Operation Condor 59:00, 2001 (Ref: SA0136)



Operation Condor was a covert Latin American Military Network conducted in the 1970’s and 1980’s in South America. It was created to facilitate the seizure and murder of political opponents in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Today former victims and organisations are seeking to bring justice to those who took part in the tortures and those who took part in the political organisation of Operation Condor. This one-hour documentary looks at this organisation which aimed to wipe out left-wing opposition both at home and abroad. The report was made possible by the declassification of secret US documents by President Clinton in 1999-2000 relating to Chile and the Pinochet regime. The 20,000 documents from the US State, Justice and Defense Departments and the FBI and CIA linked the United States to Operation Condor. This film is the result of an in-depth investigation of three main sources: official US declassified material, documentation from the secret service and secret police of Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil held at the Palace of Justice in Asuncion, Peru, known as the “Archive of Terror” and more than 40 interviews with people in Latin America and the United States. People considered even remotely “subversive” suffered at the hands of the brutal military regimes. Victims give heart-wrenching accounts of their suffering at the hands of torturers. Our cameras also entered the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly the US Army School of the Americas, based at Fort Benning. The institution specialises in training Latin American soldiers in combat, counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics. Created in Panama in 1946, it was the training ground for notorious dictators and their henchmen responsible for some of the most heinous human rights violations in all of Latin America. The film also broadcasts excerpts of videos used by Pinochet’s secret police to indoctrinate its members. This is the first time this material has ever been shown on TV.