from the book

Cry of the People

The struggle for human rights in Latin America
and the Catholic Church in conflict with US policy

by Penny Lernoux

Penguin Books, 1980, paper

According to a report by Amnesty International, one of seventeen commonly used torture methods in Uruguay included burning the prisoner alive in a barbecue pit or grill. "When the smell of roasting meat is emitted, the victim is taken away," reported Amnesty International. (Human Rights in Uruguay and Paraguay, Hearings before the Subcommittee on International Organizations of the Committee on International Relations, U. S. House of Representatives, June 17, July 27 and 28, and Aug. 4, 1976, p. 50.

Whether the country is Brazil or Guatemala, more or less industrialized, in South or Central America, the statistics are always the same: a tiny minority, usually 1 to 4 percent of the population, owns the majority of the arable land and takes an overwhelming share of the nation's agricultural and industrial wealth. The great majority, in the slums or impoverished rural villages, owns little or no land, is undernourished, illiterate or semiliterate, and unemployed or underemployed. One third of Latin America's 320 million people earn less in a year than a U.S. housewife spends on groceries in a week. Conversely, the well-to-do in Latin America usually live better than do the upper classes in the United States; they have platoons of servants, enormous estates, limousines, private airplanes, and yachts, and pay practically no taxes.

Stroessner [Paraguay] and the others, proclaimed their fealty to the United States and their abhorrence of communism, Washington was prepared to support them with military and economic aid. Unions, political parties, housing developments, and agrarian reform were all designed to advance the anti-communist crusade; as a result they soon became political tools instead of vehicles for genuine reform.

U.S. writer Thomas Sanders

"Latin America is underdeveloped not just because it does not produce enough but because the people do not participate in national life."

Brazil's Archbishop Helder Camara

"People with no reasons for living will not find causes to die for."

Goulart's Planning Minister, Celso Furtado
... insisting that "development" was a myth invented by the industrialized nations to con the Third World into footing the bill for the American (and European) way of life. He based his assertion on Latin America's experience in the 1960s, when development meant essentially a series of foreign, mostly U.S., Ioans for industrial infrastructure and large inputs of foreign investment. The loans have so burdened the Latin-American countries that many are now spending an average 25 percent of their foreign earnings just to service the debt. As for foreign investment, far from creating the millions of new jobs promised by the advance publicity, nearly half this money went to take over existing Latin-American industries. By the end of the "decade of development," 99 percent of the loans made by AID to Latin American countries were being spent in the United States for products costing 30 to 40 percent more than the going world price.

Latin America [after WWII] ... was an important source of income for corporations in the United States, of cheap labor for U.S. export subsidiaries, and of small but extremely lucrative markets, particularly for arms and capital equipment.

Without repression, it is impossible for the rich to increase their income indefinitely at the expense of the mass of the people who, for all their ignorance and lack of political organization, have the advantage in numbers. These millions will not stay quietly on the farms or in the slums unless they are terribly afraid. As in Stroessner's Paraguay, the rich get richer only because they have the guns.

A child born in the United States will consume thirty to fifty times more goods of all descriptions in his or her lifetime than one born in the impoverished highlands of Bolivia. A child born to wealthy parents in the Bolivian capital of La Paz will equal the consumption of the American. Consciously or not, both owe their life-styles in some degree to the poverty of the highland peasant child. A similar relationship exists between the economies of Latin America and the United States. And that is what the "dependency" theory of underdevelopment is all about-a mass of poor peasants and slum dwellers supply the wants of a few rich people, and they in turn satisfy the U.S. demand for raw materials and profit remittances.

Pope Paul. to a crowd in Bogata, Colombia. 1998

What can I say to you, men of the ruling class? What is required of you is generosity. This means the ability to detach yourselves from the stability of your position which is, or seems to be, a position of privilege, in order to serve those who need your wealth, your culture, your authority.... You, lords of this world and sons of the Church, you must have the genius for virtue that society needs. Your ears and your hearts must be sensitive to the voices crying out for bread, concern, justice, and a more active participation in the direction of society.

