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  • Opositores al ex dictador chileno Augusto Pinochet Ugarte portan fotografias de victimas de la dictatura frente al Palacio de La Moneda.

    Opositores al ex dictador chileno Augusto Pinochet Ugarte portan fotografias de victimas de la dictatura frente al Palacio de La Moneda. | Photo: EFE

Published 19 March 2019

The Italian Court of the city of Rome asked to review the first instance conclusion from 2017 trial and to sentence to life imprisonment South American former political and military leaders.

The Italian Court of the city of Rome asked to sentence to life imprisonment 24 South American former political and military leaders from Bolivia, Chile, Perou, and Uruguay. The state officials are accused of involvement in the Condor Operation and the disappearance of 23 Italian nationals during the 1970s and 1980s.

RELATED:
Operation Condor: Cross-Border Disappearance and Death

Rome prosecutors Francesco Mollace and Tiziana Cugini justified their appeal by claiming that the 23 Italians were murdered within the context of an "abominable extermination program" and that all are "responsible for everything they are accused of because they have been Executors of death," EFE agency reported.

Under Italian law, Italian judges can investigate the killings of Italian citizens overseas.

In the first instance, in 2017, just eight former South American leaders - Hernán Jerónimo Ramírez, Rafael Ahumada Valderrama, Juan Carlos Blanco, Luis García Meza, Luis Arce Gómez, Francisco Morales Bermúdez, Pedro Richter Prada and Germán Ruiz Figueroa - involved in the Condor Operation, were sentenced to life in prison by courts in Italy.

Operation Condor was set up in 1975 in Santiago de Chile in a meeting chaired by the head of the Chilean chief of intelligence services, Manuel Contreras. Key member countries of Operation Condor were Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, and Bolivia, with Peru and Ecuador occasionally participating. The joint operations aimed to track down left-wing activist across South America.

the Latin American dictators had documented logistical, financial, and intelligence support from the United States.

Throughout the Condor system, thousands of people were kidnapped, tortured, forcibly disappeared and murdered with people often snatched off the streets or taken from their homes. Estimates include at least 60,000 deaths.

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