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Viewing cable 07MONTEVIDEO287, EX-GUERRILLA'S INVOLVEMENT IN US BUSINESS DEAL

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MONTEVIDEO287 2007-03-20 19:07 2010-12-14 21:09 SECRET Embassy Montevideo
VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMN #0287/01 0791934
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 201934Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6973
INFO RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0126
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
S E C R E T MONTEVIDEO 000287

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT ALSO FOR WHA/BSC
NSC FOR DFISK AND JCARDENAS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/20/2017
TAGS: PTER PREL ETRD ASEC UY
SUBJECT: EX-GUERRILLA'S INVOLVEMENT IN US BUSINESS DEAL
RAISES RED FLAG

REF: A. 04 MONTEVIDEO 00554

B. 04 STATE 135930

Classified By: Charge D'Affaires James D. Nealon
for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D)

1. (C) This telegram contains an action request for the
Department in paragraphs 1 and 6.

2. (S) Summary: It has recently come to our attention that a
promising counter-trade deal between the GOU and U.S. firm
General Electric (GE) includes the key participation of a
nefarious former Tupamaro guerrilla named Henry ENGLER
Golovchenko. Engler was credibly implicated in the 1970
murder in Uruguay of then-USAID Security Advisor Daniel
Anthony Mitrione. As far as we can ascertain from old
sensitive reporting, Engler was not a participant in the
actual execution of Mitrione, but he is reported to have
ordered the execution and provided the weapons used to kill
him. The Embassy had been helping to broker the triangular
deal among GOU ministries and the U.S. company, but upon
learning of Engler's recent return to Uruguay and his planned
prominent role in the project, we see his presence as an
outright show stopper. Embassy seeks the Department's
guidance on how best to proceed and whom to inform on this
delicate matter. End Summary.

Counter-trade Deal
-----------------
3. (C) Over the past few months, the Embassy has been helping
to facilitate a creative deal worth $12 million between
General Electric and the GOU's ministries of Health, Energy
and Agriculture. Under the terms of what amounts to a
creative counter-trade agreement, GE would provide some of
its sophisticated medical equipment to a Uruguayan cancer
center in exchange for Uruguayan commodities such as rice,
cement and wood chips. GE Trading would then sell the
commodities on the world market. The deal would be a first
for GE in Latin America and could pave the way for future
even larger deals -- possibly including power generation
plants. The project is well-advanced and was highlighted
during the recent POTUS visit to Uruguay. But the problem (as
we recently found out) is that Henry Engler is now a
contracted advisor for GE who would play a prominent role in
the medical portion of the project.

Brief Background
----------------
4. (S) On July 31, 1970 Daniel Mitrione, USAID Public Safety
Advisor, AmEmbassy Montevideo, was driving from home to work
when his vehicle was intercepted and hit by another vehicle.
Mitrione's police driver was disarmed. The kidnappers forced
Mitrione out of his vehicle and a struggle ensued. Mitrione
was shot in the thorax and kidnapped by Movimiento de
Liberacion Nacional-Tupamaro (MLN-T) terrorist. Mitrione was
transported to a "People's Jail" where his wound was treated
by the kidnappers (two of whom were medical students). The
Tupamaros demanded the release of 150 jailed comrades. The
police engaged in a massive manhunt and arrested an
additional 20 Tupamaro suspects. Three other U.S. Embassy
officials were kidnapped in the same time frame (Rosenfeld,
Jones and Fly). At some point during his ordeal Mitrione was
allegedly castrated by Antonio Mas Mas, a medical student
who later disappeared and may have died. On August 10,
Mitrione was shot by Mas Mas and his body was left in a
stolen car.

Henry ENGLER Golovchenko
------------------------
5. (S) Engler was imprisoned during the Uruguayan military
dictatorship, spending some 13 years in captivity. According
to police records, he was a member of the MLN Executive
Committee from 7 August 1970 until March 15, 1972. Engler
was arrested on 17 August 1972, and remained in captivity
until he was amnestied by President Sanguinetti in 1985.
(Comment: We do not know if Engler was actually convicted of
Mitrione's murder. End Comment.) According to open sources,
Engler was responsible for the military section of the 15th
(MLN-T) column and helped plan the Mitrione kidnap and
assassination. Engler was not involved in the assassination
itself but provided some or all of the weapons to Mas Mas.
After his 1985 release, Engler moved to Sweden and completed
medical school there.

6. (S) Engler is believed to be a Swedish citizen. He is
presently Medical Director of the PET Center at the Uppsala
University in Sweden. He travels widely in Europe, and

according to the Uruguayan press, may be nominated for a
Nobel prize in medicine for his pioneering work in combating
Alzheimer's disease. He apparently now works with General
Electric and will manage a medical project at Hospital de
Clinicas in Montevideo. In 2004, Embassy Montevideo attempted
to reopen the investigation into Mitrione's murder, but the
request was denied (reftels).

Comment:
--------
7. (S) We have been spreading the message that the U.S.
favors good relations with governments in the region that
respect democracy, the rule of law and human rights,
regardless of their political label. We also regularly
interact with Tupamaros who represent a significant portion
of the Frente Amplio government. However, we draw the line in
dealing with individuals who were credibly involved in the
kidnapping or murder of American citizens such as Dan
Mitrione. Despite the promising aspects of the GE/GOU
counter-trade deal, we think the Embassy should distance
itself from this project and discreetly inform the interested
parties that the reason is the involvement of Dr. Engler, no
matter how much he has tried to rehabilitate his image. Our
other main concern is that we do not wish to reopen old
wounds from the Cold War any more than is necessary. This is
because we have worked very hard to establish an excellent
bilateral relationship with a pragmatic left-leaning
government that for the most part eschews violence. Embassy
requests the Department's guidance on how best to proceed and
whom to inform in this delicate matter. End Comment.
Nealon