Assassination Attempts: Dan A. Mitrione Government Agent Part 1

About the assassination of Dan A. Mitrione a U.S. government agent, his biography and history in Uruguay.

The Victim: DAN A. MITRIONE. Mitrione was a U.S. Government agent who was dispatched to Latin America as part of the U.S. Government's attempt to maintain totalitarian puppet-allies. He supposedly advised local officials on traffic safety, but his real job was to create sophisticated police states in order to minimize the possibility of popular rebellion against dictatorial regimes.

Dan Mitrione started as a cop in Richmond, Ind., in 1945. He became police chief in 1955 and joined the FBI in 1957. In 1960, under the State Department's International Cooperation Administration (predecessor of the Agency for International Development-AID), he went to Brazil to train police there in advanced counterinsurgency techniques. During his 7 "Public Safety" years in Brazil, the use of torture against opponents of the military regime became virtually routine. In addition, the Brazilian police, many of whom were trained by Mitrione, formed a vigilante "Death Squad" which disposed of over 100 "undesirables" without arrest or trial.

Documentation of Mitrione's activities has been compiled by a wide range of investigators, from religious groups to Hollywood film makers. NARMIC, a research/action arm of the American Friends Service Committee, reported that:

. . . after training such a police force, Mitrione returned to the U.S. as a Latin America expert. In 1967 he trained foreign officers in the techniques of counterguerrilla warfare at the AID-Public Safety Police Academy in Washington, D.C. In July of 1969, Mitrione headed for South America again, this time to Uruguay for AID. He was the leader of a 4-man team of Public Safety advisors that trained 1,000 Uruguayan police in police management, patrolling, use of scientific and technical aids, antiguerrilla operations and border control. These trainees have in turn instructed an untold number of police in more outlying regions of the country.

Mitrione himself, during his year-long stay, trained personnel in transportation techniques, established a police training facility and a radio network for Montevideo police, and set up a joint operations center of communications to facilitate cooperation between the police and the army.

To accomplish what he called "Uruguay's total penetration," Mitrione designed and initiated the following measures according to Costa-Gavras and Franco Solinas, authors of State of Siege:

A network of spies and infiltrators in high schools and universities.

Hidden cameras in terminals, etc., to photograph all persons traveling to socialist countries.

An increase in the size of the city militia from 600 to 1,000 men.

New gases, new .45-caliber machine guns, an increase in the use of shotguns. Inspection of all mail and publications coming from socialist countries.

Inauguration of police training courses in the recruitment of informers, interrogation techniques, use of explosives, etc.

A legislative report of 7 Uruguayan senators reveals that torture is a "normal, frequent, and habitual occurrence" in police operations of Uruguay. The Rev. Louis Colonnese, director of the Latin American Division of the U.S. Catholic Conference, says that "the investigation showed many of the torture victims were students and labor leaders. . . ."

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