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The Death of Bernardo De Torres by John Simkin

A couple of days in the past a pal of mine dwelling in Florida despatched me a hyperlink to an article in a small circulation weekly newspaper, The Miami Occasions. It informed the story of the demise of Bernardo De Torres. The article was written by De Torres long-term pal, Owen Band. The two men have been both involved within the “drug business” in Miami in the 1970s. In accordance with Band: “Bernardo de Torres was my friend, mentor, and at times my surrogate father. We met when I was floundering, a year after I had been dropped off the wait-list at Harvard Law School and suffered a nervous break down… Bernie concluded it was time for me to move on with my life. I was never cut out for drug dealing, he said, and I was smart enough to make it legitimately.” Band had lost contact with De Torres and he had been lifeless for several months earlier than he heard the information. (1)

I have been writing about Bernardo De Torres for almost 20 years, as you will see that out if do a search of Google. This has not all the time been the case. Once I first created a web page on De Torres, Google refused to include it of their search outcomes. This was very uncommon as in those days, anyone I produced a web page on would within a couple of days it was ranked first at Google (it’s because of the massive number of web sites – about 170,000 – that have been linked to my web site). (2)

After I complained about it I used to be contacted by Daniel Brandt, who had established the website Namebase, a web-based cross-indexed database of names that focuses on people involved within the worldwide intelligence group. He advised me that his page on De Torres was additionally not appearing in the index. Consequently, he established Google-Watch, to watch the best way it censored material on the internet. (three)

Though Google refused to answer to my grievance concerning the non-listing of Bernardo De Torres, they ultimately reinstalled my web page into its index. Nevertheless, Brandt was not so fortunate and the as soon as so worthwhile websites, Namebase and Google-Watch are not in existence. Unfortunately he gave up his battle towards Google in February, 2012, and took down all his sites. (4) I had been writing concerning the John F. Kennedy assassination for many years and Google have been fairly prepared to index the overwhelming majority of pages that I produced. That isn’t true at present as Google punish you for writing anything dangerous about them. For example, see this article, Google, Bing and Operation Mockingbird: The CIA and Search-Engine Outcomes. (5)

Bernardo De Torres

The initial censorship satisfied me that Bernardo De Torres was an necessary figure that wanted to be looked at very intently. At first most of my info got here from a former employee of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS). I’ll call him Daniel Ralston (this isn’t his real identify or the identify that he presently uses). He went on to do freelance work for the Central Intelligence Company (CIA). Throughout this period he turned associates with people who have been intimately involved in the assassination. He claimed that David Sanchez Morales, who worked at JM/WAVE, the CIA station in Miami had organised the assassination. Morales was operations chief for the CIA’s covert operation to train and infiltrate groups into Cuba to destabilize the Fidel Castro authorities. The position of De Torres was to ensure that these involved within the assassination didn’t speak about it afterwards.

Ralston had a huge assortment of pictures of individuals he advised me have been concerned in the occasions surrounding the assassinations. This included CIA agents and other people they used to carry out sure unlawful activities. Some of these seemed like surveillance pictures, whereas others have been pretty intimate family pictures. He inspired me to publish most of these pictures but some he asked me not to do that as it might get him into hassle with harmful individuals. He seemed notably scared of De Torres.

I attempted to get an interview with De Torres but he refused to speak to me. Nevertheless, one of his youngsters, did agree to provide me info on her father. Some of his former colleagues also gave me info. De Torres had additionally been talked about in a couple of books on the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Orlando Letelier. He was also mentioned in books on the worldwide drug commerce and CIA backed coups in South America. That is his story.

Bernardo De Torres was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1934. He moved to america in 1955 and later worked as a personal investigator in Miami. De Torres was a robust opponent of Fidel Castro and in the course of the Bay of Pigs Operation was Chief of Intelligence for Brigade 2506 the place he worked underneath David Sanchez Morales. Through the invasion he was captured and was held in captivity until 24th December, 1962. On his release he joined his brother Carlos in Miami. (6)

Based on his daughter: “He (De Torres) was already working with the CIA against him (Castro) in 1959. After he came back from the invasion he was in critical condition for a of couple months. He was shot in the back of his head beneath his cerebellum and the bullet broke into five pieces. He went under surgery and had four of those pieces removed. One had to stay because it was too close to an area that if accidentally harmed could make him paralyzed.” (7)

In 1963 De Torres resumed work as a personal investigator. Based on Gerry P. Hemming De Torres labored for Charles Siragusa, who was involved in overseas assassinations. (eight) Hemming had established Interpen (Intercontinental Penetration Drive) and De Torres turned associated with several of the Interpen members, together with Loran Hall, Roy Hargraves, William Seymour, Lawrence Howard, Steve Wilson, Howard Okay. Davis, Edwin Collins, James Arthur Lewis and Dennis Harber. (9)

