Man behind 1969 kidnapping of U.S. ambassador in Brazil tells his story

September 28, 2011

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(AP/Silvia Izquierdo)
In 2009, Gabiera said he ‘was in error' in the kidnapping and would never participate in anti-American guerrilla activity again.

In September 1969, left-wing activists kidnapped U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Charles Burke Elbrick to protest the military dictatorship in power. In exchange, they demanded the release of 15 of their comrades. Fernando Gabeira, who helped mastermind the kidnapping, speaks to Witness from the BBC World Service. At the time, he was a young journalist with ties to the MR8, a revolutionary group trying to install a socialist government in Brazil.

The one-time guerrilla is now a federal deputy for the state of Rio de Janeiro and a published author. Due to his role in the kidnapping of a U.S. government official, he's barred from entering the United States or any of its territories.