Friday
October 31, 2014

Exchange of documents

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Brazil, Argentina agree to share Plan Condor details

By Luciana Bertoia
Herald Staff

Brazil yesterday became the third country to reach an agreement with Argentina to exchange dictatorship-era repression archives in order to shed light on human rights violations as part of the so-called Operation Condor.

It is part of a broad effort by countries in the region to investigate the crimes committed by dictatorships that acted jointly in their efforts to eliminate dissent.

During the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) hosted in Cuba, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman and his Brazilian counterpart Luis Alberto Figuereido signed an agreement to exchange files regarding the repressive strategy jointly carried out by Southern Cone military governments during the 1970s.

“We are exchanging information to solve the cases of those citizens, the ones we don’t know what came of them,” Timerman explained.

In 2012, the Kirchnerite administration signed a similar memorandum of understanding with Uruguay, which in the 1970s had the closest relationship with the Argentine repressors. Some time before, a similar accord was reached with Paraguay, which was the first country to discover repression archives.

“Both agreements have practical effects,” said lawyer Martín Rico, who represents the Human Rights Secretariat in the ongoing trial over crimes committed during Operation Condor, which is underway against more than 30 former military officers, while also examining the cases of more than 100 victims.

Rico explained to the Herald that both countries provided all documents that made reference to an Argentine victim so they could be used as evidence in trial. Uruguay — where proceedings for crimes against humanity are currently paralyzed — has provided files regarding flights that took prisoners from Buenos Aires to Montevideo. It was the Uruguayan Air Force that confirmed the existence of those flights, which were used to transfer activists kept in Argentine clandestine detention centres.

Today, representatives of the Human Rights Secretariat headed by lawyer Martín Fresneda are scheduled to meet members of the Foreign Office in order to obtain information about the agreement signed between Timerman and Figuereido.

Brazil is keen to solve former Brazilian president Joao Goulart’s death in December, 1976 in Corrientes province, where he was living in exile. Experts are trying to determine if he was poisoned.

“Goulart’s last residence was in Argentina and there is evidence that the Argentine dictatorship exchanged information with the Brazilian repressors who had made reference to him,” Timerman highlighted yesterday.

In May, Argentina provided information to the Truth Commission opened by president Dilma Rousseff in 2011 to investigate the repressive co-ordination between the two South American nations. Brazil lived through a military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985. An Amnesty Law still prevents former members of the military from being taken to court to examine their involvement, though in 2011 the Inter-American Human Rights Court urged the country to derogate it. Rousseff, a former political prisoner, decided to pursue a commission to start developing national awareness about those dark years.

@LucianaBertoia

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