Right-wing murders of South American Operation Condor prosecuted in Italy

This video is called Investigating Operation Condor. It says about itself:

In the name of the struggle against terrorism, a special operation — code named CONDOR – was conducted in the seventies and eighties in South America. Its target were left wing political dissidents, the organised labour and intellectuals. Condor soon became a network of Military Dictatorships, supported by the US State Department, the CIA and Interpol.

From British daily The Independent:

Italy seeks justice for right-wing murder plots

By Peter Popham in Rome

Published: 26 December 2007

A former officer in Uruguay’s naval intelligence was in jail in southern Italy yesterday after Roman prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 140 South Americans accused of involvement in Operation Condor, the plan agreed by half a dozen Latin American governments in the 1970s and 1980s to hunt down, kidnap and murder their left-wing opponents.

The arrest of Nestor Jorge Fernandez Troccoli, 60, in Salerno, southern Italy, was the first result of a new push by Italian authorities who have been trying for years to prosecute former leaders and officials from Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay who collaborated with each other in running death squads to eliminate their common enemies.

Those named by the Italian prosecutors include the former leader of the Argentine junta Jorge Videla and Uruguay’s ex-dictator Juan Bordaberry.

Among the thousands of deaths of which they are accused is the assassination of Orlando Leletier, a former minister in Salvador Allende‘s Chilean government, in a 1976 car bomb in Washington.

See also here.

What a shame that such a vile mass murder plot was named after the beautiful bird, the South American condor.

They were established by the US and the Latin-American oligarchy simultaneously with the so-called “Operación Cóndor” (Operation Condor) which originated a series of bloody dictatorships that repressed the civilian population; a fact of which the continent will never recover completely. Because those dirty wars are not encoded manuals that are now filed in newspaper libraries or the governments’ vaults; they are still in force, renewed in compliance with technology and time requirements. The approach is the same, the objective is the same: destabilize post-neoliberal governments that have managed to make their nations flourish by prompting social and economic transformations in benefit of the majorities. In past decades the reason for their existence was to cut off socialism and communism from their very roots: here.

18 thoughts on “Right-wing murders of South American Operation Condor prosecuted in Italy

  1. U. S. ‘knew about Condor’
    Justice Department papers obtained in Italian probe

    (ANSA) – Rome, December 27 – The United States knew about a decades-old South American operation to hunt down leftist opponents but had no part in the plot, Italian prosecutors say.

    Rome prosecutor Giancarlo Capaldo, who has issued arrest warrants for 140 former government chiefs and military and intelligence officers in seven South American countries, saw references to so-called Operation Condor in declassified Justice Department documents he obtained in his probe, judicial sources said on Thursday.

    Capaldo is set to ask the Italian justice ministry to forward extradition requests to the countries whose military regimes sent teams to kill fugitive dissidents including 25 Italian citizens, the sources said.

    On Wednesday night the Brazilian justice ministry said it was not likely to grant such requests.

    The other countries concerned – Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru – have yet to respond to the news of the arrest warrants.

    A 60-year-old Uruguayan ex-navy intelligence officer, Nestor Jorge Fernandez Troccoli, was arrested earlier this week in the southern Italian city of Salerno, where he has been living for several years.

    Now also an Italian citizen, Troccoli is being questioned in Rome’s Regina Coeli prison on suspicion of involvement in the death of four Italians.

    Capaldo started his probe in December 1998 on the basis of suits filed by the relatives of the 25 Italians allegedly killed in Operation Condor, which ran from 1975 to the mid 1980s.

    At least one of the 25 was not a leftist militant, judicial sources said Thursday.

    Former Argentine military leader Jorge Rafael Videla; ex-Uruguay junta chief Jorge Maria Bordaberry and his successor Gregorio Alvarez; former Peruvian president Francisco Morales; former Peruvian premier Pedro Richter Prada; three former Argentine ministers; and a former Paraguayan minister are among those named by Capaldo on suspicion of multiple abduction and murder.

    Six more were originally named, including former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

    Another suspect is the former head of Chile’s secret service, Manuel Contreras, who was tried and convicted in absentia in Rome in 1999 of the attempted murder in Rome in 1975 of Chilean Christian Democrat leader Bernardo Leighton.

    Operation Condor is believed to have claimed thousands of lives and its shadow has not yet been shaken off, South America observers say.

    There have also been investigations into Operation Condor in France and Spain and some are proceeding.

    In 1990 a French court sentenced a former Argentine navy officer to life imprisonment in absentia for his involvement in the disappearance of two French nuns.

    An Argentina junta-era officer was extradited to Spain in 2003.


  2. Ex-Argentine dictator Videla jailed for life

    Agence France-Presse
    First Posted 08:17:00 12/23/2010

    CORDOBA—A former Argentine military dictator, Jorge Videla, was Wednesday sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity including the torture and murder of dissidents, a court here ruled.

    Videla, an 85-year-old former army general who ran Argentina between 1976 and 1981, was one of 30 people put on trial for atrocities carried out in that period.

    He accepted responsibility for his actions during the regime’s infamous “dirty war” against “subversives,” but denied human rights violations.

    He also defiantly told the court he was a political prisoner who had been unjustly convicted.

    Videla was ordered incarcerated for the rest of his life in a federal penitentiary under civilian, not military, rules.

    “Videla… is a manifestation of state terrorism,” judge Maria Elba Martinez said as she handed down the sentence.

    Videla came to power at the head of a military junta following the 1976 coup that toppled the government of Isabel Peron.

    The brutal regime was accused of making some 30,000 people “disappear,” including by throwing them from aircraft in night flights over the sea.

    It operated 500 clandestine detention centers across the country where tens of thousands of people were held, many subjected to torture and death.

    Argentina’s military government fell in 1983, a year after Videla’s successor, Leopoldo Galtieri, waged an unsuccessful war against Britain for the Falkland Islands.

    Videla’s trial began July 2 with the ex-dictator acknowledging responsibility for “cruel” acts on his watch but refusing to recognize the court.

    In a pre-sentence hearing Tuesday he repeated that position.

    “I assume full responsibility… My subordinates were only following orders,” he said.

    “I claim the honor of victory and I regret the consequences,” Videla said.

    The charges against him included the abduction, torture and murder of 40 people, including a German student, Rolf Stawowiok, whose disappearance in 1978 prompted Berlin to ask for Videla’s extradition.

    The former strongman was previously tried and sentenced in 1985 in Argentina to life in prison, but was pardoned five years later by then-president Carlos Menem.

    A 2007 verdict finding Videla’s pardon unconstitutional set the scene for the new trial, which included charges that his regime stole babies from dissident prisoners.

    Prosecuted alongside Videla was General Luciano Menendez, 83, who as head of the army’s third corps was responsible for 11 provinces and has already been sentenced to three life terms for rights violations.

    At a separate trial Tuesday, three former military officials of the regime each received life in prison for crimes against humanity, including “unlawful deprivation of liberty” and “aggravated torture.”

    More than 130 people have been convicted of crimes committed during the military dictatorship, according to a report published last month, with dozens more currently on trial.


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