, 6/16/79, 6/22/79, 7/5/79, 8/13/79 and
8/23/79. Letter to General Hector Orozco dated 11/24/78.
With regard to Enrique
Arrancibia, this individual is a former DINA agent, who resided in unofficial exile in
Buenos Aires as a result of his participation in the assassination of Chilean Army Chief
of Staff, Rene Schneider. He was arrested by members of the Argentine Intelligence Service
after Townley's expulsion from Chile to the United States in 1978 and charged with
espionage against the Argentine Government.
X. "Project Andrea"
Refer to FBI letter to the
Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), dated 12/9/81, and accompanying
memorandum for complete details. Supplemental data follows.
In his letters, Townley
suggested to Etchepare that the gas storage cylinders, which had been rented by DINA from
a company in the United States, be purchased outright in order to avoid any additional
problems involving the payment of rental charges to the company in the United States.
Townley requested Etchepare to secure the serial numbers from the gas storage cylinders in
Chile in order that the rental company in the United States might be provided this
information, since the rental company had requested this data. Townley informed Etchepare
that his father, J. Vernon Townley, should be provided with the serial numbers of the gas
storage cylinders and that Townley's father, in turn, would provide this information to
the rental company in the United States.
Townley mentions "Project
Andrea" and matters related thereto in the following communications:
Letters to Gustavo Etchepare
dated 4/26/79, 5/9/79, 5/29/79, 6/4/79, 6/29/79, 8/13/79 and 9/2/79.
XI. Activities of Virgilio
Paz in Northern Ireland during 1975
In an undated letter to Chilean
President Pinochet, Townley advised that photographs of British concentration camps in
Northern Ireland were taken by Virgilio Paz as part of a DINA assignment.
According to Propper and Branch,
the photographs taken by Paz in 1975 were to have been utilized by the Chilean Government
at the United Nations in the United States in order to discredit the British Government
for its alleged violation of human rights in Northern Ireland. Propper and Branch advised
that the photographs taken by Paz arrived too late to be utilized by the Chilean
Government at the United Nations and the photographs subsequently appeared in an article
in "El Mercurio," a Spanish language daily newspaper published in Santiago,
|XII. Visit by Guillermo Novo
Sampol to Chile in 1976
on information provided by Propper and Branch concerning an alleged planned kidnapping to
be carried out in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during the Summer of 1976 in which the Cuban
Nationalist Movement was to play a role, Townley was interviewed concerning this
allegation on 10/20/81 by SAs Cornick and Scherrer. Townley previously furnished
information during 1978 which indicated that Novo Sampol had visited Chile during the
Summer of 1976; however, Townley stated that Novo's visit was not related to the Letelier
assassination and did not involve a violation of United States law.
During interview with Townley on 10/20/81, he
advised that Novo Sampol visited Santiago, Chile while Virgilio Paz was in Chile during
June or July, 1976. Townley advised that Novo Sampol agreed to commit the Cuban
Nationalist Movement to participate in the kidnapping of an unrecalled President of a
Dutch bank in Buenos Aires, Argentina. According to Townley, civilian members of the State
Secretariat for Information (SIDE), one of the Argentine intelligence services, had
developed the Dutch banker's secretary as a source and utilized information provided by
her to make tentative plans to kidnap the Dutch banker and hold him for ransom. Townley
explained that the Dutch banker and his secretary were having an affair and customarily
spent several hours during weekday afternoons together at the same hotel, thereby assuring
the civilian members of SIDE of a definite location from which the Dutch banker could be
kidnapped. Townley reported that the SIDE civilian members believed it would be necessary
to assassinate the Dutch banker's driver, who customarily waited for his employer at the
hotel where the assignation customarily took place. Townley advised that Novo Sampol
