168. Briefing Notes Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1


1. Following the attack against General Schneider, there have been few developments on Track II. It now appears that the military principals with whom we were in contact depended on the abduction of Schneider, probably by General Viaux, as the pretext needed to launch a coup. This was a serious plan, but the unexpected resistance of Schneider and his subsequent death inhibited further action. Presumably the military figures were not willing to be a part of violence beyond the kidnapping scheme.

2. When martial law was declared and General Valenzuela was given the military command of the Santiago Garrison, the necessary control for a coup existed. At this point, for obvious security reasons, we were not in contact with the principals. After forty-eight hours it was clear that the military had decided not to move.

3. On 24 October a representative of General Viaux made an emergency meeting with an Agency representative [less than 1 line not declassified]. He carried a request from General Viaux that we have the Ambassador in Santiago contact President Frei and others to assure them the attempt against Schneider was a Communist ploy. He also asked for immediate world-wide publicity to the same effect. This was not, of course, possible.

4. Numerous arrests have been made in Santiago. To date none of the persons detained are numbered among those with whom we have been in contact. [1½ lines not declassified]

5. The Communist and leftist press has made a number of accusations against the Agency and the Argentines. Generally, however, the Schneider attack is still considered as a kidnapping attempt which went wrong, carried out by the Chilean “oligarchy.”

6. General Viaux made a public statement, disclaiming responsibility, on 27 October and pledged to turn himself in to the authorities; on 28 October General Viaux (R) was detained by the police for questioning and is now in police custody.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Chile–ITTCIA 1963–1977, Lot 81D121, Chile Papers, Church Committee, August 12, 1975. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. There is no indication as to the intended audience for this information. However, since it uses the term Track II rather than the cryptonym of the Track II operation, it was most likely prepared for briefing outside the CIA.