“Washington’s Pope”? Who is Pope Francis?: Cardinal Jorge Ma

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

“Washington’s Pope”? Who is Pope Francis?: Cardinal Jorge Ma

Postby admin » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:12 am

“Washington’s Pope”? Who is Pope Francis?: Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Argentina's "Dirty War"
by Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research
September 25, 2015
14 March 2013




In the course of the last two years, Pope Francis has been portrayed in chorus by the Western media as an antiwar activist and a left leaning champion of “Liberation Theology” committed to World peace and global poverty alleviation.

His September 24 speech to the US Congress was described as “stunning in the breadth, depth, and conviction of its progressivism.”

“If President Barack Obama had delivered the text of Pope Francis’s speech to Congress Thursday [September 24, 2015] as a State of the Union address, he would have risked being denounced by Republicans as a socialist.”

Who is Pope Francis? Who was he before he became Pope?

Pope Francis is said to have brought “Liberation Theology into the Vatican”, in the footsteps of Francis of Assisi. While highlighting his commitment to peace and social justice, the Western media fail to mention that Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis I) has been a staunch supporter of US imperial interests in Latin America for more than 30 years.

While heralded by antiwar activists as a “progressive”, Pope Francis was one of the main supporters –within the Catholic hierarchy – of Argentina’s military dictatorship which came to power in a CIA supported coup in 1976.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio not only supported the US sponsored dictatorship, he also played a direct and complicit role in the “Dirty War” (la guerra sucia”) in liaison with the military Junta headed by General Jorge Videla, leading to the arrest, imprisonment, torture and disappearance of progressive Catholic priests and laymen who were opposed to Argentina’s military rule.[/size][/b]

“While the two priests Francisco Jalics y Orlando Yorio, kidnapped by the death squads in May 1976 were released five months later after having been tortured, six other people associated with their parish kidnapped as part of the same operation were “disappeared” (desaparecidos).”

Liberation Theology

Liberation Theology has become a convenient tool of media propaganda: the protagonists of oppression are portrayed as liberators. Pope Francis I, heralded as the champion of Liberation in Latin America is now bringing his message to Palestine: According to Naim Ateek, the founder of Liberation Theology in Palestine, quoted in TIME, “We feel he has been able to speak about the poor in Latin America,… Now we would like to see him speak about the oppressed in Palestine.”

At a historic meeting at the Vatican in early May 2014 with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Pope Francis I urged world leaders to challenge “all forms of injustice” and resist the “economy of exclusion… the throwaway culture, … and the “culture of death,” [which] … sadly risk becoming passively accepted.” (National Catholic Reporter, May 26, 2014.

Careful choice of words by Pope Francis: The CIA’s “dirty war” in Latin America under Operation Condor in which Pope Francis actively participated was predicated on the “Culture of Death”. The 1976 military coup was supported by Wall Street precisely with a view to imposing “the economy of exclusion” (namely neoliberalism) conducive to the impoverishment of the Argentinian population.

The following article was first written in March 2013 following the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis I by the Vatican conclave.

Michel Chossudovsky, May 28, 2014, updated, September 25, 2015


“Washington’s Pope”? Who is Pope Francis I? Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Argentina’s “Dirty War”
by Michel Chossudovsky
March 13, 2013

[see update on the Secret Memorandum]

The Vatican conclave has elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis I.

Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?

In 1973, he had been appointed “Provincial” of Argentina for the Society of Jesus.

In this capacity, Bergoglio was the highest ranking Jesuit in Argentina during the military dictatorship led by General Jorge Videla (1976-1983).

He later became bishop and archbishop of Buenos Aires. Pope John Paul II elevated him to the title of cardinal in 2001.

When the military junta relinquished power in 1983, the duly elected president Raúl Alfonsín set up a Truth Commission pertaining to the crimes underlying the “Dirty War” (La Guerra Sucia).

The military junta had been supported covertly by Washington.

U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger played a behind the scenes role in the 1976 military coup.

