Brazil’s Role in Operation Condor
BrazzilMag, November 29, 2012
The head of Brazil’s Justice and Human Rights Movement, Jair Krischke stated before the Truth Committee that it was the Brazilian dictatorship which masterminded the notorious Plan Condor, the South American military dictatorships undercover transborder organization of the sixties and seventies.
Krischke who has researched dictatorships for decades said that “Brazil created Operation Condor” which for years was unknown given the discreet way in which Brazilians implemented international repressive actions, in contrast with the military regimes of Argentina and Chile that were far more evident.
The administration of President Dilma Rousseff createdthe Truth Committee last May to look into the country’s past between 1954 and 1988. President Rousseff as a student leader spent over two years imprisoned by the military regime that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985.
The seven-member Truth Committee includes lawyer Rosa Maria Cardoso who in the seventies defended, among others, Dilma Rousseff, which the military claimed at the time was an active member of a guerrilla movement. Ms Cardoso is coordinator of the specific research on the Plan Condor and received all the documents referred to the issue compiled by Krischke.
Ms Cardoso said the committee is determined to unveil all Brazilian actions under Plan Condor and anticipated that for some months she has been collecting facts and evidence that will be compiled into a final report to be delivered to President Rousseff.
Krischke’s research includes documents on operations by Brazilian agents committed at the beginning of the seventies in the region under the administration of Dictator Emilio Garrastazu Medici, who ruled from 1969 to 1974, when several South American counrtries were still under constitutionally elected governments.
Many of these crimes were committed at the beginning of the seventies against democratic leaders and guerrillas on the run and preceded the formal creation of the criminal Condor organization, an “extremely important” fact says Krischke.
In November 1975 the Chilean dictatorship under General Augusto Pinochet coordinated a conclave with intelligence agents and military from South America in which the Condor Plan was formally institutionalized for the purpose of coordinating transborder repressive actions, plus the creation of an exchange network of intelligence gathering.
Representatives from Chile, Argentina and Uruguay signed the minutes of the clandestine meeting in Santiago as well as the delegates from the Brazilian military government of then General Ernesto Geisel (1974/1979), which always acted with greater caution than the rest of their partners in crime.
“Dictatorships exchanged information, prisoners and coordinated killings in clandestine operations with no respect for international or diplomatic rules” said Krischke in Brasilia before the Truth Committee.
After going through hundreds of documents, traveling extensively in the region and advising Italian courts, Krischke argues that even when the Condor Plan started to operate as such following the 1975 secret summit, the transnational repressive methodology with support from agents belonging to different countries is something the Brazilians were already implementing at least since 1970.
“Condor from 1970 to 1974 was not called as such, it had not been created as such yet, but it was already in action through an international network invented by the Brazilian military with the active support from Brazilian diplomats who had set up a very efficient espionage system”, revealed Krischke.