Monday’s release of previously classified top secret intelligence files on Operation Condor revealed that the multinational effort of Latin American states to monitor and "liquidate" opponents of their right-wing regimes had plans to take their covert operations to Europe.
The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research reported that “six Southern Cone nations" which were “participants in a counterterrorist network codenamed ‘Condor’” have agreed “to undertake the liquidation of Latin American” targets “living in France.”
"More recently Condor leaders were considering the dispatch of a team to London — disguised as businessmen — to monitor 'suspicious activity' in Europe."
Operation Condor as it is commonly known started in 1975, in the middle of the Cold War. Progressive and leftists were targeted by military-controlled governments through murders, disappearances, jailing and widespread censorship and were commonly labeled “terrorists.”
“One aspect of the program involving Chile, Uruguay, and Argentina envisages illegal operations outside Latin America against exiled terrorists, particularly in Europe,” said a document dated May 9, 1977.
The documents revealed that Operation Condor had been monitoring the movements of the Revolutionary Coordinating Junta, JCR, an umbrella group of Latin American leftist organizations fighting against the military dictatorships, which was believed to also be operating in Europe. The JCR, included the Uruguay’s Tupamaros which former President Jose “Pepe” Mujica was a member.
While Condor teams were sent overseas “to liquidate top-level terrorist leaders. Non-terrorists also were reportedly candidates for assassination,” the document explained.
There were also proposals to target human rights groups such as Amnesty International as well as “church and third-world groups,” “to identify and expose their socialist and Marxist connections.”
Uruguayan progressive politician Wilson Ferreira Aldunate was mentioned as a possible “candidate for assassination ... he should travel to Europe.” Ferreira fled to Argentina and then later to Austria. He is well known for his 1976 address to the U.S. Senate condemning the then Uruguayan government of human rights violations and urging the U.S. to stop military aid to Uruguay.