Kissinger’s top deputy on Latin America, William Rogers, told him two days after the coup that “we’ve got to expect a fair amount of repression, probably a good deal of blood, in Argentina before too long.” … (National Security Archive, March 23, 2006)

“Operation Condor”

Henry Kissinger and General Jorge Videla (1970s)

Ironically, a major trial opened up in Buenos Aires on March 5, 2013 a week prior to Cardinal Bergoglio’s investiture as Pontiff. The ongoing trial in Buenos Aires is: “to consider the totality of crimes carried out under Operation Condor, a coordinated campaign by various US-backed Latin American dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s to hunt down, torture and murder tens of thousands of opponents of those regimes.”

For further details, see Operation Condor: Trial On Latin American Rendition And Assassination Program, By Carlos Osorio and Peter Kornbluh, March 10, 2013


The military junta led by General Jorge Videla (above) was responsible for countless assassinations, including priests and nuns who opposed military rule following the CIA sponsored March 24, 1976 coup which overthrew the government of Isabel Peron:

“Videla was among the generals convicted of human rights crimes, including “disappearances”, torture, murders and kidnappings. In 1985, Videla was sentenced to life imprisonment at the military prison of Magdalena.”

Wall Street and the Neoliberal Economic Agenda

One of the key appointments of the military junta (on the instructions of Wall Street) was the Minister of Economy, Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz, a member of Argentina’s business establishment and a close friend of David Rockefeller.

The neoliberal macro-economic policy package adopted under Martinez de Hoz was a “carbon copy” of that imposed in October 1973 in Chile by the Pinochet dictatorship under advice from the “Chicago Boys”, following the September 11, 1973 coup d’Etat and the assassination of president Salvador Allende.

Wages were immediately frozen by decree. Real purchasing power collapsed by more than 30 percent in the 3 months following the March 24, 1976 military coup. (Author’s estimates, Cordoba, Argentina, July 1976). The Argentinean population was impoverished.

Under the helm of Minister of Economy Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz, central bank monetary policy was largely determined by Wall Street and the IMF. The currency market was manipulated. The Peso was deliberately overvalued leading to an insurmountable external debt. The entire national economy was precipitated into bankruptcy.

From left to right: Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz, David Rockefeller and General Jorge Videla

Wall Street and the Catholic Church Hierarchy

Wall Street was firmly behind the military Junta which waged “The Dirty War” on its behalf. In turn, the Catholic Church hierarchy played a central role in sustaining the legitimacy of the military Junta.

The Order of Jesus – which represented the Conservative yet most influential faction within the Catholic Church, closely associated with Argentina’s economic elites – was firmly behind the military Junta, against so-called “Leftists” in the Peronista movement.

“The Dirty War”: Allegations directed Against Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Condemning the military dictatorship (including its human rights violations) was a taboo within the Catholic Church. While the upper echelons of the Church were supportive of the military Junta, the grassroots of the Church was firmly opposed to the imposition of military rule.

In 2005, human rights lawyer Myriam Bregman filed a criminal suit against Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, accusing him of conspiring with the military junta in the 1976 kidnapping of two Jesuit priests.

Several years later, the survivors of the “Dirty War” openly accused Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of complicity in the kidnapping of priests Francisco Jalics y Orlando Yorio as well six members of their parish, (El Mundo, 8 November 2010)

Jorge Mario Bergoglio and General Jorge Videla

Bergoglio, who at the time was “Provincial” for the Society of Jesus, had ordered the two “Leftist” Jesuit priests and opponents of military rule “to leave their pastoral work” (i.e. they were fired) following divisions within the Society of Jesus regarding the role of the Catholic Church and its relations to the military Junta.

While the two priests Francisco Jalics y Orlando Yorio, kidnapped by the death squads in May 1976 were released five months later, after having been tortured, six other people associated with their parish kidnapped as part of the same operation were “disappeared” (desaparecidos). These included four teachers associated with the parish and two of their husbands.