In any organization the most intelligent, dynamic sectors tend to dominate.

As history has repeatedly shown, totalitarian regimes soon treat all critics as enemies of the state

The experience of repression, like the experience of living in a slum or a backward village, almost always provides a radical political education. Things that were taken for granted, such as food or freedom, no longer exist, and inevitably one is forced to ask, Why?

... the Church seriously began to question capitalism's model of development in Brazil, with its anti-Christian "Doctrine of National Security." A mixture of creole militarism, European fascism, and U.S. McCarthyism, the doctrine is a compendium of complex arguments that, when closely examined, turn out to be an excuse for Manifest Destiny and a colonial society embellished with the technological trimmings of an Orwellian state. Thomas Hobbes, the seventeenth-century English philosopher, is generally cited as the inventor of the doctrine's model of an all-powerful state that guarantees national security in exchange for the people's freedom. But Hitler's Nazism and Mussolini's corporate state, modern refinements of Hobbes's theory, also contributed to the doctrine's development, as did cold-war politics and the Pentagon's promotion of the Latin-American military as "nation builders."

Once the permanence of world warfare is assumed, national security becomes the first priority of geopolitics. Individual rights are sacrificed to the power of the state, since only it can defend and develop the nation. Critics of government policy are considered traitors because in wartime opinions are weapons and everyone is either a friend or a foe. Civilian politicians having proved | inept in government, only the military can run the state and press the war against international communism.

This view of the world, which could be straight out of a Nazi primer, is shared by the governments of Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, and, to a lesser extent, Colombia and Peru.

Chilean theologian Segundo Galilea

"in the long run no government can survive without some measure of popular support."

... a reign of terror ... has converted South America into a giant concentration camp with some thirty thousand political prisoners, and thousands more murdered or exiled. In previous times of military dictatorship, there was at least somewhere to hide. Argentines could find safety in Uruguay; Bolivians and Brazilians could flee to Chile. But now, when all these countries are marching in step, with a central pool of computerized data on political exiles and open collaboration among the region's secret police, repression is standardized and ubiquitous. Brazilian military officers taught Chile's secret police the techniques of modern torture in the weeks following the 1973 coup.

In earlier swings between democracy and dictatorship the latter rarely lasted longer than a decade, but most of the new Latin-American military regimes have fortified themselves to stay in power for several generations, the better to wipe out any vestige of liberal political traditions.

... increasing numbers of churchmen are denouncing U.S. capitalism and militarism for abetting the repression. "The Americans are killing us" is a cry repeated throughout Latin America, often by once-loyal friends of the United States who were brought up to believe that U.S. democracy is a "shining beacon for the Free World." Between 1950 and 1975 the United States trained 71,651 Latin-American military personnel, including 8 of the region's current dictators, and in addition supplied $2.5 billion worth of armaments. Such collaboration is the lifeblood of the Doctrine of National Security.

... the "word 'communist' has been applied so liberally and so loosely to revolutionary or radical regimes that any government risks being so characterized if it adopts one or more of the following policies that the State Department finds distasteful: nationalization of private industry, particularly foreign-owned corporations; radical land reform; autarchic trade policies; acceptance of Soviet or Chinese aid; insistence upon following an anti-American or nonaligned foreign ' ~ policy, among others." Or as theologian Jose Comblin says: "Almost everything that happens in the rest of the world is somehow made to appear related to U.S. national security, whether it occurs in the heart of Africa or in Paraguay or Bolivia. In such a concept, the American citizen is prompted to feel threatened by economic, political, and even cultural changes in the rest of the world."

While few of the guerrilla groups [in Latin America] that emerged in the sixties were a serious menace to established governments, the phantom of "communist revolution" gave U.S. governments an excellent pretext to mold the political attitudes of two generations of military men. These men learned the lessons so well that they now see communists lurking in every doorway. Most of the techniques of counterinsurgency, such as intelligence gathering, police work, propaganda, and the skills to operate sophisticated equipment, have since been turned against the civilian population, and long after the last guerrilla has died, the bloodletting continues. Many of the victims of this repression charge, with good reason, that the nation that led the fight against fascism in Europe has contributed to its resurrection in Latin America.

