Looking for clues, not 'sacred' relics in South America: NY Times admits Exhumation Proves Ex-Brazilian President Murdered
by Dave Lindorff - WhoWhatWhy
A few weeks ago, WhoWhatWhy ran a piece I wrote criticizing a subtly deceptive article in the New York Times that made light of a wave of exhumations of popular leftist figures in Latin America. Quoting unnamed “scholars,” the paper’s Latin American correspondent Simon Romero suggested the forensic digs may be the secularized continuation of customs from the time of early Christianity, when a vibrant trade involved the body parts of saints.
That, in fact, is nonsense. The purportedly “natural”, “accidental”, or “suicide-related” deaths of such important left-leaning figures as Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda, Brazil’s President Joao Goulart and Chile’s President Salvador Allende all occurred during the rule of various rightist dictators.
The re-examination of evidence in these cases is based therefore on strong skepticism about the “official” narratives of their deaths. This skepticism, in turn, is based on a well-documented history of thousands of cases of political murder in the region.
Far from looking for relics to sell, investigators are looking for evidence that these deaths were actually assassinations, the work of fearful tyrants anxious to prevent the victims’ return to power. Now one result is in, and it’s explosive.
Truth Commission: Juscelino Kubitschek Assassinated
Investigators from Brazil’s Truth Commission, looking into the 1976 car crash of former leftist Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek and his limo driver, have discovered a bullet fragment lodged in the driver’s skull. This finding, the Commission ruled, along with other evidence, suggests that Kubitschek was murdered—most likely at the behest of the leaders of the CIA-backed military coup that also ousted his successor Joao Goulart.
What Romero Did Not Report: U.S. Involvement
Romero himself reported this new inquest finding on December 10 in a short article datelined Santiago (“Brazilian Panel Says Ex-Leader Was Murdered”). Romero noted that at the time of Kubitschek’s death, Brazil was ruled by a junta, but as in the case of his earlier article on exhumations, he very significantly chose not to mention the role of the CIA in bringing Brazil’s junta to power.
In his newer, more soberly reported article, Romero nonetheless still failed to mention Operation Condor. That was a coordinated effort by dictatorships in Latin American countries to track down and kill political opponents in their various countries—an effort that was deliberately aided, particularly during the mid-to-late ‘70s, by the CIA...
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