Ambassador Juan Gabriel Valdes lays a wreath at the memorial for Orlando Letelier
Media playback is unsupported on your device

Chile envoy remembers close call with Washington car bomb

In 1976, Orlando Letelier, a former Chilean ambassador to the United States, was killed when a bomb attached to his car exploded in Sheridan Circle in Washington DC, where he was living in exile.

An FBI investigation later revealed that the assassination was planned by Dina, the Chilean secret police in the government of Augusto Pinochet.

Juan Gabriel Valdes remembers the day vividly.

Now Chile's ambassador to Washington, he was working for Letelier and due to be picked up by him that morning, but his wife wanted him to stay home and watch the children while she went to the market.

Ambassador Valdes tells the BBC how his boss' assassination changed his life and how it feels to be back in the US capital 40 years later.

Produced by Bill McKenna and Thomas Sparrow; Filmed by David Hopper

Archive video from 1978 BBC Panorama film Chile's Watergate

First Person is a series of video features published every Monday on the BBC News website which tell the stories of unique individuals from all walks of life in their own words.

  • 16 Jun 2014
Go to next video: Combat medic using soap as a weapon