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Operation Condor took place in the late 70’s in the Southern Cone of Latin America. It was a campaign of state terror involving the assassination of opponents by the right-wing dictatorships
Some weeks ago, after travelling to witness the ruling, Victoria Moyano Artigas and her family, complainants in the Operation Condor Trial, have decided to start an international petition. This petition repudiates the scandalous sentence that acquitted the military leaders involved in Operation Condor and demands due trial and punishment to all the repressors of South American countries involved in the dictatorships.
Prominent social and human rights organisations, such as Madres y Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos (Mothers and Relatives of Detained-Disappeared) from Uruguay are supporting the petition, as well as public figures such as:
* Elsa Pavon, founder and member of Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo) – Argentina
* Nora Cortiñas, founder and president of Madres de Plaza de Mayo Línea Fundadora (Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo-Founding Line) – Argentina
* Mirta Baravalle, founder of Madres de Plaza de Mayo and Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo – Argentina
* Louis Joinet, former president of the Editorial Office of the Convention against Enforced Disappearances – France
* Martin Almada, discoverer of the “Terror Archives” (vital files that proved the existence of the Operation Condor), Alternative Nobel Prize and member of the Executive Committee of the American Association of Jurists – Paraguay.
An outrageous ruling
The Third Court of Asís of the Court of Rome carried out a trial about Operation Condor, including several crimes against humanity committed during the Southern Cone military dictatorships of the 70’s.
It also investigated the coordinated efforts between these dictatorships regarding the implementation of repression, torture, murder and disappearance of thousands of workers, young people, students, and political activists of the time. In January a verdict was pronounced, acquitting and absolving almost everyone accused. Out of twenty-seven repressors from Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay, only eight were convicted.
Victoria and her Family´s Struggle
Victoria Moyano was born in a clandestine detention and torture centre in Buenos Aries called Pozo de Banfield (Banfield’s Pit). She was recovered by The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo and became a well-known political and human rights activist. Her parents, Asuncion Artigas and Alfredo Moyano, were disappeared by Operation Condor. The rest of her family, such as her uncle Dardo Artigas, Asuncion’s brother, and Alfredo’s brother-in-law, were politically persecuted. Her grandmother, Blanca Nilo, founded the organisation Relatives of Detained-Disappeared in Uruguay. She died without knowing where the remains of her daughter and sons-in-law are.
The ruling caused indignation to Victoria and her family, but it also gave them strength to keep on fighting. That is why they decided to start the petition; to give other relatives, social organisations and other people a chance to express their discontent. They also intend to use this petition in the appeal of the Operation Condor Trial.
If you want to support the petition, write an email to: [email protected] with your full name and occupation.
The text of the petition is the following:
We, the undersigned, want to express our repudiation of the ruling by the Third Court of Asís of the Court in Rome, in the trial for the Plan Condor, on 17/01/17. According to this court ruling, almost all of the accused were absolved and allowed to act with impunity. Out of a total of 27 repressors of Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile and Paraguay, only 8 were condemned. In the case of the 14 Uruguayan military personnel accused, only the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Blanco was condemned.
The pursuit of Justice and Truth has not advanced enough due to the lack of will of the states of the South Cone of South America. In Uruguay, just a few sentences have been handed down, and with various privileges such as VIP jail or house arrest. There are still hundreds of repressors that have not been brought to local justice due to Uruguayan legislation. In other countries, such as Argentina, after 40 years of the genocidal coup, there is some progress in the judgment, though at a slow pace. Nevertheless, many of the trials for crimes against humanity are at a standstill, and during the last year, some 50 repressors were given the benefit of house arrest.
Likewise, there are a number of causes for crimes against humanity that are not progressing and are in a notorious setback in the national courts of countries like Uruguay. As it is important to put an end to impunity, those who sign this declaration reject the Criminal Court ruling of the Court of Rome. We demand justice and due condemnation of all the repressors, civilians and military personnel, involved in the dictatorships of our countries.
Check out the facebook page for the campaign!