August 19, 2003


The Honorable William Brownfield

U.S. Embassy

Avenida Andres Bello 2800

Santiago, Chile

Via fax: 56 2 330-3710



Dear Ambassador Brownfield,

         Thank you for your reply of
August 1, 2003. I appreciate your expression of commitment to resolve the case of my missing brother, Boris Weisfeiler.  I am writing again to pursue specific areas that can be taken to turn that commitment into action.


         As I'm sure you know, on August 1, 2003, my daughter and I traveled to Washington D.C. for a meeting with the officers of the State Department which was held in Congressman Barney Frank's office.  I wanted to share with you some of issues we raised at that meeting.

         I strongly believe that the U.S. Government should be doing much, much more in regard of solving the case of disappearance of Prof. Weisfeiler.  As you mention in your letter, the FBI has offered to provide lie detector tests to members of the military patrol who may have been involved in my brother's disappearance.  This proposal, first made several years ago, is the only concrete expression of investigative support in the case. Polygraphs are not commonly used in the Chilean legal system.  More than a year ago I was informed by then-Legal Attaché Kevin Currier that all possible witnesses refused to participate in the polygraph exam and, as you said, "There is no way to compel them." And during our December 2002 trip to
Chile I was informed that Judge Solis prohibited using that test in possible interrogations.

          It is time to go beyond the lone offer of polygraph support and pursue the many other ways for the U.S. Government to actively, aggressively, professionally and diplomatically support the investigation.  The FBI has many other investigative techniques and technologies that could be provided to the Chileans authorities.  The FBI could, for example, provide technical assistance for investigation of Colonia Dignidad.  As you know, President Lagos has publicly told the New York Times that
Chile welcomes any FBI assistance that would help solve the case.  It is time to take him up on that position.


          I also want to explore with you what the Embassy, and the legal attaché, can do on its own in terms of enhancing and advancing the investigation.   For example, you now have photographs of the military patrol that Defense Minister Michelle Bachelet provided to Judge Solis after I met with her in December 2002.  The U.S. embassy officials who met "Daniel" in 1987 may be able to identify him from those photos.  Let me pose a simple and obvious question: have those photos been shown to the participants of the original U.S. embassy investigation, among them former Consul Larry Huffman, and Vice Consul Phillip Antweiler who personally met "Daniel" and spent considerable time with him. 


          I would also like to know if the Embassy has looked for and located the two consular officers who traveled to the area of Boris's disappearance in October 1985 and wrote in their reports of various informants who suggested a cover up of what happened to my brother.  I believe that it is time to disclose to Judge Solis the names of all local informants who talked to embassy officials in October 1985 (Embassy cable, October 17, 1985. I was told during the Dept of State meeting that one of the women is still employee of the Embassy.) I would also like to know if the Embassy has requested that the CIA privately provide to Judge Solis the name of the informant cited in an Agency report of November 1987.  Although I understand this is a sensitive issue, I believe a thorough effort to find my brother warrants such action.  

          Among the most obvious actions that your Embassy can take is simply finding former diplomat Larry Penn and the former Deputy Chief of Mission George F. Jones, and asking them to clarify a one paragraph memorandum dated February 21, 1985—which indicates that Mr. Penn only a few weeks after Boris disappeared had received information from a source that my brother was still alive.  Despite the fact that I have flagged this memo and its potential leads at almost every meeting with State Department and FBI officials, I do not believe any effort has been made to pursue further information about this mysterious and troubling memorandum—the first document to suggest that Boris Weisfeiler had not drowned in the river but was still alive.


           I would also like to know from you whether the Embassy has provided Judge Solis with the original tapes of "Daniel's" testimonies made by then-attorney Maximo Pacheco during Daniel's first two interviews, according to declassified documents dated June 22, 1987.  Those documents indicate that at least three copies of the tapes were made.  They are obviously relevant to the investigation of this case.


Finally, I would like to ask your official support for advancing publicity around this case.  At the time when Chileans are openly discussing what to do about the disappeared prisoners and other human rights atrocities of the past, it would seem only logical that the United States would call attention to the one American citizen missing at the hands of the Pinochet’s regime. 


I would like to see a public reward offered for any information on the welfare and whereabouts of Boris Weisfeiler.  I understand that offering such a reward is not often done by the U.S. government—although obviously rewards have and are being offered in other countries to advance the cause of U.S. interests.   If a reward cannot be offered, the Embassy could still work with me on a variety of other publicity initiatives, including:


·                          Creating and distributing advertisements and posters—HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MAN? — requesting information on the whereabouts and fate of Boris Weisfeiler.  I would like to coordinate with the Embassy on this so that information can be vetted and assessed by professionals rather than just my family.   

·                          Holding a Press Conference to call attention to Boris's disappearance and request informants to come forward and announcing guarantees for the security of any informant's identity. 

·                          Using the criteria set forth recently by President Lagos, calling for informants to contact the Judge or the U.S. Embassy and be protected from prosecution.


          In other words, I am seeking your initiative and assistance in raising the profile of this case in Chile, using methods suggested in cable traffic from May 6 and 28, 1986.  With the issue of human rights being debated and discussed as the 30th anniversary of the coup approaches, I believe that this kind of action would be the most appropriate for the U.S. Government in attempts to finally resolve the disappearance in Chile of an American citizen almost nineteen years ago.

          As I discussed with the State Department officials in
Washington D.C., I want to pursue concrete actions from now on, rather than just expressions of concern.  I am hoping that the State Department will name a coordinator whose task includes monitoring and pursuing its initiatives and activities to ascertain the fate of my brother so that there is a formal advocate for resolving this case inside the department, and someone who can stay in better contact with me.


          I hope to hear from you soon regarding these concrete proposals for actions that can and should be taken to find my brother.


                                                                  Olga Weisfeiler

Cc:  Robert Jackson, Director, Office for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy;
Jeanette Davis, Bureau of Democracy, Human rights, and Labor;

Len Kusnitz, Deputy Director, Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs;

Congressman Barney Frank;

Senator Edward M. Kennedy;

Senator John F. Kerry;

Peter Kornbluh, National Security Archives;

Attorneys: Alene Shafnisky, Hernan Fernandez, Joanna Heskia.