provided $6,000 from the Cuban Nationalist Movement, which was forwarded to the civilian
members of SIDE in Argentina as the Cuban Nationalist Movement's share toward the
operational expenses for the kidnapping operation. Townley stated that Novo Sampol, after
returning to the United States, forwarded a stock of paper to Townley in Chile, which was
utilized to print pamphlets in the name of "Grupo Rojo" (Red Group), a
nonexistent Argentine Marxist terrorist organization which the civilian members of SIDE
created in order to utilize this group to claim credit for the kidnapping of the Dutch
banker. Townley advised that the "Grupo Rojo" pamphlets were printed in Chile
and forwarded to the civilian members of SIDE in Argentina, where they were subsequently
distributed in Mendoza and Cordoba
|in connection with
bombings carried out by the SIDE civilian members. Townley noted that the purpose of
utilizing the "Grupo Rojo" pamphlets in claiming credit for the bombings in
Mendoza and Cordoba was to create the impression that the "Grupo Rojo" was a
viable Marxist terrorist organization. Townley stated that Novo Sampol agreed to arrange
for the pickup of the ransom for the Dutch banker in Europe and dispatched two
unidentified Cuban Nationalist Movement members to establish necessary contacts in Europe
to receive the ransom. Townley recalled that the ransom for the Dutch banker was to be
paid in diamonds. Townley advised that the SIDE civilian members procrastinated in
carrying out the kidnapping and indicated that the kidnapping never took place. Townley
recalled that Novo Sampol traveled to Chile on a Braniff International Airways flight and
returned to the United States via LAN-Chile. Townley advised that Novo Sampol utilized his
true name to perform this travel; however, Townley arranged that Novo Sampol's entry into
Chile and his departure not be entered into the records of the Chilean International
Police in order to avoid the existence of documentation of Novo Sampol's travel.
XIII. Interview with Michael Vernon
Townley by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C., on
During the interview with
Townley by Special Agents of the FBI on 10/20/81 in Washington, D.C., Townley refused to
provide any information concerning DINA operations, sources or methods that were mentioned
in his letters, which were provided by Propper and Branch. Townley cited his agreement
with the United States Government dated April 17, 1978, which required that he only
furnish information to the United States Government relevant to violations of United
States law or offenses committed in United States jurisdiction. Townley noted that he
refused to answer any questions concerning DINA operations, sources or methods during the
trial of the three Cuban defendants in the Letelier assassination, which took place in
U.S. District Court, Washington, D.C., during early 1979, based on his agreement with the
United States Government. Townley noted that his position was upheld by the presiding
Judge and that he was not required to provide such information.
El Gerente -- CNI Director General
El Indio -- CNI official Colonel
Jeronimo Pantoja Henriquez.
Garza -- Former DINA agent Jose
GAT -- Grupo de Amigos de
Townley (Code name for CNI financial support to Townley and his family).
Caballero -- Former DINA
Director General Juan Manuel Contreras Sepulveda.
Andrea -- Code word for Chilean
Government's nerve gas project.
Frank G. -- Francisco (Frank)
Gutay, U.S. citizen of Uruguayan origin. Owner of the American Business System Company in
Georgia. He was an associate of Townley's in a computer company.
Mamo -- General Contreras.
Tavo -- Gustavo Etchepare.
Gustavo -- Gustavo Etchepare.
Victor-Victor -- Former DINA
official Colonel Vaniel Valdivieso.
Los Picas or El Pica --
Contacto Regular -- Term for
Townley's DINA "cut-out" Gustavo Etchepare.
Ximena or Jimena -- Secretary of
Townley's U.S. Attorney Seymour Glanzer.
Roxana -- Townley's former DINA
Secretary Maria Rosa Alejandra Damiani Serrano.
Walter -- Damiani's boyfriend or
El Chico -- Former DINA official
Colonel Raul Iturriaga Neuman.
Franco -- Generalissimo
Francisco Franco, former ruler of Spain who died in 1975.
Sam -- Townley's dog.
|Luis Felipe --
Former DINA Agent Enrique Arrancibia Clavel.
Pato -- Townley's son-in-law.
