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  • On May 1981, Roldos died on a plane crash, which created accusations that it was a part of a U.S.-backed assassination.

    On May 1981, Roldos died on a plane crash, which created accusations that it was a part of a U.S.-backed assassination. | Photo: EDOC/EFE

Published 22 May 2019

After a 2014 CIA document revealed that Ecuador assisted in Operation Condor, Ecuador’s ex- attorney general’s office opened an investigation into Roldo's death.

Prominent Ecuadorean historian Jaime Galarza presented a request on Wednesday at the Attorney General's office to reopen the investigation on the alleged role of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Israeli Mossad in the 1981 murder of former left-wing president Jaime Roldos Aguilera. 

RELATED:
Operation Condor Docs Show US Wanted to Rig Election in Ecuador to Prevent Left-Wing Victory

"That death to date remains unpunished and I do not say it remains a mystery, because of mystery it really had very little," Galarza has pointed out many times. In his book, "Who Killed Roldos," he argues that the CIA and the Israelis were involved in the crime as part of Operation Condor in the region.

The respected historian and writer documents that after the death of the president information was misplaced, people were threatened, peasants from the alleged area of the accident disappeared and there were successive plane crashes where military personnel involved or aware of the event died. 

After a CIA document was released in 2014 revealing that Ecuador assisted in Operation Condor, Ecuador’s former attorney general’s office opened an investigation into Roldo's death.

“With this information, we are going to examine the information of whether the accident which killed President Roldos was, in fact, an accident,” said former Attorney General Galo Chiriboga. 

Yet there has been no official disclosure surrounding the possible U.S. role in his death after it was once again filed without explanation, according to Galarza. 

Roldos won the runoff election and became Ecuador’s president in August 1979, as democracy returned to the Andean nation. His campaign was built on a populist platform on human rights and labor reforms. He was an outspoken supporter of other left-wing governments and movements in Latin America and critic of U.S. interventionism. 

On May 1981, he died on a plane crash, which created accusations that it was a part of a U.S.-backed assassination. Panama President Omar Torrijos, who also was critical of the U.S. role in the region and was known for his human rights leadership, coincidently died two months later in a similar plane crash.

John Perkins, author of "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" has backed this claim and argued that Torrijos warned him about his impending death months prior to the plane crash.  As in less than four months, three Latin American leaders died in similar circumstances, mysterious aviation accidents, which were common practices used by dictatorships and U.S.-trained mercenaries. 

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