Operation TOUCAN - description - Dagger and Cloak

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Operation TOUCAN - description

Operation TOUCAN was a KGB/DGI public relations and disinformation campaign directed at the military government of Chile led by Augusto Pinochet. According to former KGB officer Vasili Mitrokhin, the plot was originally conceived by Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov. The plot's twofold task was to organize sympathetic human rights activists to pressure the United Nations and generate negative press for the Pinochet regime. In 1976, the start of TOUCAN, the New York Times published 66 articles on Chile’s human rights record and four on Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge and only 3 such articles on the human rights situation in Cuba.

As part of operation TOUCAN, the KGB also forged a letter tying the CIA to an assassination campaign by Chile’s DINA. Many journalists, including columnist Jack Anderson of the New York Times, used the information in their news stories as evidence of the CIA’s involvement in the more nefarious parts of Operation Condor. Recent declassified documents show that the US facilitated communications for Latin American nations involved in Condor.

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