President Richard Nixon solicited the help of Brazil's notorious leader Emilio Medici in early talks of overthrowing Chile's President Salvador Allende, according to a secret memo from 1971 released to the public for the first time on Sunday. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger wrote up the meeting, and was asked to act as a back channel between Medici and Nixon.
Two years later Allende was killed in a US-backed coup which put Gen. Augusto Pinochet into power. Pinochet's name would later become synonymous with brutal human rights abuses and "disappearances" in the thousands.
The actions of Brazil's leadership, who were no strangers to torture and assassination, are detailed by the victims themselves in the astonishing contemporaneous documentary Brazil: A Report on Torture [watch here]. The young students and professionals who appear in the film were living in Chile as political refugees when Pinochet came into power, throwing them again into a world of detention and pain. In this interview, filmmakers Haskell Wexler (Medium Cool, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) and Saul Landau (Fidel) talk about their time in Chile interviewing the Brazilian victims, as well as US involvement in South American politics. Wexler and Landau were in Chile working on a documentary about Allende when they met the victims.
Link TV also broadcasts the documentary The Trials of Henry Kissinger. Check here for airdates and a clip from the film.