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June 1, 1977
Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 Paper Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency RP 77-10129 Washington, June 1977 3.3(b)(1) 3.5(c) EO 13526 3.3(b)(1)>25Yrs EO 13526 3.5(c) Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 Human Rights in the Southern Cone of Latin America Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 RP 77-10129 June 1977 Copy Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 3.5(c) Human Rights in the Southern Cone of Latin America Central Intelligence Agency Directorate of Intelligence June 1977 Key judgments Human rights have been violated�sometimes flagrantly�by the authoritarian military regimes that have come to power in the southern cone of Latin America. Repression, characterized by torture and other inhumane practices, has been directed for the most part at leftists, but others have been victimized as well, largely by governments reacting to real and imagined threats to stability. As a result, human rights guarantees have been subordinated to the priority concerns of imposing order on sometimes fractious societies and concentrating on economic development and growth. Our basic judgments about this pattern are that: � Authoritarian military or quasi-military governments will remain in power for the foreseeable future and will continue to accord low priority to the human rights question. � Improvements in human rights practices will depend more on the military's assessment of local security and insurgency conditions than on outside pressures � Where basic reform is instituted, the process will be slow at best and may be measured only in terms of cosmetics rather than substance. Moreover, the continued existence of security apparatuses geared to repression increases the chances of retrogression. � Where the terrorist threat has subsided, there has been a gradual easing of the worst kinds of offenses, but this trend is by no means irreversible. � External criticism of human rights abuses in the southern cone may lead to limited improvements; reprisals by Washington will be viewed as infringements on national sovereignty, and are more likely to provoke continued defiance than serve as catalysts for improving the human rights situation in any fundamental way. 5SIbift Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958, Human Rights in the Southern Cone of Latin America The judgment of what rights all people are entitled to enjoy is a subjective one, and it varies from culture ,to culture. Human rights for the purposes of this paper are de- fined as protection of persons from arbi- trary arrest and inzprisonmeizt, torture, and murder. Although this paper addresses the relationship between authoritarianism. and human rights, a broad definition of huinan rights that includes the right to a democratic form n of government and to certain social and economic benefits goes beyond the scope of this discussion. In trying to define human rights there are 1 ini I tations in venturing generalizations about a geographic region. In the case of the fire South American countries�the south- ern cone�discussed in this study, however, there are some common trends that can be discerned and various conclusions that can be drawn about recent developments. The Roots of the Problem Human rights problems are not new in Latin America. Throughout the history of the region, even so-called "democratic" governments have sometimes engaged in repression and systematic violations of basic individual rights. The noto- riety of these acts�especially among the authori- tarian governments�has become more pro- nounced in recent years because of improved worldwide communications and greater inter- national emphasis on human rights problems. 11.411EgfrA South American military regimes today are re- acting in similar fashion to real or imagined threats to order and stability and have adopted a doctrine that is stridently anticommunist, but largely antidemocratic as well. The resort to tor- ture and other inhumane practices to suppress perceived threats to stability has been a part of this pattern. Constitutional rule has been extinguished or drastically altered; political freedoms have been shelved; and political parties have been banned or tightly circumscribed. Where elections are still held, they are usually rigidly controlled with little doubt as to their outcome. The protection normally afforded by the judi- cial process has been abrogated by the imposition of states of siege in some countries, thereby giv- ing the military broad discretionary powers to suspend many rights and guarantees. Govern- ments have used these emergency powers to crack down on suspected subversives. Although the target has been leftist extremists and other opponents, innocent persons have also felt the impact of arbitrary actions. The preeminent role of the military in count- ering subversion in Latin America and a long- standing tolerance of highly centralized govern- ments have reinforced the trend away from dem- ocratic practices. Once in power, the military has assumed sweeping measures to guarantee security and combat leftist influence. Approved for Release: 2018/09/.17 C06592958 1 Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 3.5(c) There are a number of sociopolitical factors that have facilitated this process. The first is that little value is placed on the rights of the individ- ual. In the Latin American context, fundamental rights are not viewed as sacrosanct. The state is the arbiter of what rights are inalienable and de- termines how justice will be administered. The vast majority of the people, by and large, is not bothered by what happens to the fringe elements of society. In