Retribution. From Operation Condor to Kiev Junta
In the end of May 2016 Argentina faced an unprecedented event. For the first time, the court announced that Operation Condor was an international level conspiracy to kidnap and kill people.
In this case, a former leader of the junta, who ruled between 1982-1983, 88-year-old General Reynaldo Bignone was sentenced to 20-year imprisonment. He was accused of participating in an illegal association, kidnapping, and abusing his power - related to the forced disappearance of more than 100 people. Along with him, fourteen former military officers were sentenced to eight to twenty-five years imprisonment for human rights violations. Uruguayan army colonel Manuel Cordero Piacentini, who tortured prisoners in a repair shop in Buenos Aires, where many leftist activists were held and interrogated not only by Argentineans, but by people from other countries.
The secret operation initiated by the USA was launched in 1970 by six South American dictatorships, which used their secret police network to coordinate efforts to trace their political opponents abroad and to eliminate them. It is believed that Augusto Pinochet in Chile, who attracted other dictators in South America to this process, launched Operation Condor in November 1975. This event is described in books and films, as well as in journalistic investigations with terrifying details, reminiscent of the atrocities of the Nazis during World War II.
Many left-wing dissidents from countries that conducted Operation Condor sought refuge in neighboring countries and in other places, but it was mostly useless. The secret program left Latin America. The US government later established that the Chilean agents involved in Operation Condor killed in Washington were the country's former ambassador Orlando Letelier and his American assistant Ronni Moffitt in September 1976. The Operation Condor agents also sought for other political opponents across Europe to eliminate them.
The key evidence was the declassified FBI data that was sent in 1976, which described in detail the conspiracy to exchange intelligence information and eliminate left-wing activists across South America.
In fact, this sentence can be regarded as an important milestone, as for the first time the court proved that Operation Condor was an international criminal conspiracy, carried out with the US regimes support in Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
The investigation itself was started in 1990, when amnesty laws protected many of the accused persons. Argentina's Supreme Court canceled the amnesty in 2005 at the request of the President Nestor Kirchner, who gradually began to change course - from a pro-American position to a sovereign one.
As many of the victims’ bodies have not been found, Argentine prosecutors say that the investigations into the concealment of their deaths continues today, and that the terms established by law in this case are not applicable. During the trial, several defendants died of old age and, apparently, justice will continue to be pursued.
However, the new pro-American president Mauricio Macri could affect this matter at the request of his Washington patrons. As the legal precedent exists, and the western legal system is based on precedents, the process can move further and affect the US’ interests.
After all, in general, the initiator of this state terrorism and transnational criminal organization were American politicians, including Henry Kissinger.
There are the facts of at least two other countries supporting dictatorial regimes in Latin America: Britain and Israel. Both countries supplied and sent arms and their trainers to suppress guerrilla activity (as they have useful experience in repression against the Irish and Palestinians) and used sophisticated techniques of interrogation methods, i.e. torture.
It must be perceived not only in countries involved in Operation Condor, but also in other regions involved in US projects, which are crimes committed against human rights. Of course, this is a message for the present leaders of the Ukrainian state and the repressive services that illegally usurped power in 2014 and are involved in killings, kidnappings, and the torture of civilians during the last two years. The latest 14th report of the UN Monitoring Group on human rights clearly highlights the fact of serious crimes committed by Ukrainian officials and by neo-Nazi groups. The Russian authorities have a large amount of data too. If the Kiev junta leaders and those who carry out their orders think they can count on the erosion of the legal system or the protection of their Washington superiors, they are deeply mistaken. The Argentine example is the confirmation that in such cases it is never late to bring a finishing touch.