That this could happen is due in large part to the United States' historically contemptuous attitude toward Latin America, which it has always looked upon as a purely business venture. Whereas the atrocities committed by Hitler and Mussolini outraged the American people, similar repression in Latin America elicits little more than a yawn.

Were U.S. companies to behave in the United States as they do in Latin America, with their bribes, double sets of books, tax evasion, monopolies, and failure to observe even the minimum standards for consumer protection, many of their executives would be behind bars. In Latin America such matters are considered standard business practice.

Many of the Latin-American Church's recent martyrs were killed by people trained and armed by the United States.

Father Rutilio Grande of Colombia, 1970s

"I greatly fear that very soon the Bible and the Gospel will not be allowed within the confines of our country. Only the buildings will arrive, nothing else, because all the pages are subversive- they are against sin. And if Jesus were to cross the border . . . they would arrest him. They would take him to many courts and accuse him of being unconstitutional and subversive, a revolutionary, a foreign Jew, a concocter of strange and bizarre ideas contrary to democracy, that is to say, against the minority. They would crucify him again, because they prefer a Christ of the sacristy or the cemetery, a silent Christ with a muzzle on his mouth, a Christ made to our image and according to our selfish interests.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Somoza may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he's our son-of-a-bitch."

During Somoza's presidency, the Somoza family alone owned 8,260 square miles, or more than 5 million acres, an area approximately the size of El Salvador. (The Somozas controlled an equally disproportionate share of the country's industry; they owned Nicaragua's twenty-six biggest companies.)

A rural teacher in Nicaragua in the 1970s, whose school had been closed by the National Guard

"Teaching people to think is the worst crime you can commit under the Somoza government."

Ex-President Somoza's father, Anastasio, Sr., who founded the family dynasty in 1936

"I don't want educated people. I want oxen."

According to conservative estimates, some thirty thousand Nicaraguans died in the four decades prior to the 1978-79 civil war for opposing the government of Anastasio Somoza and his sons Luis and Anastasio II. Those who survived, including the sons and daughters of the Nicaraguan aristocracy, were either bought off, forced into exile, or caught up in the economic vise of the Somoza family, which dominated Nicaragua's industry, agriculture, and banks.

What nobody wanted to admit was that the United States was directly responsible for the popularity of the Sandinista guerrillas. Had it not been for Washington's many years of economic and military support of the Somozas, it is unlikely that conditions in Nicaragua would have reached the point where conservative businessmen were willing to treat with guerrillas. Or as Ernesto Cardenal put it: "Fortunately for us, the United States has never learned the lesson that in supporting cruel and corrupt dictatorships, it only radicalizes the population, causing the very thing it does not want-socialist governments."

Ernesto Cardenal

"Fortunately for us, the United States has never learned the lesson that in supporting cruel and corrupt dictatorships, it only radicalizes the population, causing the very thing it does not want-socialist governments."

Washington continued to prop up the [Nicaraguan] dictatorship with loans. The Pentagon created, trained, and armed the National Guard, and nearly all Guard officers spent their last year of training in U.S. schools in the Panama Canal Zone.

During the 1960s and '70s, the Somoza family regularly cried wolf at congressional aid hearings, falsely claiming that ... assistance was needed to fight off a Castro-financed guerrilla invasion. Although there were periodic flare-ups, just as there had been in the thirties, forties, and fifties, guerrilla forces never seriously threatened the government, and even as late as 1976 the Sandinista guerrillas numbered no more than fifty militants. The money, the training, and the arms received from the United States were used for something quite different: to repress the poor people in the slums and rural areas by imprisonment, torture, and death.

... neither communism nor Fidel Castro had anything to do with the [Sandinista] guerrillas' success. It was Somoza's own doing with the loyal help of the United States.

