The sentencing of a former Argentinean military leader for his role in hundreds of enforced disappearances in the context of a region-wide intelligence operation must open the door to further investigations to bring all those responsible to justice, said Amnesty International.
Former de facto President Reynaldo Bignone was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a court in Buenos Aires. Fourteen other military officers were also sentenced to prison terms.
“This is a day for celebration in South America. This historic ruling sends the important message that justice will always prevail,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.
“Today’s ruling must be the first step towards real justice for the many victims of this Machiavellian operation, which left a long trail of suffering and horror throughout Latin America. Governments in countries who had a direct or indirect role in aiding Operation Condor must left no stone unturned to ensure all those responsible face justice so these terrible crimes never happen again.”
Operation Condor was a coordinated intelligence plan launched in the 1970’s by the then de facto military governments ruling Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Its aim was to share information about the activities of social activists and political opponents and exchange prisoners, many of whom were tortured and forcibly disappeared.