Santiago de Chile, April 22 (teleSUR-RHC)-- Chile's National Journalists Association announced on Tuesday it would expel Agustin Edwards Eastman, president and owner of El Mercurio, the country's largest newspaper.
The decision was confirmed by the association's President Javiera Olivares, who described it as “historic” and is based on the businessman's role before and during the military dictatorship in Chile from 1973 to 1989.
Edwards and his newspaper received money from the United States' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to promote the 1973 coup against democratically elected President Salvador Allende. During the following dictatorship headed by General Augusto Pinochet, the newspaper disguised massacres committed by the military and avoided reporting on the widespread cases of disappearances.
Furthermore, the association took the decision based on several cases which showed the newspaper's lack of ethics and consciously collaborating with the dictatorship in its coverage. The owner of El Mercurio now has ten days to appeal the resolution adopted by the association.
The parent company owned by the Edwards family, Grupo El Mercurio, owns three national newspapers and 24 regional newspapers. The group holds two national radio stations, a publishing house, and has investments in telecommunications.
Before the coup d'etat against President Allende, the influential businessman was received by U.S. President Richard Nixon in the White House, where he urged him to oust Allende. This meeting marked the beginning of the newspaper's relationship with the CIA and the Chilean dictatorship.
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