... in Washington money and influence count more than proof of corruption and repression. No one should be surprised to learn, then, that the Nicaraguan word for a Somoza bootlicker is "gringo."

Honduran Lieutenant Colonel Mario Maldonado

"Agrarian reform is not communist. It is opposed simply because it affects the traditional privileges of the few wealthy people."

The more industrially advanced the country, the more sophisticated the form of torture and death: in Ecuador, a horse bridle, in Honduras, a bread oven; in Brazil, computerized terror, truth serum, and electric shock. So systematized is torture that it has become a way of life in many Latin-American countries.

The sickness that has engulfed Latin America, that endorses torture and assassination as Y routine in most of these countries, was to a significant extent bred in the boardrooms and military institutes of the United-States.

... the Pentagon's courses for Latin-American military officers were instrumental in formulating the Doctrine of National Security, and it was this doctrine that gave rise to totalitarianism in eleven Latin-American countries.

Reported RAND [Corporation]

"United States preconceptions about the seriousness of the Communist threat and about the subsequent need for counterinsurgency and civic action for the Latin-American military are producing undesired results. Paradoxically, U.S. policies appear simultaneously to encourage authoritarian regimes and to antagonize the military who lead them." (Luigi R. Einaudi, Richard L. Maullin, and Alfred C. Stephan III, "Latin-American Security Issues" [Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, Apr. 1969], p. v.)]

United Brands' [had a] long history of corruption of Central American governments. United Brands did not itself put the peasants in the Honduran bread oven, but it helped create the political conditions necessary for such atrocities.

A United Fruit (Brands) manager wrote a company lawyer about Honduras
"We must produce a disembowelment of the incipient economy of the country in order to increase and help our aims. We have to prolong its tragic, tormented, and revolutionary life; the wind must blow only on our sails and the water must only wet our keel." (Richard J. Barnet and Ronald E. Muller, Global Reach [New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974], p. 87.)

Certain ideals, such as freedom and respect for the individual's rights, form part of the United States' heritage, but how is anyone to respect that heritage when Americans say one thing at home and do another in the poorer countries?

Archbishop Peter L. Gerety, of Newark, New Jersey.

"In the face of the facts, it must be said that our recent performance has been high on rhetoric but poor in real terms. Whether the case cited is the Soviet Union, Korea, Chile, South Africa or Rhodesia, the actual influence of human-rights considerations in U.S. policy-making does not appear to be substantial or sustained."

Ever since 1823, when the Monroe Doctrine became the cornerstone of U.S. policy for Latin America, Washington has befriended dictators.

Creole fascism
Washington supported Latin-American dictators who claimed to be anti-communist, as in the case of General Stroessner in Paraguay. But the result of this preoccupation with communism was the revival of another monster: a creole version of European fascism.

A latent force in several of the most important South-American countries, fascism - particularly Mussolini's corporate state-had long attracted certain military and civilian sectors. During the 1930s it was also popular within an influential wing of the Catholic Church because of its virulent anti-communism and emphasis on "God, Fatherland, and Family." Called "integralism" in South America, this creole brand of European fascism made its greatest impact on Argentina, although the Brazilian populist dictator Getulio Vargas (president 1930-45, 1951-S4) also flirted with integralism, especially after 1937, when he seized total power and established his Estado Novo. Chile and Paraguay were also influenced by fascism.

Based on a rigid hierarchical society in which people are departmentalized according to social class and productive function, the integralist corporate state was well suited to Latin America's older feudal order and also accommodated economic and political changes brought about by industrialization. While all sectors of society theoretically have equal political representation in a corporate state, integralism as it evolved in Latin America essentially meant that the military, large landowners, and industrialists tightened their control over the government and the economy.

The feudal aspects of integralism particularly appealed to these men, who were convinced that God had ordained an obedient, hierarchical society in which everyone knew his place. It was natural that they should think so, for many of these values, particularly obedience and loyalty to the chain of command, formed part of the military mentality. Ongania's notion of an elite corps of rulers called by God to serve and save the nation was totally out of step with a modern Argentine society searching for more democratic forms of government, and popular discontent eventually forced the military to replace him with a less dogmatic ruler. Nevertheless, many ideas survived and thrived in the right wing of the Argentine armed forces, particularly among the hard-liners in the Army and the Navy because these men had been influenced by U.S. counterinsurgency courses that polarized the world forever between Western capitalism and Eastern communism.