addition, although a separation of powers exists in theory, in practice the Latin American executive has usually functioned in an autocratic manner. Judicial and legislative or- gans, where they exist, do not have the independ- ence that marks North American and some West European models. Moreover, in their desire for security and the preservation of their society, Latin Americans have often acquiesced in strong military rule and endured constraints on their in- dividual freedoms. Those who have had their rights abused tend to come from all walks of life, and their political views or activism seem to be the primary criteria that make them subjects of government repres- sion. In many cases, young people from middle- or upper-class families who have participated in extremist movements or sympathized with leftist causes have been jailed or tortured by security services to obtain information about their associ- ates and subversive organizations. Among the military officers who now direct the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay, there is a firm conviction that former civilian politicians had failed to halt a drift to- ward political polarization and violence in their societies. The armed forces have equated this fail- ure with the inability of the democratic system to cope with the complex problems of Latin Amer- ica's "less developed" status. Their authoritar- ianism has been improvised as a result and does not follow the classic pattern of military dictator- ship. The old archetype of the military strong- man as defender of the oligarchy and of elite interests has been supplanted by a new image of the military as catalysts of national development and progress as well as defenders of national secu- rity. CONFI IAL C9t4f115frIT6M. An important aspect of the trend toward mili- tary dominance in the area is the impact of the drive for modernization on the thinking of the current generation of armed forces leaders. The economic difficulties generated by political dislo- cations have impressed them with the need to channel their countries along a path of sustained development and growth. While most of these countries have been plagued at one time or an- other by runaway inflation, a lack of investment capital, or economic stagnation, their societies have been strained by the demands of a rapidly expanding urban population and middle class. After taking power, the military has sought to guide the process of economic transformation by imposing tough and sometimes unpopular poli- cies. A concentration on assuring political stabil- ity at any cost to guarantee a continuity of poli- cies within a coherent modernization strategy has frequently meant that concern for basic human rights has had a very low priority. The Southern Cone Where the terrorist threat has subsided�in Bra- zil, Chile, and Uruguay�we believe there has been a gradual easing of the most offensive kinds of violations, including torture, illegal detention, and political kidnapings. Firm confirmation of this sort of information is hard to come by, but the impression held by embassy sources and inde- pendent international organizations that monitor the human rights situation in Latin America is that fewer violations in these countries have been recorded so far this year than a year ago. In gen- eral, there is no discernible pattern in the number of human rights violations in the southern cone, but as long as the repressive machinery remains in place the chances of a resurgence cannot be ruled out. Repression by the military regime in Brazil has been mitigated, in part, during the past year or so by President Geisel's removal of officials respon- sible for illegal arrests and torture. Military and police organizations reportedly have orders from high-level officials to prohibit torture and other forms of mistreatment. Detainees in security cases have experienced improved conditions, but Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 2 '..'HONDURAS ;'...COSTA RICA(CandtZone �.. PANAMA? � ..hledelyn - . Bogota,. � � COLOMBIA CnIlj Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 3.5(c) ENTIAL South Americ Santiag -** Montevideo 502453 1-76 (541663) Azimuthal Equal-Area Projection Scale 1:37,000,000 Boundary representation is not necessarily authoritative :1� FALKLAND ISLANDS (ISLAS MALVINAS) (AdMinistered by U.K., claimed by Argentina) Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 3 Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 ENTIAL there are still occasional reports of harsh treat- ment and arbitrary detentions. Although leftist guerrilla activity has virtually been wiped out in Brazil and Uruguay, Argentina is still suffering from sporadic acts of terrorism. The zealous pursuit of the remaining terrorists by Argentine security forces still gives rise to abuses. Killings and disappearances continue to charac- terize the antisubversive campaign, even though many hardcore terrorist leaders have been elimi- nated and their support apparatus gravely weak- ened. Argentina may now be at a crossroads. The terrorists, although by no means out of business, are clearly on the run. This is obvious to all Ar- gentines, and the security forces take consider- able pride in their achievement. At the same time, however, there are officers who believe that the elimination of the guerrilla activists is merely the beginning and that there must now be a grand offensive against the intellectual authors of sub- version to root out the basic causes of terrorism. Should such an offensive take place, it could occur in the form of purges of school and univer- sity faculties, government bureaus, and journal- istic, intellectual, and artistic circles to a degree not yet experienced. In such an environment, anyone even remotely identifiable with leftist or merely liberal views would have reason to fear for his job or position, if not his very life. Thus far, the military government has not seemed inclined to move in such a direction. From what we know, President Videla and his supporters are opposed to repressive tactics against these people. The outcome hinges, however, on Videla's ability to control the so-called "hardline" offi- cers, which he has been able to do so far. Some moderate officers may now be alarmed at the implications of a current investigation of promi- nent citizens allegedly linked to subversion. Among the hardliners, the more vengeful may want to exploit the case by exaggerating it to "prove" their contention that subversion is so deeply imbedded that extremely harsh measures are justified. 