It was a secret terror campaign that began in South America in the 1970’s and led to torture and a long killing spree. Called Operation Condor, or Plan Condor, the intelligence network comprised of military dictatorships allowed nations to share information to help suppress their rivals.
Correspondent Joel Richards travels to some of the sites associated with Operation Condor and speaks to survivors of the terror.
Joel tells us one of the goals of Operation Condor was to use the intelligence obtained to chase down political opponents in exile and eliminate them. Its victims were targeted in different countries spanning from Latin America to Spain, Italy and even to the United States.
Chile was one of the countries playing a major role in Operation Condor. Other Latin American nations taking part in the pact included Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.
This week marks the 40th anniversary of the meeting in Santiago de Chile that put Plan Condor in place. This anniversary falls as a historic trial comes to an end in Argentina. Prosecutors and relatives of victims hope the trial will prove beyond all doubt the coordination between military dictatorships to hunt down political opponents across borders.
Operation Condor itself is believed to have resulted in over 1,000 killings.
Cases of 106 victims have been heard at the trial in Buenos Aires with military officers from Argentina and from Uruguay in the dock. Sentencing had been expected for earlier this year and lawyers, victims and their families hope the trial ends this year.
Take a look at Joel Richard’s package for “Americas Now,” and learn more about this clandestine campaign that still has strong echoes today.