Like Hitler, Brazil's generals view Catholicism as a useful weapon to control the masses, but they neither expect nor accept active participation by the Church in the field of social action or human rights. As in Argentina, however, the Brazilian branch of TFP was a useful ally of the military, particularly during the period leading up to the coup against President Joao Goulart.

Because of Peron's lasting influence, fascism never died in Argentina and could be revived with little or no outside prompting; in Brazil it was reborn thanks largely to Brazil's "greatest friend," the United States. And today Brazil, not Argentina, calls the shots in Latin America.

President Eisenhower's Draper Committee, 1959

"There is no single aspect of the military assistance program that produced more useful returns for the dollars expended than these training programs," the committee found, adding that the relations developed with Latin-American military officers would help instill in them a sense of U.S. priorities and policies.

Defense Secretary Robert McNamara explained to a House Appropriations Committee

"Probably the greatest return on our military-assistance investment comes from the training of selected officers and key specialists at our military schools and training centers in the United States and overseas. These students are hand-picked by their countries to become instructors when they return , home. They are the coming leaders, the men who will have \ the know-how and impart it to their forces. I need not dwell ' upon the value of having in positions of leadership men who | have firsthand knowledge of how Americans do things and l how they think. It is beyond price to us to make friends of such men."

[Admiral] LaRocque's successor, Air Force General Kermit C. Kaericher told President Stroessner that he had

"never been to a place where the people were so poor and looked so happy. (Jeffrey Stein, "Grad School for Juntas," The Nation [May 21, 1977], pp. 621-24.)]


... the Pentagon's strongest motive for pushing its idea of nation building was its reliance on the military as the "guardian of national security" in the ongoing crusade against communism. Almost all the courses, whether in ballistics or communications, were, and still are, heavily laden with pro-United States, anti-communist propaganda that encourages the Latin Americans to abhor as subversive anything that seems to run counter to U.S. interests.

Among the subjects taught Brazilian officers in U.S. military courses, according to information supplied to a U. S. Senate Committee, were the following:

... censorship, checkpoint systems, chemical and biological operations, briefings on the CIA, civic action and civil affairs, clandestine operations, counter-guerrilla operations, cryptography, defoliation, dissent in the United States, electronic intelligence, electronic warfare and countermeasures, the use of informants, insurgency, intelligence, counterintelligence, subversion, counter-subversion, espionage, counterespionage, interrogation of prisoners and suspects, handling mass rallies and meetings, nuclear weapons effects, intelligence photography, polygraphs, populace and resources control, psychological operations, raids and searches, riots, special warfare, surveillance, terror, and undercover operations.

Belgian theologian Jose Comlin

"Not merely do [the Latin-American elites] reject the genuine origins of their nations - African, Indian, and Iberian - but they regret that they themselves are not French, English or North American: this is alienation of a kind to be found nowhere else.''

80 percent of the officers who carried out the 1964 coup against President Goulart [Brazil] had been trained by the United States.

[Henry] Kissinger in Brazil in 1976 during the inhumane dictatorship of Castelo Branco, who the US helped put in power in 1964 with the coup against democratically elected Goulart

" ... there are no two peoples whose concern for human dignity and for the basic values of man is more pronounced in the day-to-day lives of their people than Brazil and the United States."

U.S. ambassador to Brazil, William M Roundtree

"The dedication of the Brazilian leaders, with the support of the Brazilian people, to this program of progress, is really very impressive. Their progress is being made under a free enterprise system that I think serves as a very good example to others who might be considering other forms of economic systems for the achievement of their objectives."

The development promoted by such foreign aid programs as the Alliance for Progress was as much a farce as the periodic elections staged by the Brazilian military. The rich local elites refused to accept change, and Washington was unwilling to do anything that might adversely affect U.S. corporate interests.