Upon his release, Priest Orlando Yorio “accused Bergoglio of effectively handing them over [including six other people] to the death squads
… Jalics refused to discuss the complaint after moving into seclusion in a German monastery.” (Associated Press, March 13, 2013, emphasis added),

“During the first trial of leaders of the military junta in 1985, Yorio declared, “I am sure that he himself gave over the list with our names to the Navy.” The two were taken to the notorious Navy School of Mechanics (ESMA) torture center and held for over five months before being drugged and dumped in a town outside the city. (See Bill van Auken, “The Dirty War” Pope, World Socialist Website and Global Research, March 14, 2013

Among those “disappeared” by the death squads were Mónica Candelaria Mignone and María Marta Vázquez Ocampo, respectively daughter of the founder of of the CELS (Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales) Emilio Mignone and daughter of the president of Madres de Plaza de Mayo, Martha Ocampo de Vázquez. (El Periodista Online, March 2013).


María Marta Vásquez, her husband César Lugones (see picture above) and Mónica Candelaria Mignone allegedly “handed over to the death squads” by Jesuit “Provincial” Jorge Mario Bergoglio are among the thousands of “desaparecidos” (disappeared) of Argentina’s “Dirty War”, which was supported covertly by Washington under “Operation Condor”. (See memorialmagro.com.ar)

In the course of the trial initiated in 2005:

“Bergoglio [Pope Francis I] twice invoked his right under Argentine law to refuse to appear in open court, and when he eventually did testify in 2010, his answers were evasive”: “At least two cases directly involved Bergoglio. One examined the torture of two of his Jesuit priests — Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics — who were kidnapped in 1976 from the slums where they advocated liberation theology. Yorio accused Bergoglio of effectively handing them over to the death squads... by declining to tell the regime that he endorsed their work. Jalics refused to discuss it after moving into seclusion in a German monastery.” (Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2005 emphasis added)

The Secret Memorandum

The military government acknowledged in a Secret Memo (see below) that Father Bergoglio had accused the two priests of having established contacts with the guerilleros, and for having disobeyed the orders of the Church hierarchy (Conflictos de obedecencia). It also stated that the Jesuit order had demanded the dissolution of their group and that they had refused to abide by Bergoglio’s instructions.

The document acknowledges that the “arrest” of the two priests, who were taken to the torture and detention center at the Naval School of Mechanics, ESMA, was based on information transmitted by Father Bergoglio to the military authorities. (signed by Mr. Orcoyen)


While a former member of the priests group had joined the insurgency, there was no evidence of the priests having contacts with the guerrilla movement.

“Holy Communion for the Dictators”

The accusations directed against Bergoglio regarding the two kidnapped Jesuit priests and six members of their parish are but the tip of the iceberg. While Bergoglio was an important figure in the Catholic Church, he was certainly not alone in supporting the Military Junta.

According to lawyer Myriam Bregman: “Bergoglio’s own statements proved church officials knew from early on that the junta was torturing and killing its citizens”, and yet publicly endorsed the dictators. “The dictatorship could not have operated this way without this key support,” (Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2005 emphasis added)

General Jorge Videla takes communion. Date and name of priest unconfirmed

The entire Catholic hierarchy was behind the US sponsored military dictatorship. It is worth recalling that on March 23, 1976, on the eve of the military coup:

“Videla and other plotters received the blessing of the Archbishop of Paraná, Adolfo Tortolo, who also served as vicar of the armed forces. The day of the takeover itself, the military leaders had a lengthy meeting with the leaders of the bishop’s conference. As he emerged from that meeting, Archbishop Tortolo stated that although “the church has its own specific mission . . . there are circumstances in which it cannot refrain from participating even when it is a matter of problems related to the specific order of the state.” He urged Argentinians to “cooperate in a positive way” with the new government.” (The Humanist.org, January 2011, emphasis added)

In an interview conducted with El Sur, General Jorge Videla, who is now [passed away in May 2013] serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity confirmed that:

“He kept the country’s Catholic hierarchy informed about his regime’s policy of “disappearing” political opponents, and that Catholic leaders offered advice on how to “manage” the policy.

Jorge Videla said he had “many conversations” with Argentina’s primate, Cardinal Raúl Francisco Primatesta, about his regime’s dirty war against left-wing activists. He said there were also conversations with other leading bishops from Argentina’s episcopal conference as well as with the country’s papal nuncio at the time, Pio Laghi.

