Nixon urged death threats to Uruguayan prisoners

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 13, 2010 11:45

 
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MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – Long-secret diplomatic cables released this week show former US President Richard Nixon wanted the Uruguayan government to threaten to kill leftist prisoners in an attempt to save the life of a kidnapped US agent 40 years ago.

The US National Security Archive, which published the papers Wednesday, said the US State Department cables suggest the US government knew about death squads that cracked down on violent leftist insurgencies after the agent was slain in 1970, even before military dictatorships ousted democracies across much of South America in the years that followed.

The cables — obtained through Freedom of Information requests — focus on the kidnapping of Dan Mitrione, a former Indiana police officer and FBI agent who had been advising Latin American governments, including Uruguay's, on techniques for interrogating suspects.

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