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Cable 9: 2008 US Embassy Report on Uruguayan Request for US Information on 1978 Murder of a Uruguayan Citizen in the Dirty War

Cable 9: 2008 US Embassy Report on Uruguayan Request for US Information on 1978 Murder of a Uruguayan Citizen in the Dirty War

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Published by Andres
This is a 2008 US Embassy report on a Uruguayan request for US information about the 1978 murder of a Uruguayan citizen during the Dirty War of the 1970s.
This is a 2008 US Embassy report on a Uruguayan request for US information about the 1978 murder of a Uruguayan citizen during the Dirty War of the 1970s.

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Published by: Andres on Dec 18, 2010
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07/17/2011

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O 281905Z MAY 08FM AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEOTO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8238C O N F I D E N T I A L MONTEVIDEO 000314SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR DELIVERS RESPONSE ONPOISONED WINE CASE
REF: MONTEVIDEO 00197Classified By: Ambassador Frank E. Baxterfor reasons 1.4 (B) and (D)¶1. (C) On May 14, the Ambassador delivered aletter on behalf of President Bush to theForeign Minister which responds to PresidentVazquez' earlier request (reftel) for USGcooperation in the release of pertinentdocuments related to the death of Mrs. CeciliaFontana de Heber in Uruguay in 1978. Fourteendeclassified documents were also attached. Theletter indicates that the USG possesses noadditional information that would be helpful in
 
identifying those responsible for Mrs. Heber'sdeath. ForMin Fernandez thanked the Ambassadorfor the USG's help in resolving this longstanding murder case which continues to havepolitical repercussions. He promised toimmediately forward the letter and documents toPresident Vazquez.¶2. (C) During the meeting, the Ambassador alsotook the opportunity to raise the unsolvedmurder case of OPS/AID law enforcement officerDaniel A. Mitrione who died at the hands of theTupamaro guerrillas in August 1970. He recalledthat the USG has not forgotten about this crimeagainst a U.S. citizen and that the perpetratorsremain at large. The Ambassador noted that oneof the unrepentant, self-admitted participantsin the Mitrione killing is Dr. Henry WillyENGLER Golovchenko, who currently resides inUppsala, Sweden. He observed that Dr. Englerappears to be on the verge of "rehabilitation"in Uruguay, and has even been mentioned as apossible candidate for the Nobel Prize for hiswork on Alzheimer's disease. He said that itwould be "unfortunate" should Engler ever beplaced in a position within the GOU, because itwould inevitably complicate U.S./Uruguayanbilateral relations. He urged Fernandez torelease any files that the GOU might possess on
 
the Mitrione case. The ForMin revealed hisunderstanding in the matter.¶3. (C) On May 21, President Vazquez telephonedthe Ambassador to thank him for his assistancein the poisoned wine case. On May 22, anAssociated Press article appeared under the(roughly translated) title of "U.S. WithoutFurther Evidence in the Poisoned Wine Case".Subsequent to the AP article, some National(Blanco) party members publicly complained thatthey still believed the U.S. was withholdingclassified information, but the story seems tohave lost its momentum since then.¶4. (C)
Comment
: We are keeping our fingerscrossed that the poisoned wine case hasdefinitively been laid to rest. The excellentwork at the NSC and the Department of Statepersuaded our interlocutors that we takePresident Vazquez' requests and his relationshipwith President Bush seriously, even though weknow that Vazquez was prompted to do so fordomestic political reasons. Finally, theAmbassador raised the Mitrione case as apushback on the poisoned wine case.End Comment.Baxter

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