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August 11, 1976
Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 Latin American Trends Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 5.reertlr' LATIN AMERICAN TRENDS This publication is prepared for regional specialists in the Washington com- munity by the Western Hemisphere Division, Office of Current Intelligence, with occasional contributions from other offices within the Directorate of Intelligence. Comments and queries are welcome. They should be directed to the authors of the individual articles. CONTENTS August 11, 1976 Argentina: New Foreign Policy Initiatives. 1 Southern Cone Counterterrorism Plans 4 Annex Terrorism in South America 9 -SEC1Gc' NR 3.3(b)(1) Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 1 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 Argentina: New Foreign Policy Initiatives The military junta in the past five months has imposed political calm, instituted strong economic stabilization measures, and achieved considerable success against the most militant of the leftist terrorist groups. It now feels able to turn its attention to restoring Argentina's "big power" dip- lomatic image in South America. Foreign Ministry strategists and military leaders have already begun to improve relations with a number of South American capitals. Brazil, long viewed as a rival, may soon be approached in a new spirit of cooperation. Diplomatic experts in Buenos Aires are talking of a "dialogue" and a "continental equilibrium" with Brazil. Four decades of internal economic and political chaos left Argentina without a coherent foreign policy, even in hemispheric affairs. During the tumult of the Peron presidencies, relations with neighboring states, particularly Brazil, languished or deteriorated while time and resources were consumed in a courtship of Communist and Third World countries. Brazil gained the diplomatic ground lost by Argentina, dashing the hopes of some geopoliticians in Buenos Aires who had dreamed of forming .a coalition of Spanish-speaking states to counter Brazil's burgeoning power. Brazil, after establishing close economic and political ties with Paraguay, Uruguay, and Bolivia, turned its attention to Chile, Peru, Venezuela, and Colombia. Brazil is now improving its relations with Central America. The bankruptcy of Argentine foreign policy was brought home to Buenos Aires dramatically last Feb- ruary when the United States and Brazil signed the -1 - .arbeltST August 11, 1976 3.5(c) Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 C'n SEGR-Fr Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Consultations. The Argentines reacted with surprising objectivity and s^phistication. They interpreted the agreement as Washington's recognition of Brazil's emerging power podWon in the world and its preeminence in Latin AmeriCa. Argentines acknowledged that if they had lost the race with Brazil, it was the result of their own domestic failures. The military coup that toppled President Peron on March 24 put Argentina in step with its conserva- tive, military-dominated neighbors and gave impetus to improved relations with Brazil. Thirteen days after the coup Brazilian Navy Minister Azevedo Henning arrived in Buenos Aires to discuss the defense of the South Atlantic and the Soviet-Cuban presence in Angola. In June Buenos Aires sent as ambassador to Brasilia one of its top career diplomats and Brazilian specialists. Argentine strategists began talking of the "new realities" in hemispheric affairs and advocating co- operation and friendly competition rather than con- frontation with their powerful neighbor. The coopera- tive anti-subversive program adopted by intelligence and security forces in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay is an example of what the Argentines describe as their "new foreign policy." Sensing that many South American governments are eager to balance off their close relations with Brazil, Argentine diplomats are trying to improve ties, but not necessarily at Brazil's expense. To lay the groundwork for its new policy of friendly competition and to "make up for lost time," in June the Foreign Ministry sent carefully selected ambassadors to Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, August 11, 1976 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 � and Venezuela. Some were military officers who had served in those countries as attaches. The following month high military and Foreign Ministry officials visited Bolivia, Uruguay, Venezuela and Ecuador. In addition, a nuclear cooperation pact was signed with Peru and an agreement for the purchase of natural gas and manganese was negotiated with Bolivia. Already this month Foreign Minister Guzzetti has visited Paraguay, and his Peruvian counterpart, de la Puente, has traveled to Buenos Aires. On August 7-8 junta member Admiral Massera visited Uruguay. There are rumors that President Videla will make a state visit to Chile before the end of the year. A fundamental and lasting improvement of