Brazil to open 'Operation Condor' files for Argentina
SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) -- Seeking to raise a longtime curtain of secrecy,
Brazil's high court has ordered classified files opened to an Argentine judge
investigating how the two countries cooperated in the past to eliminate political
In an alliance known as "Operation Condor," the countries allegedly cooperated
with other military dictatorships in South America two decades ago to kill their
Even with the return of democracy, governments have seemed reluctant to
the wounds and provoke the still-influential armed forces by investigating the
In an unprecedented decision, the Brazilian high court approved a request
Argentine judge to view classified documents related to the disappearance of
three Argentine citizens in Brazilian territory 20 years ago, local media reported
The ruling was issued March 20, but only made public in the Brazilian press
The investigating judge, Claudio Bonadio, from Buenos Aires, is investigating
role of Brazilian and Argentine officials in the 1980 disappearances and wants to
hear testimony from Brazilian military and police officials.
Court officials were not available for comment Saturday.
Jair Krischke, president of the Justice and Human Rights Movement of Rio
Grande do Sul state, provided Bonadio with a list of 10 Brazilian security officials
who may be linked to these cases, the Rio newspaper Jornal do Brasil reported
Operation Condor was part of the anti-communist doctrine that prevailed
decades in South America. In Argentina alone, as many as 30,000 people were
killed or disappeared. Similar regimes existed in Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and other
Police and military forces routinely crossed borders in pursuit of their enemies.
Even if the new investigation points to suspects, it's unlikely anyone
punished. Luis Francisco Carvalho Filho, a prominent human rights lawyer in
Sao Paulo, said Saturday the statute of limitations already has expired.
"The statute doesn't prohibit the cases from being fully investigated,"
Filho told The Associated Press. "But legal responsibility for those crimes could
be waived because they occurred 20 years ago."
Meeting in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires last week to discuss trade,
defense ministers of Brazil and Argentina commented cautiously about the high
"We will respect judicial proceedings," Argentine minister Ricardo Lopez
told reporters, while Brazil's Geraldo Magela Quintao said only that "all
investigations are positive."