40 Years since Operation Condor: Justice without Borders

40 Years since Operation Condor: Justice without Borders

Thursday, 17 December 2015 - 9:00am to Friday, 18 December 2015 - 1:00pm
Speaker(s): 
Javiera Blanco (Chile’s Minister of Justice)
Amerigo Incalcaterra (UN OHCHR)
Patricio Walker (President of the Senate)
Pablo Ouviña (Prosecutor in the Argentine Operation Condor trial)
Luz Palmás Zaldua (Centre for Legal and Social Studies, Argentina)
Laura Elgueta Díaz (survivor of Operation Condor)
Eduardo Contreras (human rights lawyer)
Alejandro Solis (former judge, Human Rights Unit of the Ministry of Defence, Chile)
Convenor: 
Francesca Lessa

Between late November and early December 1975, Operation Condor was formally created in Santiago at a meeting of South America’s security forces. It was a secret transnational network of intelligence sharing and counterinsurgency operations set up by Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay to persecute political opponents throughout the region, resulting in hundreds of illegal detentions, murders, disappearances. Forty years later, it is important to reflect on the steps taken across the region to clarify the crimes committed by the transnational repressive coordination.

In order to do that, the Latin American Centre of the University of Oxford and the Ministry of Justice of Chile, together with the Senate (Centro de Extensión) and the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, are organizing a two-day event in Santiago (Chile) on December 17 and 18, 2015 within the framework of the project “Justice without Borders: Accountability for Transnational Crimes in South America,” funded by the ESRC’s Impact Acceleration Account of the University de Oxford, The Leverhulme Trust, The British Academy, and also supported by Open Society Foundations.

On Thursday, December 17, the conference “40 Years since Operation Condor: Justice without Borders” will include the participation, amongst others, of Javiera Blanco (Chile’s Minister of Justice), Amerigo Incalcaterra (UN OHCHR), Patricio Walker (President of the Senate), Pablo Ouviña (Prosecutor in the Argentine Operation Condor trial), Luz Palmás Zaldua (Centre for Legal and Social Studies, Argentina), Laura Elgueta Díaz (survivor of Operation Condor), Eduardo Contreras (human rights lawyer), and Alejandro Solis (former judge, Human Rights Unit of the Ministry of Defence, Chile). The conference’s main objective is to exchange experiences and compare the advances in recent years in Chile and Argentina relating to the investigation of Operation Condor’s transnational crimes. The conference will conclude with the screening at the Museum of Memory of the new documentary “Operacão Condor: Verdade Inconclusa” (Operation Condor: an unfinished truth) with the participation of its director Cleonildo Cruz.

On Friday, December 18, a closed-session workshop will be held with the participation of human rights activists, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and members of national ministries. Taking as starting point the Operation Condor trial in Buenos Aires, but also investigations in Chile on the same subject, the discussion will focus on the legal and factual challenges associated with investigating transnational crimes. The goal is for Chilean prosecutors, lawyers, judges, human rights activists, and government officials to debate and exchange experiences with their Argentine counterparts involved in the Operation Condor trial about the investigation and prosecution of transnational crimes. Working in smaller groups, the aim is to develop suggestions for concrete tools and strategies to implement at the national and regional levels to facilitate the investigation of Operation Condor crimes.

For further information about the project, please visit: http://www.lac.ox.ac.uk/justice-without-borders-operation-condor-trial-and-accountability-transnational-crimes-south-america#sthash.X9PAzbFn.dpuf

If you would like to participate in the events, please contact Dr Francesca Lessa, francesca.lessa@lac.ox.ac.uk