Susie -- Townley's step-daughter
La Flaca -- Etchepare's wife.
ALFA -- Italian terrorist
Stefano Delle Chiaie, aka Alfredo di Stefano.
Daniel -- Corsican terrorist and
OAS member Albert Spaggiari.
Esteban -- Townley's DINA driver
Hermes or H. -- Eugenio Berrios,
a chemical engineer who worked with Townley on Project Andrea and was also engaged in a
parallel project for the Chilean Army.
Cuviches or Cubiches -- Members
of the Cuban Nationalist Movement.
City of Martin -- Buenos Aires,
Ches -- Argentines.
Los viudos -- Letelier's widow
Isabel Letelier and Ronni Moffitt's widower Michael Moffitt.
mi viejo -- Townley's father, J.
El Servicio -- DINA or CNI.
El Fiscal -- Former Assistant
U.S. Attorney Eugene M. Propper.
Manuel or Manuel A. -- Townley's
Chilean Attorney Manuel Acuna.
Javier -- Virgilio Paz Romero.
Pinocho -- Chilean President
Cacho Acevedo -- Possibly
identical to former DINA officer Captain Hugo Acevedo Godoy.
Sonia -- Secretary to Former
DINA official Colonel Vaniel Valdivieso. Sonia apparently ran a network of secretaries
within DINA and assisted Valdivieso in gathering data on other DINA officials.
|Miranda C. --
Sergio Miranda Carrington, General Contreras' attorney.
la pelota del otro lado -- Former Legat,
Buenos Aires, Calvin C. Clegg.
Fernando -- Fernando Cruchaga,
former LAN-Chile Station Manager, New York City.
Los vecinos -- The Argentine
Cafe rojo punto verde kilo or
cafe rojo verde kilo (CR VK) -- Secret support fund for the Townley family in Chile.
Chris -- Townley's son.
Brian -- Townley's son.
Armando -- Former DINA officer
Captain Armando Fernandez Larios.
Enrique A. -- Former DINA agent
Enrique Arrancibia Clavel.
Weck -- James Weck, an attorney
and family friend of the Townleys.
Pros. or Pro. -- Prosin Limited
bank account maintained by Townley at the Southeast First National Bank, Miami, Florida.
Ken -- Kenneth Enyart - alias of
Andres W. -- Andres Wilson -
alias of Townley.
Los Gringos -- The Americans.
Alfa echo -- Alfredo Etcheberry,
Chilean attorney representing U.S. Government in Chile.
The identity of the following
individuals and the meaning of the following code names and code words were unknown to
Propper and Branch and are being listed for reference purposes only.
Canario -- Identity unknown.
Apparently involved in a computer business in Santiago, Chile at the University of Chile
|Gaviota -- Identity
unknown. Apparently involved in a computer business in Santiago, Chile at the University
of Chile with Townley.
-- Identity unknown. An apparent DINA agent who had contact with Anital Lipthay, another
Roberto Smith or Roberto S. --
Identity unknown. Appears to be connected with CNI and telephonically contacted Townley's
sister in Westchester County, New York during 1979.
Honorato -- Identity unknown.
Possibly was a TV reporter.
DAS -- Identity unknown.
Possibly was a DINA agent.
Eugenio -- A DINA agent who was
a contact of ALFA.
Freddy -- Identity unknown. Was
a DINA agent who apparently was aware of details of bank accounts maintained in the U.S.
by General Contreras.
Don Cristian -- Identity
unknown. Was the DINA control officer at DINA Headquarters who ran ALFA.
LIMA I -- Identity unknown. Was
a DINA agent who was aware of irregularities in the operation of DINA committed by General
Elias -- Identity unknown. May
possibly have been a DINA agent. Apparently the investigation of Chilean Military
Prosecutor Hector Orozco was damaging to his interests.
There are numerous other code
names, code words and phrases in Townley's letters to which it was impossible to render
any interpretation or meaning.
The Crimes of the Chilean Generals