206. Memorandum From Secretary of State Vance to President Carter1

[Omitted here are portions of the document unrelated to Chile]

6. Chile and Human Rights: Reports growing out of the recent visit to Washington of President Pinochet2 indicate that Chile may be willing to consider receiving UN human rights observers under certain conditions.

Assistant Secretary Todman called in Chilean Ambassador Cauas to discuss this,3 and to offer our support in working out details of such a visit. In principle, we understand4 that the Chileans may be prepared to receive two UN visitors, without publicity, who would submit their report to the Chilean government for comment before publishing it. There are also certain “legal and procedural preconditions—the rules of the game” to be worked out.

The Chilean Ambassador to the UN is aware of our discussions and will be instructed to reopen exploratory talks with the UN. Chile prefers to deal directly with the UN on this, but will welcome an expression of US interest to the UN. Todman will do this in New York next week.5

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 19, Evening Reports (State), 9/77. Secret.
  2. See Document 205.
  3. In telegram 232267 to Santiago, September 27, the Department reported on Todman’s September 14 and 23 meetings with Cauas. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770352-1148)
  4. Carter underlined the phrase “we understand,” and in the right margin wrote a question mark. In the left margin, he wrote: “Pinochet specifically promised this to me.”
  5. In telegram 10001 from the Secretary’s delegation in New York, September 29, the delegation reported on Todman’s September 28 meeting with Buffum. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770354-0773)