“They advised us about the manner in which to deal with the situation,” said Videla” (Tom Henningan, Former Argentinian dictator says he told Catholic Church of disappeared, Irish Times, July 24, 2012, emphasis added)

It is worth noting that according to a 1976 statement by Archbishop Adolfo Tortolo, the military would always consult with a member of the Catholic hierarchy in the case of the “arrest” of a grassroots member of the clergy. This statement was made specifically in relation to the two kidnapped Jesuit priests, whose pastoral activities were under the authority of Society of Jesus “provincial” Jorge Mario Bergoglio. (El Periodista Online, March 2013).

In endorsing the military Junta, the Catholic hierarchy was complicit in torture and mass killings, an estimated “22,000 dead and disappeared, from 1976 to 1978 … Thousands of additional victims were killed between 1978 and 1983 when the military was forced from power.” (National Security Archive, March 23, 2006).

The Role of the Vatican

The Vatican under Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II played a central role in supporting the Argentinian military Junta.

Pio Laghi, the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio to Argentina admitted “turning a blind eye” to the torture and massacres.

Laghi had personal ties to members of the ruling military junta including General Jorge Videla and Admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera.

Vatican’s Nuncio Pio Laghi and General Jorge Videla

Admiral Emilio Massera in close liaison with his US handlers, was the mastermind of “La Guerra Sucia” (The Dirty War). Under the auspices of the military regime, he established:

“an interrogation and torture centre in the Naval School of Mechanics, ESMA [close to Buenos Aires], … It was a sophisticated, multi-purpose establishment, vital in the military plan to assassinate an estimated 30,000 “enemies of the state”. … Many thousands of ESMA’s inmates, including, for instance, two French nuns, were routinely tortured mercilessly before being killed or dropped from aircraft into the River Plata.

Massera, the most forceful member of the triumvirate, did his best to maintain his links with Washington. He assisted in the development of Plan Cóndor, a collaborative scheme to co-ordinate the terrorism being practised by South American military régimes. (Hugh O’Shaughnessy, Admiral Emilio Massera: Naval officer who took part in the 1976 coup in Argentina and was later jailed for his part in the junta’s crimes, The Independent, November 10, 2010, emphasis added)

Reports confirm that the Vatican’s representative Pio Laghi and Admiral Emilio Massera were friends.

Admiral Emilio Massera, architect of “The Dirty War” received by Pope Paul VI at the Vatican

The Catholic Church: Chile versus Argentina

It is worth noting that in the wake of the military coup in Chile on September 11, 1973, the Cardinal of Santiago de Chile, Raul Silva Henriquez openly condemned the military junta led by General Augusto Pinochet. In marked contrast to Argentina, this stance of the Catholic hierarchy in Chile was instrumental in curbing the tide of political assassinations and human rights violations directed against supporters of Salvador Allende and opponents of the military regime.

The man behind the interfaith Comité Pro-Paz was Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez. Shortly after the coup, Silva, … stepped into the role of “upstander,”a term the author and activist Samantha Power coined to distinguish people who stand up to injustice—often at great personal risk—from “bystanders.”

… Soon after the coup, Silva and other church leaders published a declaration condemning and expressing sorrow for the bloodshed. This was a fundamental turning point for many members of the Chilean clergy… The cardinal visited the National Stadium and, shocked by the scale of the government crackdown, instructed his aides to begin collecting information from the thousands flocking to the church for refuge.

Silva’s actions led to an open conflict with Pinochet, who did not hesitate to threaten the church and the Comité Pro-Paz. (Taking a Stand Against Pinochet: The Catholic Church and the Disappeared pdf)

Had the Catholic hierarchy in Argentina and Jorge Mario Bergoglio taken a similar stance to that of Cardinal Raul Silva Henriquez, thousands of lives would have been saved.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was not, in the words of Samantha Power, a “bystander”. He was complicit in extensive crimes against humanity.

