The US-Latin America 'Special Relationship' and its 'Fundamentally Repugnant Philosophy'


State-sponsored assassinations, kidnappings, torture and disappearances – Operation Condor, an anti-Communist intelligence and operational network involving the governments of Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay – was responsible for many high-level political crimes in the second half of the 1970s. The network’s scope was to capture and eliminate political enemies in Latin America. Subsequently, the organization expanded its activities to reach also Europe and the United States, where prominent political activists or former political rivals had sought refuge. The chapter traces these ramifications on the basis of recently declassified documents from the archives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva. Moreover, the study inserts the activities of Operation Condor within the Cold War context and analyses the degree of US tacit (or open) involvement with an organization which, though repeatedly and openly abusing of basic human rights, served the purpose of eliminating the potential expansion of Communism in the Western hemisphere.

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