Tom Bethell, who labored for New Orleans district lawyer Jim Garrison, interviewed Hemming about Interpen and he claimed that in 1963 there have been “numerous teams with paramilitary inclinations out to ‘get’ Kennedy. Some of these teams had been approached by wealthy entrepreneurs of the H. L. Hunt type, (though not, I think, in fact H.L. Hunt), who were interested in seeing the job done and even provided financial assistance.” (Haroldson L. Hunt, a wealthy oil man from Texas.) After the assassination of Kennedy members of these groups “have been returning to their sponsors, taking credit for the assassination, and at the same time requesting large additional sums of money so that they won’t be tempted to talk about it to anyone. In turn, the sponsors have apparently been hiring Mafia figures to rid themselves of these blackmailers.” (10)

Silvia Odio

Silvia Odio was a member of the anti-Castro group Junta Revolucionaria Cubana (JURE). Her father Amador Odio, was among Cuba’s wealthiest men, the proprietor of the nation’s largest trucking business. Nevertheless, he had fought Cuban dictators and helped to overthrow Basic Gerardo Machado in 1933. He was an early supporter of Castro, but had turned towards him when “Fidel betrayed the Revolution” and together with Manuel Ray, had helped type one of the first anti-Castro teams inside Cuba. (11)

Bernardo De Torres and Edwin CollinsBernardo De Torres and Edwin Collins

Odio later advised the FBI and the Warren Commission that on 25th September, 1963, whereas dwelling in Dallas, she acquired a visit from three men who claimed they have been from New Orleans. Two of the lads, Leopoldo and Angel, have been Cubans, who stated they have been members of JURE. The third man, who they named as Leon Oswald, was launched as an American sympathizer who was prepared to participate within the assassination of Fidel Castro. After she informed them that she was unwilling to become involved in any felony exercise, the three males left. Odio later identified Leon as Lee Harvey Oswald. (12)

The following day Leopoldo referred to as her on the phone. He advised her it was his concept to introduce the American into the underground “because he is great, he is kind of nuts”. Leopoldo additionally stated that the American had been in the marine corps and was a superb shot, and that the American stated the Cubans “don’t have any guts because President Kennedy should have been assassinated after the Bay of Pigs, and some Cubans should have done that, because he was the one that was holding the freedom of Cuba actually.” (13)

William Seymour, Dennis Harber, Isidro Berja and Bernardo De TorresWilliam Seymour, Dennis Harber, Isidro Berja and Bernardo De Torres

A report carried out by the FBI instructed that the three males might have been members of Interpen (Loran Corridor, William Seymour and Lawrence Howard). Hall admitted they “had gone to the apartment of a Cuban woman who lived in a garden style apartment located on Magellan Circle in Dallas… and said that he could not picture this woman in his mind now. He said that her name was possibly Odio. He said that he seemed to recognize this woman’s name as Odio because of the association with the name of the Cuban professor who had the same name.” (14)

Angelo Murgado was another member of the anti-Castro Cubans who was associated with Bernardo De Torres. He was a member of a gaggle led by Manuel Artime. In August 1963, Murgado and Artime had a gathering with Robert F. Kennedy. Murgado warned the lawyer basic concerning the behaviour of some anti-Castro Cubans: “I told him that we have to keep a sharp look on those Cubans. I was afraid that one of our guys would go crazy… The same way that a lot of people are trying to hit Castro, there are a lot of people trying to hit the president of the United States… We have a lot of crazy sons of bitches and they’re willing to pull anything.” (15)

Bernardo De Torres is fourth from the right (Miami, September, 1963)Bernardo De Torres is fourth from the best (Miami, September, 1963)

Joan Mellen, has carried out in depth analysis into the Odio incident. She claims that in an interview with Angelo Murgado she claimed he was “Angel” and “Leopoldo” was Bernardo de Torres. In an article revealed in 2005 she claimed that “Bernardo de Torres, who testified before the HSCA with immunity granted to him by the C.I.A., so that he was not questioned about the period of time leading up to the Kennedy assassination, as the C.I.A. instructed the Committee on what it could and could not ask this witness. Both the Warren Commission and the HSCA buried the anti-Castro theme, and never explored what Bobby (Kennedy) might have known.” (16)

John F. Kennedy Assassination

In response to his daughter, Bernardo De Torres was employed by the CIA to research the assassination of John F. Kennedy: “Yes, he worked for several years with the CIA at uncovering all the possible people that were on the their list. At one time, they put him under the spot light and he was proved without a doubt that he had anything to do with it. He was actually in Florida with my stepmother at the time of the assassination and was working on his other job as military coordinator for Brigade 2506. It’s located in Miami in Little Havana…. I think he came to a conclusion in his investigation and thinks he knows who were the people who killed JFK but doesn’t like or want to deal with what he found because all of sudden he stopped researching and never spoke about it again. Normally he doesn’t stop until he has found the answers.” (17)

In 1966 Bernardo De Torres joined Jim Garrison in his investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy. William Turner, the writer of Rearview Mirror: Wanting Back on the FBI, the CIA and Different Tails (2001) has argued: “A veteran of the Bay of Pigs, De Torres showed up on Garrison’s doorstep early in the probe, saying he was a private detective from Miami who wanted to help, and dropping the name of Miami DA Richard Gerstein, a friend of Garrison’s, as an opener. In retrospect, Garrison remembered that every lead De Torres developed ended up in a box canyon. He also learned that De Torres was forwarding reports on his investigation to the Miami CIA station.” (18)