The executive branch is not only responsible for enforcing the institutional acts; it also has the power to ensure that the Brazilian people "think correctly" in Orwellian fashion. Under the Moral and Civic Education Program created in 1969, for example, all schoolchildren spend two hours a week studying courses designed to "promote a regard for obedience to law, fealty to work, adjustment to the community, and the responsibility of every Brazilian for national security." Children are encouraged to "denounce enemies of the fatherland," with specific instruction on how to identify and report such traitors, including their parents. Religion's importance is instilled, in a step-by-step progression, from a correct "scale of values" to the legitimization of the military government and its "present development effort" and "Brazil's membership in the Western bloc." Any teacher who refuses to sign a written agreement to support the goals of this indoctrination program can be barred from teaching.

In that repressive a society, atrocities proliferate. The "dragon chair," for example, is a device invented in the Rio military police barracks whereby the prisoner receives electric shocks while a dentist's drill shatters his or her teeth; after which, if the prisoner is a man, he is held upside down while his testicles are crushed. Parents are tortured in front of their children, or vice versa, as in the case of a three-month-old baby who was tortured to death by police in Sao Paulo's notorious Tiradentes Prison. After a while, reported U.S. Methodist missionary Fred Morris, who himself was tortured for seventeen days at Recife in northeastern Brazil, such horrors become routine. "These people had a nine-to-five job, except that their job was to torture for a living." (Chilean prisoners described a similar attitude, their inquisitors calling for a prisoner with the phrase "It's time to go to work.") According to one European psychiatrist, Brazil's hierarchical, authoritarian order is eminently suited to attract the type of mentality that can be developed into an efficient torturer, one who seeks and accepts authority and obeys orders without question, who is fanatically patriotic and self-righteous but unbalanced and vindictive toward anyone who does not share such views.

After reading case after nauseating case of the atrocities committed in the name of national security, and after recognizing the United States' involvement in the creation of military, police, and paramilitary agencies responsible for these horrors in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia-seventeen Latin-American countries in all-one comes to the conclusion either that the Americans who helped to establish and run these military and police training programs were deranged or that they never considered the predictable results of their work-possibly didn't want to consider them. For any normal person, the idea of torturing a three-month-old baby to death or putting a human being through the torments of the "dragon chair" is so appalling that it does not bear thinking about.

All the Latin-American Presidents overthrown with U.S. help in recent years represented constituted governments: Arbenz in Guatemala (1954), Goulart in Brazil (1964), Allende in Chile (1973). It mattered not whether the perceived threat was a democratically elected government or a guerrilla group; it was a dangerous precedent to be eliminated by military force. As General Maxwell Taylor told Third World police graduates of AlD's International Police Academy in Washington:

The outstanding lesson of the Indochina conflict] is that we should never let another Vietnam-type situation arise again. We were too late in recognizing the extent of the subversive threat. We appreciate now that every young, emerging country must be constantly on the alert, watching for those symptoms which, if allowed to develop unrestrained, may eventually grow into a disastrous situation such as that in South Vietnam. We have learned the need for a strong police force and a strong police intelligence organization to assist in identifying early the symptoms of an incipient subversive situation.

Because it was beyond the capacity of the Pentagon's counterinsurgency strategists to grasp the real causes of popular discontent in Latin America-and because Washington would not have sanctioned meaningful social change if they had-every potential disturbance had to be met with military and police tactics.

... for every peasant shot by guerrillas, at least fifteen were killed by U.S.-supported government forces [in Latin America].

I. F. Stone

"In reading the military literature on guerrilla warfare now so fashionable at the Pentagon, one feels that these writers are like men watching a dance from outside through heavy plate glass windows. They see the motions but they can't hear the music. They put the mechanical gestures down on paper with pendantic fidelity. But what rarely comes through to them are the injured racial feelings, the misery, the rankling slights. So they do not really understand what leads men to abandon wife, children, home, career, friends, to take to the bush and live gun in hand like a hunted animal; to challenge overwhelming military odds rather than acquiesce any longer in humiliation, injustice, or poverty...."