Neither is Pope Francis “a Man of the People” committed to “helping the poor” in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi, as portrayed in chorus by the Western media mantra. Quite the opposite: his endeavors under the military Junta, consistently targeted progressive members of the Catholic clergy as well as committed human rights activists involved in grassroots anti-poverty programs.

In supporting Argentina’s “Dirty War”, Jorge Mario Bergoglio has blatantly violated the very tenets of Christian morality which cherish the value of human life. Author’s message to Pope Francis: “Thou shalt not kill.”

“Operation Condor” and the Catholic Church

The election of Cardinal Bergoglio by the Vatican conclave to serve as Pope Francis I will have immediate repercussions regarding the ongoing “Operation Condor” Trial in Buenos Aires.

The Church was involved in supporting the military Junta. This is something which will emerge in the course of the trial proceedings. No doubt, there will be attempts to obfuscate the role of the Catholic hierarchy and the newly appointed Pope Francis I, who served as head of Argentina’s Jesuit order during the military dictatorship.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio: “Washington’s Pope in the Vatican”?

The election of Pope Francis I has broad geopolitical implications for the entire Latin American region.

In the 1970s, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was supportive of a US sponsored military dictatorship.

The Catholic hierarchy in Argentina supported the military government. The Junta’s program of torture, assassinations and ‘disappearances” of thousands of political opponents was coordinated and supported by Washington under the CIA’s “Operation Condor”.

Wall Street’s interests were sustained through Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz’ office at the Ministry of Economy.

The Catholic Church in Latin America is politically influential. It also has a grip on public opinion. This is known and understood by the architects of US foreign policy as well as US intelligence.

In Latin America, where a number of governments are now challenging US hegemony, one would expect – given Bergoglio’s track record – that the new Pontiff Francis I as leader of the Catholic Church, will play de facto, a discrete “undercover” political role on behalf of Washington.

With Jorge Bergoglio, Pope Francis I in the Vatican – who faithfully served US interests in the heyday of General Jorge Videla and Admiral Emilio Massera – the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Latin America can once again be effectively manipulated to undermine “progressive” (Leftist) governments, not only in Argentina (in relation to the government of Cristina Kirschner) but throughout the entire region, including Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia.

The instatement of “a pro-US pope” occurred a week following the death of president Hugo Chavez.

“Regime Change” at the Vatican

The US State Department routinely pressures members of the United Nations Security Council with a view to influencing the vote pertaining to Security Council resolutions.

US covert operations and propaganda campaigns are routinely applied with a view to influencing national elections in different countries around the World.

Similarly, the CIA has a longstanding covert relationship with the Vatican.

Did the US government attempt to influence the outcome of the election of the new pontiff?

Firmly committed to serving US foreign policy interests in Latin America, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was Washington’s preferred candidate.

Were undercover pressures discretely exerted by Washington, within the Catholic Church, directly or indirectly, on the 115 cardinals who are members of the Vatican conclave?

Who is Pope Francis I, Interview of Michel Chossudovsky with Bonnie Faulkner, Guns and Butter, KPFA Pacifica

Global Research TV (GRTV) Interview with Michel Chossudovsky

Author’s Note:

From the outset of the military regime in 1976, I was Visiting Professor at the Social Policy Institute of the Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Argentina. My major research focus at the time was to investigate the social impacts of the deadly macroeconomic reforms adopted by the military Junta.

I was teaching at the University of Cordoba during the initial wave of assassinations which also targeted progressive grassroots members of the Catholic clergy.

The Northern industrial city of Cordoba was the center of the resistance movement. I witnessed how the Catholic hierarchy actively and routinely supported the military junta, creating an atmosphere of intimidation and fear throughout the country. The general feeling at the time was that Argentinians had been betrayed by the upper echelons of the Catholic Church.

Three years earlier, at the time of Chile’s September 11, 1973 military coup, leading to the overthrow of the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende, I was Visiting Professor at the Institute of Economics, Catholic University of Chile, Santiago de Chile.

In the immediate wake of the coup in Chile, I witnessed how the Cardinal of Santiago, Raul Silva Henriquez – acting on behalf of the Catholic Church – confronted the military dictatorship.