relations with Brazil will be the most difficult hurdle, even if Argentine leaders are prepared to work at the problems with, in the words of one diplomat, "a serious and rational mind." The issues are many and some are long-standing:. --Diversion of waters on the upper Parana caused by Brazil's construction of the huge Itaipu hydroelectric project. --Penetration of Argentina's northeastern borders by Brazilian citizens. --Trade barriers and nuclear competition. Progress on these problems will require patience and months of quiet diplomacy. For the first time in years, however, Argentina appears to be psychol- ogically ready to embark on the task. -3- SEGRE 3.5(c) August 11, 1976 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 v sr&eirrf Southern Cone Counterterrorism Plans Security officials of Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay are reportedly expanding their cooperative anti-subversive activities to include assassination of top-level terrorists in exile in Europe. The intelligence cooperation program of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, known as "Condor," already includes development of a cen- tralized data collection capability and the direction of joint operations in the southern part of South America. The Chilean, Argentinian, and Uruguayan services now plan to train teams in Buenos Aires for the missions in Western Europe. The plans and targets of the teams will be withheld from at least some govern- ment leaders. The largest concentratio7 of Latin American exiles in Europe is in Paris. August 11, 1976 3.5(c) 3.5(c) Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 � ANNEX' Terrorism in South America Terrorism flourishes on the bones of polities. It is the delusion of those who have lost the capacity to distinguish between hope and death. Irving Howe "The Ultimate Price of Random Terror" Modern terrorism invites repression. The guer- rilla is intent on provoking his enemy--the govern- ment--into acts of counter-terrorism so widespread and so brutal that the general public becomes alien- ated from the government and sympathetic to the sub- versive cause. The immediate goal, according to Carlos Marighela, the slain Brazilian apostle of urban guerrilla warfare, is that "the political situation of the country will become a military situation, and the acts of violence, the mistakes and various ca- lamities that fall upon the people will be put down to 'errors' by the government bodyguards." As violence begets violence, according to this doctrine, the fabric of society is torn apart, demo- cratic institutions give way to authoritarian decrees, and armed repression supplants political freedom. The aim of terrorism is to make life unbearable for ordinary people, in the hope that they will eventually -9- August 11, 1976 3.5(c) Approved for for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 become embittered embittered and exasperated with their government and clamor for change. Such a situation, Marighela argued, could lead to tae seizure of power by the guerril- las in what he described as "a climate of collapse." Employed against colonial regimes, such tactics have nroven successful, as in British-mandated Palestine and Cyprus. This hope has not been fulfilled, however, In any Latin American nation. Yet, it is precisely in those countries where political violence has become the major policy preoccupation--Uruguay and Argentina--that terrorism has been the strongest single catalytic force in recent military coups d'etat. As a political weapon modern terrorism dates from the French Revolution where it was employed by the in- surrectionary government to instill fear and respect for new authority in the general populace. Then, as now, terror consisted of symbolic acts designed to in- fluence political behavior by extraordinary means, en- tailing the use or threat of violence. For example, in Guatemala, Uruguay, and Argentina, leftist guerrillas placed heavy emphasis on the symbolic nature of their violent acts--kidnaping and killing military officers and police chiefs, foreign diplomats, and wealthy busi- nessmen--both domestic and foreign. The concept of terror may be old, but its effects are magnified by modern technology. The modern terror- ist's arsenal includes incendiary devices, sophisticated bombs, and hand-held missiles. Modern psychological studies have provided new techniques of interrogation and intimidation. More important, the conditions of contemporary living and space-age communications systems have facilitated the growth and the impact of urban political violence. Today terrorists feed on the frus- trations generated by crowded living conditions domi- nated by and dependent on technology, and thrive on in- stantaneous dramatic communication of their acts by the electronic media. Television and, to a lesser extent, radio have given new meaning to the 19th Century anarchist view of terrorism as propaganda by deed. Now guerrilla groups can attract national or even world attention to their cause. The term "guerrilla