Any attempt to get at the real historical, sociological, or economic causes of poverty and injustice in Latin America is judged "subversive."

AID's Matthew Harvey

"I stood there watching the flames consume the bus. It was, I guess, the moment of truth. What did a busload of burning people have to do with freedom? What right did I have, in the name of democracy and the CIA, to decide that random victims should die?" (As quoted in Victor Marchetti and John D. Marks, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence [New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1974], p. 125.)

As a result of mounting evidence linking the public safety program to such terror squads, the U. S. Congress voted to phase out the program in 1974. Military grants to purchase arms met a similar fate, but the training programs were continued. By this time, however, there was less need for such assistance, because Brazil had taken over many of the United States' functions as regional policeman in training and arming its neighbors.

A Brazilian bishop

"Were it not for the guns, for the torture, and the terror, Brazil's military regime could not survive. And were it not for this regime, foreign corporations could not continue to make enormous profits at the expense of the people. The government has all the legal instruments necessary to control these companies, and so has the United States."

... just as the Defense Department's counterinsurgency courses became ends in themselves, corporate growth is used to justify every kind of villainy, including military dictatorship.

Between 1958 and 1970 ... the real wages of Brazilian workers declined by 64.5 percent. Whatever U.S. taxpayers may have believed, the Alliance for Progress was an excuse for business to gouge Uncle Sam as well as the Latin-American treasuries.

Senator Frank Church

"The present foreign aid program has been turned into a grotesque money tree, sheltering the foreign investments of our biggest corporations and furnishing aid and comfort to repressive governments all over the world."

Senator Hubert Humphry

"I have heard . . . that people may become dependent on us for food. I know that was not supposed to be good news. To me that was good news, because before people can do anything they have got to eat. And if you am looking for a way to get people to lean on you and to be dependent on you, in terms of their co-operation with you, it seems to me that food dependence would be terrific."

President Jimmy Carter about US bank loans to the US-supported Pinochet dictatorship of Chile

"The American business community ... support[s] completely a commitment of our nation to human rights."

3.1 percent of the landowners control 80 percent of the arable land, and the multinational corporations are establishing ranches of 500,000 acres and more in the Amazon.

... if a Christian acknowledges a code of moral behavior, it cannot condone, even by default, the unethical practices of U.S. executives or government officials in the poorer countries that are most in need of justice and real charity-not handouts, but an attempt at understanding.

Vatican's Secretary of State Cardinal Jean Villot, in a letter of support to the Church for its opposition to the [Chilean] military regime's ruthless free-market economic policies.

"We are not denying the legitimate right to property. But it must be clearly understood that property rights are subject to the needs of the community and that it is not possible to accept a society divided between a selfish, privileged minority and a mass of people deprived of life's essentials."

During the cold war, U.S. missionaries routinely collaborated with the CIA

John D. Marks, a former State Department intelligence analyst and co-author of the controversial The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. Marks also reported a retired CIA agent as stating:

"Hell, I'd use anybody if it was to the furtherance of an objective. I've used Buddhist monks, Catholic priests, and even a Catholic bishop.''

After President Ford announced his approval of illegal U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of the Latin-American countries, sixteen officials of Catholic and Protestant mission agencies wrote him:

"Contrary to what you would have us believe, CIA covert actions in the Third World frequently support undemocratic governments that trample on the rights of their own people. We missionaries have felt first-hand the effects of such interventions, which are certainly not in 'the best interests' of the majority of the citizens of those countries.... Nor do such actions, which are prohibited by international law and by Article 6 of our own Constitution, serve 'our best interests,' as you stated. Gangster methods undermine world order and promote widespread hatred of the United States."

New World Outlook, published by agencies of the United Methodist and United Presbyterian churches

"... it is our money and our government that pay for the regimes that do the killing."

