Building Relationships with the Chilean Government Swent: How did you get these messages from them? Haldeman: When I got into Santiago and the general manager's job, I realized that I was still a foreigner, and I had to have a Chilean with some political know-how who would give me political advice and get me the contacts and open me the doors. Swent: Had Michaelson handed over anything to you? Haldeman: He was only there seven months. He just sprang in there and went out and left me. There was nobody prepared for that. Santiago view 1 Mario Illanes Swent: You had to do all your allying yourself? Haldeman: There was a man working in the office, a Chilean named Mario Illanes, who had been in the diplomatic service in the Chilean consulate in San Francisco and in Washington for several years. Turton had hired him to stay in Santiago and handle the politicians and so on, because Turton wouldn't work in Santiago; he wanted to live out in Coya in his nice house with a garden. So I got Mario Illanes, and I said, "Mario, I have to get to know the senators, representatives, ministers, the president, and all the businessmen in the National Manufacturing Society. I've got to get myself into the Chilean business and political whirl." Swent: Was there a Chilean Mining Society? Haldeman: Yes, but it was only mining engineers, and most of them were small miners. Santiago view 2 Swent: Your job was to get to know the Chileans, and about eight months of the year you were in Santiago? Haldeman: For about eight months of the year everybody was in Santiago. The other four months December, January, February, and March people started vacations, and Congress and the courts shut down. I said, "Every month, I'd like to have a lunch at the office." That was in the apartment they had built on the top floor of a five-story building in Santiago for Turton to live in.
Index to Haldeman Interview