theater" is an apt descrip- tion since terrorism is often drama consisting of: sagitET Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 SEGRED - Carefully staged kidnapings, as in the abduction of the Born brothers, two wealthy Argentine in- dustrialists whose seizure by Montonero guerril- las consisted of an elaborate maneuver designed to divert their automobile from most of their bodyguards, in which the terrorists masqueraded as street construction workers and policemen. Ritual trials and executions, such as the now famous killing of US AID official Daniel Mitrione by the Tupamaros in Uruguay, or the "capital pun- ishment" of US honorary consul John Egan, after Argentine authorities failed to meet terrorist demands to show several captured guerrillas "live and well" on television. Newspapers have also been exploited by Latin American guerrillas. One of the conditions for the release of the Born brothers was the publication of a Montonero adver- tisement in prominent newspapers all over the world. Roberto Santucho, the recently slain leader of the Ar- gentine Peoples Revolutionary Army, invited correspond- ents to guerrilla press conferences. One spectacular operation in 1973 saw guerrillas seize the editor of a prominent Buenos Aires newspaper, and insist that the paper print terrorist advertisements--in direct violation of a recently enacted ban on news of guerrilla activities. The newspaper complied with the demands to secure the safe return of its editor, and in retaliation right-wing coun- ter-terrorists sabotaged the printing presses. Farther afield, the terrorist attack at the Munich Olympic Games gained its perpetrators the services of satellite-relayed international television. Such events dramatically illustrate the fact that terrorist tactics are aimed primarily at the people watching and only incidentally at the victims--who often are innocent bystanders. The random quality of the vio- lence heightens the terror and often exaggerates the actual threat posed by the guerrilla. In reality, guer- rilla groups in South America have never posed a direct challenge to any government. Most of the groups have been too small and weak to engage security forces directly, and in the battles that have occurred, as in Argentina, the guerrillas have taken most of the blows. As one scholar has observed, "terror may be the weapon of lonely fanatics or a huddle of conspirators intent upon forcing history through their own self-sacrifice and other peo- ple's blood, but rarely is it the weapon of mass movements g...GRET Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 SEe:RT engaged in public politics." The two most prominent examples of South American nations where terrorism currently exists-- and Argentina--support this viewpoint. In Argentina, the Peoples Revolutionary Army (ERP) has lost its image of invincibility after more than a year of harassment by military forces. Hundreds of guerrillas have been killed--including the leader, Roberto Santucho--and even more are in prison. The or- ganization's treasury, once estimated in millions of dollars, is said to have dwindled to about $100,000. In addition, the ERP has lost hideouts, weapons, ammu- nition, and documents containing valuable operational in- formation. It is doubtful that the ERP will ever regain its former prominence. The other major Argentine group, the Montoneros, has suffered as well. More than seven months have elapsed since Montonero chieftain Roberto Quieto was captured by security forces. During that period the guerrillas have made no known attempt to !ree him or to secure his re- lease. One of the reason.; for their failure to respond may be that Quieto has cooperated with the security offi- cials. We cannot determine how much the information pro- vided by Quieto has hurt the organization, but lack of recent violent activity suggests that the leftist Peron- ist guerrillas are on the defensive. The serious reverses suffered by the ERP may force the remnants of the group to try to link up with the Montoneros, who have long advocated a broad-based "Na- tional Liberation Front." Efforts to form such an alli- ance in the past failed. The Montoneros, in fact, now may be reluctant to affiliate wlth the survivors because they fear the ERP has been penetrated by the police. Another possibility that is being taken seriously by South American security forces is that several guerrilla groups are forging operative alliances to engage in trans- national or international terrorist activities. -12 - -SEGRET- NR Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 sEet-Ef Official concern has been fueled by recent confirma- tion of the existence of an organization known as the Revolutionary Coordinating Junta, consisting of guerrilla representatives from Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, and possibly Paraguay. The Coordinating Junta was orig- inally organized under the leadership of the Peoples Rev- olutionary Army, however, and despite reports of repre- sentatives based in several European countries, available