4 3.5(c) The case centers on the family and associates of a wealthy financier who are under suspicion '2. because of the financier's purported finan - sistance to the Montonero guerrillas, he number of persons implicated has grown steadily, but firm charges of subversion have been leveled against few, if any. Moreover, accusations against the principal figures have yet to be substantiated. Many of those implicated are Jewish; some occu- pied key positions in the Peronist government; some are journalists. One is a former military president. At least some Argentines are becoming uneasy that anti-Semitism�always close to the surface in Argentina�and political retaliation are as much 'behind the investigation as a genuine belief that real links to subversion exist. Human rights problems in the smaller and more backward nations of the continent, such as Paraguay and Bolivia, have not aroused as much international attention. These isolated nations have experienced long periods of dictatorial rule, and periodic episodes of abuse are not unusual. The current lack of political turbulence probably accounts for the slight attention paid to viola- tions within these countries. On the other hand, in cases such as Uruguay and Chile, where long traditions of civil liberties existed, the worst as- pects of military repression have triggered strong protests abroad. , The military-dominated Mendez government in Uruguay has grown considerably more con- 2 scious of its poor reputation on human ri hts. Prior to the recent US aid cZ ruguay appeared to be making some effort to bring improvements. In reprisal for US moves, however, military hard- liners have put aside�at least temporarily�any plans for further relaxation. The Council of State earlier approved legislation reducing minimum sentences for certain kinds of activities associated with subversion but its effectiveness has not yet been shown. In November 1976, the US embassy estimated that approximately 1,800 persons were still being detained for political reasons. In- stances of torture and prolonged detention have decreased, but the military retains a firm grip on the government and has extensive powers in the area of individual rights and guarantees. Most of the violations recently cited by human rights Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 CO TIAL Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 3.5(c) critics cover complaints dating back a year or more. In Chile, the experiment with Marxism under Allende led to the end of a period of democratic rule that had extended over nearly half a century. The intervention of the armed forces in 1973 brought to power a military establishment with little practical political experience, a strong dis- taste for partisan politics, and no coherent pro- gram to deal with Chile's economic and political problems. The result has been the imposition of draconian measures that have made Chile an in- ternational pariah�although its human rights vio- lations in many respects have been no worse than those of its neighbors. Early this year, the Pinochet government ap- peared to be turning toward legal practice in security cases. The procedural cleanup may have been temporary, however, since new evidence of torture, illegal illegal detentions, and "disappearances", is coming to lighTfthis backsliding comes at a-V particularly bad time for Chile, since West Euro- pean governments were beginning to take note of the substantial improvement in human rights practices. A renewed wave of abuse by intelli- gence organizations is certain to refuel the human rights controversy and provide new ammunition for Chile's critics. Meanwhile, the courts are pressing the govern- ment on past cases, some of which are almost certain to embarrass the regime. Perhaps the most positive advance made by the government in moderating its hardline policy during 1976 was the release of some 2,700 political prisoners, leav- ing only about 500 still incarcerated on yEi2.rtih restricted, however, and the outlawing of the remaining democratic parties in March was a stark reminder that open political expression is not tolerated. �reetlf1THMA-7 the most part, vague and nonobligatory. State- ments of good intentions about achieving mini- mum standards are more common than a willing- ness to take concrete steps to uphold them. Where military regimes have enforced state- of-siege decrees, prisoners have been denied access to civil courts and have been deprived of such procedural safeguards as amparo �the Latin American juridical equivalent of habeas corpus. In some countries, summary courts martial have dealt with internal security cases, normally the most sensitive politically. These tribunals tend to deal more sternly and expeditiously with cases than the civil judiciary, which is notoriously cum- bersome and inefficient in much of Latin Amer- ica. Adding to the problem are the civil judges themselves and their fear that either