... the Chilean branch of a right-wing Catholic movement known as Tradition, Family, and Property (TFP). Founded in the early 1960s by the Brazilian philosopher Plinio Correa de Oliveira, TFP has followers in most Latin American countries, including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and l Brazil. While akin in some respects to twentieth-century fascism, particularly to Mussolini's corporate state, TFP is really a throwback to eighteenth-century Europe, as yet untouched by the French Revolution, when the Catholic Church defended aristocratic privilege as a divine right. Indeed, TFP's insignia is a medieval lion. Most of its members are from the wealthy, propertied classes and yearn for an earlier time when the Latin-American Church upheld the right of a few patrones to rule a mass of peons.

TFP's first commandment is the utter sanctity of private property, and in countries with progressive bishops, such as Chile and Brazil, this has forced it into repeated clashes with the hierarchy on the issue of agrarian reform.

In Chile and Brazil the evidence points to both financial and political links between TFP and the CIA in plotting the overthrow of the Allende and Goulart governments.

The "institutionalization" of violence in Brazil was rationalized by both Washington and corporate industry as an unpleasant but necessary corollary of development, the theory being that only a strong government could drag Brazil into the twentieth century. As long as Brazil's gross national product could show a reasonable growth, and as long as the regime's representatives spoke piously about human rights and democracy in international forums, the rest of the world would look the other way.

Not so with Argentina. Unlike Brazil, whose dictatorship was dressed up with military doctrines and economic miracles, Argentina in the late 1970s was a land of sheer, open terror. Nothing in Latin America, not even Pinochet's Chile, could equal the levels of violence that followed the military coup of March 1976. Indeed, the only regime to create a state of fear approximating that m Argentina was Hitler's Germany.

Argentine general 1970s

"No one can be neutral or ambivalent. Some will succumb for being indifferent. Others will be shot as collaborators."

General Benjamin Menendez, commander of the Army III Corps in Cordoba and its notorious concentration camps:

"While [President] Videla governs, I kill!"

Jesuit magazine Mensaje

"Anyone who was not a trusted ally, anyone who did not have a 'good-conduct pass,' was suspect as an undercover agent who somehow was or might be in league with the enemy, and who therefore had to be destroyed or neutralized.''

Comment of one CIA agent

"If you think the Brazilian police's torture methods are bad, you should see what goes on in Argentine prisons.

Unlike Brazil or Argentina ... the Mexican Government did not have to institute a reign of terror to support its development model. The people's apathy and fatalism, the lack of national leaders, and the enduring magic of the Mexican Revolution combined to give the country a veneer of social stability and democracy.

Brazilian government official

"There are one hundred million of us Brazilians. Fifty million are no more than poor, ignorant slobs whom the other fifty million must civilize. And even of those others, forty million are incapable of civilizing anyone. That leaves an elite of ten million whose job-and right-is to rule the other ninety million.''

C. Ellis Nelson of the Union Theological Seminary

"Liberation theology is new in our time because its object is the transformation of society rather than purifying-and forming the faith for the Church. This stance makes a radical difference in how the Church is understood. The Church is not a colony of heaven; it is not a neutral institution in society. The Church is part of society, and if it does not speak against social injustice, it silently supports the oppressors. The task of liberation theology is to analyze and criticize the role of the Church in order to help the Church use its institutional power to change society.

Dom Helder Camara

"We have no objection to private property, provided that each person can own it."

.. by the end of the century more than half the world's Catholics will live in Latin America, and by far the largest number will be in Brazil, which also has the continent's most progressive Church.

El Paso's Bishop Flores

"Some say the system is not perfect, but that it is the best ever devised by man. Well, it is not perfect. Man must do better, or the large corporation, managed by men shielded from public control, will otherwise be the imperialism of the twenty-first century.''

El Paso's Bishop Flores

"Examples like this abound throughout the United States. Education in the West has become a handmaiden of corporate production, of a bourgeois society, of a society bent on acquisition. Western education imprisons the affluent in a psychology of acquisitiveness and exclusivity of moral vision, and at the same time perpetuates the dominance of the affluent over the poor."

Cry of the People

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