35+ Years of Freedom of Information Action

About Chile Documentation Project

For more than a decade, the Chile Documentation Project set a standard for declassified evidence and impact, becoming a model for responding to challenges and opportunities for truth, justice, and accountability in Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia, where the Archive has also pursued substantive declassification projects.

Since the 1998 arrest of General Augusto Pinochet, the National Security Archive has played a substantive role in the search for historical truth in Chile. In the aftermath of Pinochet’s detention, the Project led the campaign to press the Clinton Administration to declassify 24,000 never-before-seen documents. Years later, those records continue to be used in legal cases throughout Latin America.

Since then, the Archive has been instrumental in providing declassified documents to judges, lawyers, human rights groups, and victims’ families that have played a role in dozens of prosecutions, including the prosecution of Augusto Pinochet himself before he died.

Through contacts with the Chilean media, cooperation with human rights victims, and Peter Kornbluh’s book, The Pinochet File (published in Spanish as Pinochet: Los Archivos Secretos) the Archive’s Chile project has helped sustain public attention and debate over U.S. policy, human rights, accountability, and transparency.  

The Chile project continues to assist American victims of Pinochet in their quest for legal redress—including the family of Charles Horman whose disappearance and murder after the coup became the subject of an Oscar-winning film, “Missing.” Through such films and other cultural dissemination of declassified records, the Chile project contributes to an ongoing effort in the U.S., Chile and around the world to clarify, remember and memorialize the Pinochet era.