the subver- sives or right-wing groups will take action against them. Some military regimes have rewritten or are in the process of redrafting national security codes. The aim apparently is to ensure that the military has a significantly enhanced role in controlling future situations considered inimical to national security and stability. In spite of legal requisites, in practice the armed forces are likely to act on the basis of expediency rather than any firm dedi- cation to observance of legal principles. As long as constitutional rule is in abeyance and no real independent check on executive authority exists, this situation is not expected to change dramat- ically. Deference to legal propriety has been disre- q- garded most often by intelligence and security s ervices, which usually have wide-ranging powers and virtual autonomy in their operations. This broad mandate has been used at times to conduct activities of an illegal nature�although ostensibly designed to protect the national interest. Acting under the state of siege and other extraordinary powers, prisoners have been held incommu- nicado and without being charged. Authorities have been able to detain, search, and interrogate anyone at any time or place. Physical and psycho- logical torture have been employed as devices to extract information. Such practices have gene- rated strident criticism abroad. The Legal and Humanitarian Aspects While concern for human rights has generally been defined in terms of the Universal Declara- tion of Human Rights adopted by the UN, wide differences of opinion exist about what are viola- tions of human rights. International require- ments of states in human rights matters are, for CO NTIAL Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 5 Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 0.0(C) CO NTIAL Working against abandonment of these prac- tices in Latin America is the fact that torture has been found to be an effective tool in rooting out subversion. Intelligence services have obtained in- formation quickly that has enabled them to foil insurgent operations, frequently by surprise. The sophistication of torture technology today is such that there are few individuals who cannot be made to reveal information or to confess to charges. Military regimes have also perceived the utility of the threat of torture to intimidate op- position political movements. It is highly probable that the leadership in most instances has either condoned such prac- tices outright in the past or at least turned a blind eye to them. External pressures and the reduction of an internal threat evidently are having some success in compelling a few regimes to halt the worst kinds of excesses, but there will probably be no fundamental change as long as these governments deem it necessary to resort to extreme measures against their "ene- mies." Obstacles to Reform The new breed of military ruler in South America has been slow to respond to charges of human rights violations but quick to voice annoyance with what they see , as external "meddling" in matters they believe fall exclu- sively within their sovereign prerogative. Most have insisted that if the rights of a minority . have been disregarded, it has been to protect the rights of the majority from internal subver- sion. Military and security forces consider them- selves to be the front line of defense against a relentless Communist offensive in which they are also usually a prime target. Reinforcing this siege mentality is the officers' conviction that what they are doing is in the highest national interest. They also believe that their mission is partly one of saving Western Christian civiliza- tion from Communism, a task that they think has been abandoned by a weakened and divided US. They point to detente as evidence that US accommodation with Communist countries is a 6 sellout and an invitation to infiltration of alien ideas. Another closely related factor contributing to the military's rationale that its ironhanded methods are correct is the evident lack of strong opposition on the part of a substantial portion of the population. Most Latin Americans do not view human rights per se as a domestic problem. Indeed, the vast majority is unaffected by the brutal treatment inflicted on a minority consid- ered to be extremists. The Latin perception of the human rights situation is quite different from that of other Western nations, where it is seen from a different cultural perspective. In countries such as Uruguay and Argentina, where rampant terrorism has caused the most fear and appre- hension among substantial elements of the population, the restoration of order by other than legal means has been viewed as a nasty but unavoidable business. The traditional inclination of Latin Ameri- cans to accept authoritarianism may also in- crease the tendency to overlook behavior that is unacceptable elsewhere. Many Latin Americans have been prone to dismiss criticism from abroad as simply ill-informed or Communist-in- spired. In Chile, the violent and chaotic conditions of the Allende years left a deep scar on the nation, and internal support for the junta was impressive, if not universal, at the outset. Disillusionment has set in during the past several years, but the absence of free opinion makes it difficult to judge the extent of support for the junta or its opponents. Many people are not effusive about the methods of the austere military regime, but have accepted the necessity for it while expressing guarded optimism that gradual improvement is possible. For most of these governments, however, the future of democratic institutions does not appear bright. Whatever form of government evolves under military auspices, the authoritar- ian infrastructure is not likely to chance sub- Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 sc,")�,NEuxicrITAT. 