A court has found 15 ex-military officers guilty of forming part of an international conspiracy – known as Operation Condor – to track and kill or disappear political opponents across South America.
In today’s historic ruling former dictator Reynaldo Bignone was given a 20-year prison sentence, while general Santiago Riveros was handed 25 years. Uruguayan Colonel Manuel Cordero – the only non-Argentine defendant – was also jailed for 25 years.
The trial, which lasted more than three years, is the first to recognise the region-wide pact created amongst South American military dictators to suppress opposition during the 1970s.
It included the cases of 105 victims of the transnational terror network, including 45 Uruguayans and 22 Chileans. The vast majority (89) were kidnapped and disappeared in Argentina.
The Operation Condor network was devised in 1975 by military officials from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay with the aim of silencing left-wing dissidents that sought refuge in neighbouring countries.