The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2015
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Re: “Washington’s Pope”? Who is Pope Francis?: Cardinal Jorg

Postby admin » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:48 am

Operation Condor: Trial On Latin American Rendition And Assassination Program
by Carlos Osorio and Peter Kornbluh
Global Research
March 10, 2013
8 March 2012



National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 416
Edited by Carlos Osorio


Former military officers from Argentina and Uruguay went on trial this week in Buenos Aires for their human rights abuses in Operation Condor, a cross-border conspiracy of dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s to “eradicate ‘subversion,’ a word which increasingly translates into non-violent dissent from the left and center left,” according to declassified documents posted today by the National Security Archive ( http://www.nsarchive.org).

Today’s posting of documents and evidence provided by the Archive to Argentine prosecutors includes the first briefing report, from August 1976, to then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on the secret police collaboration in the Southern Cone to “find and kill” opponents of their military regimes.

“The documents are very useful in establishing a comprehensive analytical framework of what Operation Condor was,” said Pablo Enrique Ouvina, the lead prosecutor in the case.

Founded by the Pinochet regime in November 1975, Operation Condor was the codename for a formal Southern Cone collaboration that included transnational secret intelligence activities, kidnapping, torture, disappearance and assassination, according to the National Security Archive’s documentary evidence from U.S., Paraguayan, Argentine, and Chilean files.

Prominent victims of Condor include two former Uruguayan legislators and a former Bolivian president, Juan Torres, murdered in Buenos Aires, as well as former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier and his 26-year old American colleague, Ronni Moffitt, assassinated by a car bomb in downtown Washington D.C.

The historic trial charges 25 high-ranking military officials, including former Argentine presidents Jorge Videla and Reynaldo Bignone, with conspiracy to “kidnap, disappear, torture and kill” 171 opponents of the military dictatorships that dominated the Southern Cone in the 1970s and 1980s. Among the victims are approximately 80 Uruguayans, 50 Argentines, 20 Chileans and a dozen from Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador who were targeted by Condor operatives. The kidnapping and disappearance of two Cuban Consulate officials in Buenos Aires on August 9, 1976, is also part of the prosecution.

“Condor was a latter day rendition, torture and assassination program,” noted Carlos Osorio, who directs the Archive’s Southern Cone Documentation project. “Holding these officials accountable for the multinational crimes of Condor,” he said, “cannot help but set a precedent for more recent abuses of a similar nature.”

Besides Generals Videla and Bignone, those indicted included 22 Argentine military intelligence officers and agents. In preparation for the trial, prosecutors sought the extradition of several foreign high ranking officers from Chile and Paraguay among other Condor countries. The only foreigner sitting at the courtroom, however, is Uruguayan Army Major Manuel Cordero, charged with participating in death squads and torture at the infamous Orletti Motors secret detention center in Buenos Aires. He was extradited by Brazil where he was living.

Of the 171 Condor victims cited in the indictments, approximately forty-two survived and a number of them are expected to testify in court. One hundred twenty others were killed and/or disappeared.



Document l: Department of State, Report to Kissinger, SECRET, “The Third World War and South America,” August 3, 1976.

This report, based on CIA intelligence, was written by Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America, Harry Shlaudeman and presented to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in August 1976. The document summarizes the coordination of Southern Cone security forces:

“[T]hey are joining forces to eradicate ‘subversion,’ a word which increasingly translates into non-violent dissent from the left and center left. The security forces of the Southern Cone now coordinate intelligence activities closely; operate in the territory of one another’s countries in pursuit of ‘subversives’; have established Operation Condor to find and kill terrorists…in their own countries and in Europe. Brazil is cooperating short of murder operations.”



Washington, D.C. 20520

AUG 3, 1976

TO: The Secretary
FROM: ARA – Harry W. Shlaudeman
ARA Monthly Report (July)

The “Third World War” and South America

The military regimes of the southern cone of South America see themselves as embattled:
 on one side by international Marxism and its terrorist exponents, and
 on the other by the hostility of the uncomprehending industrial democracies misled by Marxist propaganda.