3.5(c) Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 stantially. Because they have come to power by extraconstitutional means, these governments will probably attempt to compensate for their lack of legitimacy by creating a new institu- tional framework that reflects and reinforces their own doctrines and ideas. This process probably will offer a few openings for a loosening of the present restrictions on human rights. Reaction to Foreign Criticism Criticism by the US and the suspension of aid to Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile have pro- voked a sharp reaction. Much of the outburst stemmed from a belief that Latin America is being unfairly discriminated against by eco- nomic reprisals since Communist nations receive little more than a tongue-lashing. Indignation rose even higher when Latins saw South Korea and the Philippines being granted exceptions because of their security value to the US. Latin Americans resent the insinuation that they are not important to the US. Latin pique over the US position has been manifested by a conspicuous cooling in rela- tions and, in some cases, the rejection of US aid. The Brazilians acted to terminate military_!or_ agreements with the U�SY Argentina made clear that eradication of terrorism will be undertaken by whatever means the military government deems necessary, even if it entails a deteriora- tion in relations with the US. Chilean leaders signaled their displeasure by cracking down on political opponents�particularly former presi- dent Frei's Christian Democrats�and by vowing that no further concessions would be made to world opinion, which the Chilean junta believes it cannot appease in any case. CO TIAL International censure has had a measurable impact on the human rights situation, in large part because of the efforts of the world press to draw attention to the problem. In Argentina, for instance, the much publicized habeas corpus petitions filed by relatives on behalf of 425 persons whose whereabouts are unknown ap- pear to have prompted the Supreme Court to ask for an investigation by the government. In addition, organizations such as Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists, and the human rights commissions of the UN and the OAS have participated in investigating or publicizing human rights viola- tions. Other groups such as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Interna- tional Committee for European Migration have aided in resettlement of political refugees and monitoring of humanitarian conditions. The Catholic Church has been an outspoken source of criticism and has facilitated some improve- ments in Brazil and Chile; in Argentina it recently issued its first formal condemnation of human rights abuses. In a number of instances, the release of political prisoners, the reduction of torture and illegal disappearances, and better conditions for political prisoners can be attri- buted to the cumulative efforts of these groups. The irritation expressed by the southern cone governments to US chiding on human rights will subside eventually, but the issue seems likely to remain an underlying source of trouble. As tempers cool and military leaders have a chance to reflect on the situation, attitudes may shift enough to permit renewed movement toward moderation. CO 4ENTIAL Political and economic pressures�such as withholding loans or making arms sales�exerted by other governments have also compelled change in the human rights situation, but the results have varied from country to country and are difficult to evaluate. Where such actions have had a corrective influence, they have not always been without unfortunate side effects. As a quid pro quo for their steps to curb abuses, the military governments expect some recogni- tion of their efforts. The unfavorable image of most of these governments abroad, however, is such that the slow pace in restoring funda- mental rights does little to appease their critics. Private diplomatic persuasion has been used with some limited success to influence the course of human rights protection, but there is no assurance that the device will work in the absence of other means of leverage. Given the Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 3.5(c) ENTIAL drawbacks of using the stick, however, the value of using the carrot may be increasing. An approach tailored for each country that recognizes and applauds even small steps taken to limit human rights violations may induce concessions from governments that employ murder, torture, and kidnaping as weapons against their enemies. But southern cone re- gimes will continue to be suspicious of US motives as well as of initiatives for international oversight that appear to interfere with their sovereign national rights. With the restrictions now placed on some of these governments by the US in the areas of economic and military aid, there may be a limited amount of leverage available to achieve substantial new improvements. The Latins have balked at what they believe is a US plan to use aid as a weapon, and they are certain to react negatively to any further moves they consider punitive. Chile, Brazil, and Argentina are al- ready looking elsewhere for military hardware that they cannot procure from the US. To avoid being further isolated at the interna- tional level, the countries of the southern cone may find it prudent to take a new look at possible policy adjustments. They will only do so, however, at a time when it does not appear that they are bowing to foreign pressures. An easing of repression is more likely to result from evolutionary forces within the society than from external