Garrison requested Bernardo De Torres to seek out Eladio del Valle so he might be interviewed concerning the assassination. Del Valle, a wealthy former Cuban congressmen beneath Fulgencio Batista, had headed the Free Cuba Committee in Florida, and reportedly had hyperlinks to Santos Trafficante. (19) He was additionally an in depth pal and affiliate of David Ferrie, another man who Garrison was investigating. “In the course of checking out all possible associates of Oswald’s in the city, we discovered that the alleged assassin had been seen during the summer with a man named David Ferrie. I got my people on the telephones right away to investigate a possible Oswald-Ferrie relationship.” (20) Del Valle had reportedly paid Ferrie $1,500 a mission to make air raids towards Cuba. (21)

Dick Russell, whereas researching his ebook, On the Path of the JFK Assassins (2008), interviewed Fabian Escalante, the previous chief of Cuba’s G-2 intelligence company. In response to Escalante: “Del Valle was in charge of narcotics in a town south of Havana, where he had business dealings with Santo Trafficante… We managed to penetrate this organization. We came to know a lot of plans for exile invasions, secret overflights to provide arms to internal rebel groups. David Ferrie was the pilot for some of these flights. One of our agents talked on many occasions with Del Valle, who in 1962 told him that Kennedy must be killed to solve the Cuban problem.” (22)

Another member of this group was Herminio Diaz Garcia. He arrived in the USA in 1963 and that September the CIA thought-about recruiting him as an agent because of his ties to Efiigenio Amejeiras Delgado, Castro’s vice-minister of the armed forces, who was reportedly conspiring with Rolando Cubela. As David Kaiser identified: “It is not clear from available files whether he was in fact recruited.” (23) Diaz Garcia was killed on a penetration mission into Cuba on 29th Might, 1966. (24)

Garrison turned suspicious of De Torres and on seventh January, 1967, he ordered his employees “under no circumstances” to offer any info to him. Four days later he wrote on the prime of one of De Torres’ memos: “His reliability is not established.” Garrison turned satisfied that De Torres was working for JM/WAVE, the Central Intelligence Company station in Miami. Declassified paperwork present that De Torres gave the CIA’s last report on Jim Garrison on 2nd March, 1967. In line with Gaeton Fonzi, De Torres’s CIA handler was Paul Bethel. (25)

Another researcher, Larry Hancock, has argued that “It certainly appears that De Torres’ role in the Garrison investigation is suspicious, and it supports Otero’s remarks to HSCA investigators that De Torres had ‘penetrated’ Garrison’s investigation. It also shows that De Torres had an agenda of his own in addition to getting intelligence about Garrison’s investigation and investigators. That agenda involved once again shifting attention to Fidel Castro and a Cuban hit team rather than the activities of the Cuban exiles.” (26)

On 17th February, 1967, The New Orleans States-Item reported that Jim Garrison was investigating the assassination of Kennedy. It additionally stated that one of the suspects was David Ferrie. Five days later Ferrie’s body was found in his New Orleans house. Garrison pointed out that “suddenly the newspapers, the television, and the radio people had decided that Ferrie’s death – and the possibility it may have resulted from suicide or foul play – may have validated my investigation.” Though two suicide notes have been found, the coroner didn’t instantly classify the demise as a suicide, noting there were indications Ferrie might have suffered a brain hemorrhage. Ultimately the coroner introduced that Ferrie had died of “natural causes”. (27)

Eladio del Valle was murdered in Miami on 22nd February, 1967. He had been shot within the coronary heart at point-blank range, and his skull was cut up open. (28) Diego Gonzales Tendera, an in depth pal, later claimed Del Valle was murdered because of his involvement within the assassination of John F. Kennedy. (29) It has been recommended by Garrison’s chief investigator, Louis Ivon, that Bernardo De Torres was involved in the killing. “Eladio del Valle’s body was left in the vicinity of Bernardo De Torres’s apartment.” (30)

Larry Hancock has instructed that “Bernardo De Torres… diverted Garrison to a certain extent as well as aggressively re-introducing Castro suspicions. He did that with his insistent media promotion of a story pertaining to Secret Service fears of a Castro hit team in Miami during Kennedy’s visit there shortly before the Texas trip. Between February 18 and February 22, the Garrison investigation received considerable unwanted publicity, much of it based upon inquiries within the Miami Cuban community as well as the involvement of Bernardo De Torres. De Torres was quite visible in his comments and declarations, eventually leading the whole matter off in a direction pointing at a threat against John Kennedy from Castro agents.” (31)

CIA Activities

After leaving the Garrison investigation De Torres was employed by Mitch WerBell as an arms salesman in Latin America. In line with Peter Dale Scott, De Torres also worked for Miguel Nazar Haro, the top of the highly effective Mexican intelligence company, Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS). De Torres reportedly offered Nazar’s dying squad with weapons. “In fact, it was common knowledge that when De Torres went to Mexico he was picked up at the airport by Nazar’s personal limousine – without having to go through customs or immigration – and swiftly taken to Nazar’s office.” (32)


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