evidence indicates that its headquarters is still in Ar- gentina and that most of its funds, and probably its mem- bers, come from the ERP. If it is indeed a creature of Argentine terrorists, it has probably suffered with the decline in their activity and strength. On the other hand the fact that the Junta has not taken credit for any terrorist operations--as is the customary practice of individual guerrilla organizations--does not mean that it has been inactive. It wou-d appear from captured guerrilla documents that the organization takes its co- ordinating function seriously and exists for that purpose and to provide logistical support to member groups. It is the fear that individual guerrilla groups throughout South America will unite that has motivated the recent intensification in cooperation among security officials in the Southern Cone. At present intelligence services in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay share information on terrorist targets, and there are reports of plans to cooperate more extensively. Despite the fact that guerrillas seem to be losing the battle in Argentina and are only a minor threat elsewhere in South America, it is unlikely that terrorism will disappear. Few terrorist groups anywhere have a- chieved any of their long range objectives, but the use of terrorist tactics always attracts publicity and fre- quently wins concessions. In South America, therefore, political extremists will probably continue to establish links, and form al- liances, if only for the sake of convenience in particular operations. The development and deployment of sophisti- cated small arms and precision-guided munitions and their likely acquisition by terrorists is a serious new threat. On the �the: hand, the fear that terrorists will obtain and explode nuclear weapons seems to be exaggerated. The survival of any guerrilla movement is contingent on some tacit public support. Mass murder would be counterpro- ductive. Nevertheless, the possibility that guerrillas will threaten to use nuclear weapons in order to take i Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 -SEekEer advantage of a mass hostage situation cannot be ruled out. Until now leftist guerrillas in South America have not been completely indiscriminate in their use of ter- rorist tactics, but have restricted their targets to identified political enemies. In contrast, counterter- rorists and in some cases government forces have threat- ened or murdered prominent liberal members of society not linked in any known way to the guerrillas. This is of course the response that the guerrillas seek. Yet some repressive measures are officially justified and accepted by a frightened population on the grounds that they reduce the effectiveness and attractiveness of ter- rorism. Greater government controls over the news media with regard to reporting terrorist incidents would di- minish the publicity that terrorists apparently crave. A tougher official stance on granting political asylum is already evident in Argentina and Uruguay, and South American countries in general have taken an increasingly tougher stance on yielding to terrorist demands. Terrorism poses a continuing threat to human lib- erties and to human life. Last year more people died in Argentine. as a result of political violence than have been killed in Northern Ireland in the past five years. In all strategies of terror, there is an inherent tend- ency to go beyond the limits previously accept.nd, formally or informally, by both rulers and ruled. It is just this "one step further" that makes terror momentarily effec- tive and, to some people, exciting. Except, perhaps, in the most disciplined kinds of actions against precisely selected individual targets, the strategy of terror can succeed only through a steady abandonment of moral re- straints.' Regardless of the intentions the terrorists bring to their act, it tends, out of desperation and through repetition, to become increasingly unselective. Indeed it is precisely the increasing unselectivity that makes terrorism so frightening. There are, however, political limits to the ef- fectiveness of terrorism. Over forty years ago, one scholar, J. B. Hardman, defined those limits: "As a complete revolutionary tactic terrorism has never attained real success. Governments, whether con- servative or revolutionary, are not inclined to retreat before acts of terror directed against key persons. The will to power is not weakened by the exercise of power, Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 006627466 Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466 and positions made vacant through the explosion of bombs are readily filled. On the other hand, the will to revolution requires a stronger force than the heroism of isolated individuals or even of small, well-organized groups. The art of revolution must be sustained by the interested will of a large proportion of the population and by concerted mass operations." -15- -SECRET 3.5(c) Approved for Release: 2018/10/01 C06627466