demands for change, which tend to bolster a siege mentality. An Inter-American Challenge? All of the Latin American nations have signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and most of them have incorporated it in their respective constitutions. The Chapul- tepee conference of American states, which met in 1945 to lay the groundwork for the postwar reorganization of the inter-American system, adopted a resolution appealing for the interna- tional protection of human rights. Since then the Organization of American States has in- cluded provisions on human rights, which are 8 further strengthened by amendments to the Protocol of Buenos Aires concluded in 1967. Noncompliance with these statements of princi- ple has been the rule more often than the exception. Recommendations have occasionally been made in Latin America favoring enforcement of basic human rights, but misgivings over possible encroachments on sovereign rights have pre- vented agreement on any solution. As early as 1945, a Uruguayan foreign minister called for "multilateral collective action, exercised with complete unselfishness" to bring about the "reestablishment of essential rights" in any country suffering under dictatorship. The US gave unqualified support to the idea, but a majority of the American republics turned it down. The inter-American convention adopted by the OAS Council in 1968 provided for the creation of an Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Compulsory judgment was to be op- tional, however, and the court has never been used to settle a human rights dispute because of the special sensitivity of Latin Americans to the question of intervention. Despite the recent dismal record of Latin American states in upholding human rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, functioning under the OAS, has scored rela- tively high marks in the past for acting on complaints and undertaking investigations. It has used its powers more boldly than most other regional or international organizations. Its observers have periodically exercised a close supervisory role in monitoring and bringing human rights problems to the attention of governments in the Americas. The commission has encountered obstacles in fulfilling its objectives. Nevertheless, it is dedi- cated to impartial fact gathering and to expo- sure of the more flagrant violations of basic liberties and might well be the most acceptable, and workable solution to the question of how to effect action on human rights abuses. Thj", of course, would depend greatly on the extek CON Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 3.5(c) to which political realities permit even the present commission to operate evenhandedly and to muster majority support for compliance with adequate safeguards. Members of the commission made an on-the- scene visit to Chile in 1974, but OAS inertia in dealing with the group's findings has done much to immobilize it since then. In any case, Latin Americans would probably prefer dealing with the OAS than with the UN. Relations between Chile and the UN Human Rights Commission have been strained since July 1975, when President Pinochet reneged on a promise to allow a visit by a UN fact-finding mission. While the Chilean junta is hypersensitive to outside attacks on its human rights record, it believes a more sympathetic hearing can be obtained from the American states than from radical third world countries in the UN. Multilateral representations on human rights make the US less vulnerable to charges of great power coercion. The OAS Secretary General, for example, might serve as a moderating force in encouraging greater hemispheric respect for human rights. Outlook We expect that the South American govern- ments singled out most frequently for human rights infractions will remain authoritarian for the foreseeable future. In the absence of any realistic challenges, there is no current alterna- tive to the military as arbiters of power. Respect for human rights will be largely de- pendent on the military's judgments regarding internal security conditions or local insur- gency�not outside pressures. CoSio,)Nr4ftriTIAL Where progress occurs, it will be a slow process. Ameliorative action to correct the worst abuses of human rights will probably be taken in the short term, but real movement toward broader liberalization measures is less likely within the next few years. The ruling generals in most of the southern cone share similar views on enforcing stability� if necessary, by repressing any activity they consider threatening, particularly from the left. The military's mission, as the Chilean junta has stated in its Declaration of Principles, is one of "cleansing our democratic system from the vices that facilitated its destruction." These countries will remain sensitive to inter- national opinion and will weigh their responses in terms of the potential costs, such as increased isolation or economic and political reprisals. As they comprehend the earnestness of the US commitment on human rights, the principal offenders may strive to alleviate some US concerns, to contain further antagonism over the issue, and to restore some balance to bilateral relations. On the debit side, it is evident that US-Latin American relationships are apt to be strained for some time over the human rights issue. Continued resentment and defiance on the part of some Latin American governments could persuade them to side more actively in interna- tional forums with third world initiatives that run contrary to US interests. If pressures were reduced, on the other hand, these governments might continue to rely on repression and stall on taking measures to liberalize their regimes. Approved for Release: 2018/09/17 C06592958 9