Operation Toucan (KGB)

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Operation TOUCAN was a KGB/DGI public relations and disinformation campaign directed at the military government of Chile led by Augusto Pinochet. According to former KGB officer Vasili Mitrokhin, the plot was originally conceived by Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov. The plot's twofold task was to organize sympathetic human rights activists to pressure the United Nations and generate negative press for the Pinochet regime. In 1976, the start of TOUCAN, the New York Times published 66 articles on Chile’s human rights record and four on Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge and only 3 such articles on the human rights situation in Cuba.

As part of operation TOUCAN, the KGB also forged a letter tying the CIA to an assassination campaign by Chile’s DINA and many journalists, including columnist Jack Anderson of the New York Times, used this information in their news stories as evidence of the CIA’s involvement in the more nefarious parts of Operation Condor.


  • Andrew, Christopher; Mitrokhin, Vasili. The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World. Basic Books (2005)
  • Horne, Alistair.Small Earthquake in Chile: A Visit to Allende's South America. Papermac (1990)
  • Billingsley, Lloyd. "Chili con Commies." Frontpage Magazine (24 January 2006).

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