This essay discusses the political process behind the Chile Declassification Project initiated by President Bill Clinton in 1999 and concluded during fall 2000. With the release of over 150,000 pages of sensitive records, Clinton's Chile Declassification Project became one of the largest discretionary executive branch releases of records on any country or foreign policy issue. The worldwide attention to Augusto Pinochet's detention in London put an international onus on the United States, whose classified government archives could provide pivotal evidence for Spain's efforts to finally bring the general to justice. Under increasing pressure from Congress, the families of the victims of the Pinochet regime, as well as human rights advocacy groups, Clinton authorized a major review and release of secret documents on Chile for the sake of historical transparency and support of Chile's truth and reconciliation process. In February 1999, the president authorized, and his administration initiated, the Chile Declassification Project.

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