CREATION OF OPERATION
CONDOR DETAILED IN NEW BOOK
Kissinger and Tell? U.S. Role In 1970s Human Rights Abuses Confirmed
by Tom Burgis, Santiago Times (firstname.lastname@example.org)
November 9, 2004
A book published this week provides the most exhaustive
study to date of
the murky world of international espionage in the Southern Cone of
John Dinges' "Operación Cóndor," launched
at Santiago's Fería del Libro on
Sunday, reveals hitherto unknown details of the intelligence network
by South America's repressive regimes in the 1970s and 1980s to hunt
and kill their opponents on three continents.
The book comes at a critical time in the judicial investigation into
Operation Condor, which is headed in Chile by Judge Juan Guzmán.
seeking to prosecute former dictator Augusto Pinochet for his alleged
involvement in the deaths of 19 dissidents resulting from Operation
Condor. While there is mounting evidence to support a prosecution,
dictator's mental health - he has suspected subcortical dementia -
thus far precluded him facing a court. Guzmán is currently
reports by the three psychiatrists who examined the 88-year-old Pinochet
last month and will soon decide whether to press charges (ST, Oct.
Dinges, once the Washington Post's Santiago correspondent, begins
with an account of a meeting of intelligence and military officials
Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil on Nov. 26,
More than 200 people gathered for the weeklong meeting in Santiago,
the former Academy of War on Alameda. "Pinochet was the host,"
Dinges, "and he took care of all the expenses for the meeting."
After introductory pleasantries, Pinochet handed over to Miguel Contreras,
the head of the National Intelligence Directorate (DINA), who outlined
plan to control subversion and combat international communism. Contreras
went on to advocate that leftists captured in any of the cooperating
countries be repatriated for interrogation, and that a multilateral
be made to eliminate dissidents who had fled the continent. Uruguayan
José Fons told Dinges that "Chile had the means and the
will for the
The name "Condor" was unanimously agreed upon "in homage
to the host
Apart from his wealth of sources, Dinges had access to recently
declassified documents in the United States, where his book is ruffling
particularly those of Henry Kissinger and his associates. Kissinger
Secretary of State at the time of Operation Condor and has since amassed
fortune as a top influence peddler for international businesses and
foreign governments seeking special perks in Washington, D.C.
Dinges' revelations add to the groundswell of evidence that the United
States helped sponsor the 1973 coup that swept aside the democratic
government of Salvador Allende, and was aware of, but decided to ignore,
Operation Condor. Dinges writes that Kissinger had been tipped off
the plot to assassinate Orlando Letelier, the Chilean former Foreign
Secretary and Pinochet's most vocal critic in the United States, but
declined to warn Letelier, who was killed by a car bomb in Washington
Contreras has since served a seven-year jail term for Letelier's murder,
and faces a number of additional lawsuits for human rights violations.
Third Bench of the Santiago Court of Appeals ruled Monday in favor
Contreras provisional release in another case in which he stands accused,
that of the 1974 kidnapping of Álvaro Barrios Duque.
Still, Contreras is not yet at liberty, owing to two further orders
his detention issued by judges investigating the murders of a leftist
in 1974, and there remain a number of outstanding indictments against
for abuses carried out by DINA agents.
John Dinges, "The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought
Terrorism to Three Continents" (2004) is published by the New
edition in Spanish, "Operación Cóndor: Una Década
Internacional en el Cono Sur" (2004) is published this week by
SOURCE: LA TERCERA, EL MERCURIO