Skip to main content


(May 22, 2006) An unknown man delivered a series of bank statements and personal letters to Chile’s police last December that detail the involvement of Gen. Ricardo Izurieta, Chile’s former commander in chief, in the Riggs Bank case. The letters were made public for the first time in El Mercurio on Sunday and suggest that Gen. Izurieta served as a go-between for former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet and the President of the Riggs Bank in Washington, Joseph L. Allbritton.

According to Sunday’s El Mercurio, Chile’s Investigations Police received an anonymous phone call in December claiming to have information about the Riggs Bank case. Police officials set up a meeting in Santiago’s Apumanque Mall where an unidentified man handed a police representative a manila envelope then disappeared before he could be identified.

Inside the manila envelope was a 1995 bank statement from the Riggs Bank in Washington, D.C. sent by the then military attaché in Washington, D.C. Gen. Izurieta advising Gen. Pinochet on the state of his bank accounts. Also included in the package were two personal letters between the Riggs Bank President Allbritton and Izurieta that demonstrate the close relationship between the two men.

The Riggs Bank case is an investigation into the approximately US$27 million that Gen. Pinochet laundered while dictator and commander in chief of Chile between 1973 and 1998. Gen. Pinochet was indicted on Nov. 22, 2005 on charges of money laundering, tax evasion, and falsifying documents, his wife and five children have also been indicted in the case.

Gen. Pinochet was forced to step down in 1998 after he was detained in London on charges of human rights abuse. Gen. Izurieta was named to replace Pinochet as commander in chief of the military. Included in the package given to the police is a fax sent by Allbritton congratulating Izurieta on his promotion.

Investigators in the Riggs Bank case have already questioned Gen. Izurieta about his knowledge of the illegal bank accounts but no charges have been filed against him.



Popular posts from this blog

Moving to the Suburbs: Reducciones in Recent Latin American Historiography

In 1503, the Spanish monarchy issued its first decree for the resettlement of indigenous groups in the Caribbean so that they would “live together” and “not remain or wander separated from each other in the backcountry.”[1]

As the European conquest spread to North, Central, and South America, these new settlements – known as reducciones and congregaciones in Spanish and descimentos in Portuguese – became sites of forced labor, evangelism, experimental agricultural, and refuge. Through a series of imperial policies decreed over the next decades and centuries of colonial rule, Spanish and Portuguese officials attempted to reshape the New World, including its human and natural landscapes. How colonial historians explain this process and indigenous peoples’ reactions to it is the focus of this essay.

In a review of the recent historiography of reducciones, several trends emerge that signal a shift in our understanding of the practice. As this paper will show, one common element is that …

"Open" and "Closed" Regionalism Theories

(Apr. 3, 2008) The terms "Open" and "closed" regionalism refer to the degree in which regional blocks allow nonmember nations to access their markets. In this sense, an "open region" is one with few, if any, external trade restrictions while a "closed region" can be defined as one whose external trade policies seek to restrict commerce with nations outside the region.Closed regionalism as practiced in Latin America grew out of the policy suggestions made by UN ECLAC/CEPAL school of dependency theory in the early 1960s. As discussed earlier, proponents of this policy argued that states should form regional alliances with a series of trade barriers against foreign products to foment regional industrialization and assure captive local markets for these manufactured goods. The failure of this system of integration to meet Latin America's economic goals became apparent during the 1980s and was further highlighted by the strong economic performanc…

Greetings From Gringolandia

Bloomberg Businessweek, March 28 — April 3, 2016
Susan Lamy and her husband, Jean Pierre, owned a successful interior design business in Westport, Conn., but they still worried about how they would make ends meet in retirement. “Just paying for the basic necessities was killing us, and we could see that there was no way that we would ever be able to stop working,” says Lamy. 
The search for an affordable retirement spot led the couple to Cuenca, a Unesco World Heritage site in Ecuador’s southern Andes. They settled there in 2013 and now live in a spacious apartment with a terrace overlooking the Yanuncay River. Lamy says she and her husband enjoy a high standard of living in Cuenca for around $2,500 a month, paid for by their Social Security checks: “This seemed to be the best possibility for having a really terrific life on a fixed income.” 
The combination of a subtropical climate, well-preserved colonial architecture, and low cost of living has made Cuenca a magnet for North Ameri…