top of page

OPERATION CONDOR AND THE BRAZIL TORTURE REPORT: WHY WE FIGHT

The current implosion of the American Dream and it's subsequent ripples into the pond of the world may, depending upon the outcome, never be truly investigated.


If it were, I think that you will find that one of the key events that contributed to the collapse of the United States' borders and the rule of law had it's origins, firstly, in the jungles of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and more importantly to our situation the varied countries that make up South and Central America.


We can discuss the first part later as it involves both the Huk revolution in the Philippines, the rise and premature fall of Ramon Magsaysay and the development of the MAAG, MACVSOG and Phoenix Programs in South East Asia.

This was mostly from the point of development of methodology and utilization of both physical elements (military and civilian personnel) as well as technology to include the subversion of large sums of US taxpayer money from Treasury coffers to the working funds (and others) of portions of US Intelligence.



There is a great dal to discuss and digest and this will probably turn in to an amended series of articles as we talk about certain organizations, individuals and movements that left their imprint on the history of the Americas.


The segment will discuss aspects of an interagency/internation operation to suppress communist activity that went by the name of Operation Condor.


The late 50's into the early 60's saw communism popping up all over the world stage. Joe Stalin in the majority with Mao and a second tier regional player was fostering rebellions and revolutions all over the Third World.



The countries of Central and South America had chaffed at the bit of US gunboat diplomacy over the years as the US adhered to the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine (plain speak, the hemisphere was ours. Foreign governments enter at your peril) but weakend as we were from both WW2 as a nation and the infiltration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's cabinet and then subsequent State Department hires (McCarthy, it seems, was right but just asked the wrong questions.) this saw the subtle push back from aggressive attention to the governments of the south and in turn allowed communism to get a foothold in the hemisphere.



Unfortunately for all involved, the Presidentes of those countries were more inclined to govern as dictators rather than share power with the people allowing that old catspaw of communism to be used to stir up foment. Union formations and/or strikes, mob violence, bombings etc became more widespread.


Therefor, on November 25, 1975, representatives of the militaries/security agencies of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile,Paraguay and Uruguay were invited to Chile to discuss a mutually beneficial security project.



Operation Condor was designed to allow the tracking and neutralization of transient communist operatives working within the various states in South America.

(One important thing to note. Recent cancel journalism makes the operation out to be the mass killing of harmless individuals. Not actually the case, especially at the beginning. The communist operatives would do something in one country and then slip over the border into another country, refit and back over the fence into another location. There was very little international police co-ordination and the obvious long distances made detection difficult.)


That was until May of 1975. (This quote is from a document written by John Dinges at Columbia University)



"In May 1975, Paraguayan police arrested two men representing what they considered a major new guerrilla threat, a united underground organization of armed groups from several countries, called the Revolutionary Coordinating Body (JCR, or Junta Coordinadora Revolucionaria). The men were Jorge Fuentes Alarcon, a top-echelon officer in the armed Chilean group MIR (Movement of the Revolutionary Left), and Amilcar Santucho, of Argentina's ERP (People's Revolutionary Army). Santucho's brother, Roberto, was the head of ERP, considered the most violent guerrilla group in Argentina. The Chilean and Argentine movements had joined with underground groups from Uruguay and Bolivia to create the JCR to fight the Southern Cone's military regimes. Fuentes and Santucho were on their way to Paris for a meeting of the JCR when they were arrested at the Paraguayan border."



The rest of the document including some of the more outrageous projects is here.

https://www.latinamericanstudies.org/chile/operation-condor.htm


You can see why they thought that they would need a similar multi-national counterterrorism force to deal with this threat.Plus, this was big enough to draw the attention of the Americans.


The US State Department and the associated Intelligence agencies of the US as well as the military educational apparatus at the Ft. Benning School of the Americas had been dealing with an assortment of eventualities as to these growing problems. If the Southerners wished to handle the situation they were more than happy to chip in.

https://irp.fas.org/crs/soa.htm



The problem was knowingly. or unknowingly that had another element in the South America security equation to deal with.

That was the influence of former German SS and intelligence officers living and working in these "host" countries. These segment of the operation may have helped to push this off the rails from a counter terrorism/counter insurgency operation to the now infamous program that is now known to be.


(Note: for a very informative account of the smuggling of German war criminals into South and North America, read Operation Paperclip by Annie Jacobsen https://anniejacobsen.com/operation-paperclip/)


The United States is not completely clear of guilt in the subsequent actions. They most assuredly could have reigned in the operation if it was ineffective and becoming a political liability. US intelligence also knew about the nazis and in some cases facilitated their movements. Loathsome or not, they had a market value to the Rulers in South America as they had proven records counter terror and information gathering. Some of their names and histories are in the document below.

https://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2002/nr02-52.html



So the perfect storm of communism versus capitalism, international terror groups versus international governmental agencies and in heightened paranoia, ideological hatred, ex Nazi torturers and US intelligence services and you end up with the legacy of Operation Condor.

I include this very left leaning article because in a shadow war with very few crime scenes and mostly no bodies, you have to give the other team the benefit of the doubt.

https://theconversation.com/operation-condor-why-victims-of-the-oppression-that-swept-1970s-south-america-are-still-fighting-for-justice-186789


Which brings us the documentary Brazil: a Report on Torture.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aUu-zGGg08


This version has subtitles and allows you to follow the discussion of a

group of communist terrorists from Brazil and the treatment they received after being captured by Brazilian security forces. You can grasp from early on that the treatment was not going to illicit any real intelligence but rather had become a level of controlled savagery which has marred a number of movements in the Southern Hemisphere.


One would assume that with the discovery of almost 700,000 documents relating to the operation, at some point we may have a definitive accounting of the event.


In the meantime, do some hunting of your own. the information is out there and has yet to be wiped. Good Luck!


(Closing note. There is so much breadth to this Program that I have greatly simplified /jumped over and omitted possibly 100s of pages of information to make this a fully comprehensive report. This in no way takes away from the points made in the article. The site is a primer for those who wish to see what was/is happening in our every shrinking world.)


#operationcondor #argentina #bolivia #brazil #chile #uruguay #paraguay #pinochet #communism #socialism #dictators #capitalism #kissinger #usa #cia



7 views0 comments
bottom of page