In response they are banding together in what may well become a political bloc of some cohesiveness. But, more significantly, they are joining forces to eradicate “subversion”, a word which increasingly translates into non-violent dissent from the left and center left. The security forces of the souther cone

 now coordinate intelligence activities closely;
 operate in the territory of one another’s countries in pursuit of “subversives”;
 have established Operation Condor to find and kill terrorists of the “Revolutionary Coordinating Committee” in their own countries and in Europe. Brazil is cooperating short of murder operations.

This siege mentality shading into paranoia is perhaps the natural result of the convulsions of recent years in which the societies of Chile, Uruguay and Argentina have been badly shaken by assault from the extreme left. But the military leaders, despite near decimation of the Marxist left in Chile and Uruguay, along with accelerating progress toward that goal in Argentina, insist that the threat remains and the war must go on. Some talk of the “Third World War”, with the countries of the southern cone as the last bastion of Christian civilization.

Somewhat more rationally,

 they consider their counter-terrorism every bit as justified as Israeli actions against Palestinian terrorists; and
 they believe that the criticism from democracies of their war on terrorism reflects a double standard.

The result of this mentality, internally, is to magnify the isolation of the military institutions from the civilian sector, thus narrowing the range of political and economic options.

The broader implications for us and for future trends in the hemisphere are disturbing. The use of bloody counter-terrorism by these regimes threatens their increasing isolation from the West and the opening of deep ideological divisions among the countries of the hemisphere. An outbreak of PLO-type terrorism on a worldwide scale in response is also a possibility. The industrial democracies would be the battlefield.

This month’s trends paper attempts for the first time to focus on long-term dangers of a right-wing bloc. Our initial policy recommendations are:

 To emphasize the differences between the six countries at every opportunity.
 To depoliticize human rights.
 To oppose rhetorical exaggerations of the “Third-World-War” type.
 To bring the potential bloc-members back into our cognitive universe through systematic exchanges.

Security Cooperation is a Fact

There is extensive cooperation between the security/intelligence operations of six governments: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Their intelligence services hold formal meetings to plan “Operation Condor.” It will include extensive FBI-type exchanges of information on shady characters. There are plans for a special communications network. These details are still secret, but broad security cooperation is not. Officials in Paraguay and Argentina have told us that they find it necessary to cooperate with each other and their neighbors against internationally-funded terrorists and “subversives.”

The problem begins with the definition of “subversion” – never the most precise of terms. One reporter writes that subversion “has grown to include nearly anyone who opposes government policy.” In countries where everyone knows that subversives can wind up dead or tortured, educated people have an understandable concern about the boundaries of dissent. The concern doubles when there is a change of persecution by foreign police acting on indirect, unknown information. Numerous Uruguayan refugees have been murdered in Argentina, and there are widespread accusations that Argentine police are doing their Uruguayan colleagues a favor. These accusations are at least credible, whether or not they are exact.

The nature of the Left-Extreme Threat: A “Third World War”?

Uruguayan Foreign Minister Blanco – one of the brighter and normally steadier members of the group – was the first to describe the campaign against terrorists as a “Third World War.” The description is interesting for two reasons:

 It justifies harsh and sweeping “wartime” measures.
 It emphasizes the international and institutional aspect, thereby justifying the exercise of power beyond national boarders.

The threat is not imaginary. It may be exaggerated. This is hard to suggest to a man like Blanco, who believes – probably correctly – that he and his family are targeted. One must admire his personal courage.

Even by objective standards, the terrorists have had substantial accomplishments over the years:

 At one time or other, urban and rural guerrillas have created severe problems for almost every South American government, including those where democracy is still surviving.
 They have provoked repressive reactions, including torture and quasi-governmental death squads. (The guerrillas typically claimed to welcome repression, but we wonder if they really like what they got.)
 They still pose a serious threat in Argentina and – arguably – a lesser problem in two or three other countries.
 There is a terror-oriented “Revolutionary Coordinating Junta,” possibly headquartered in Paris, which is both a counterpart of and an incentive for cooperation between governments.
Nevertheless, it is also true that, broadly speaking, both terrorists and the peaceful left have failed. This is true even in the minds of studious revolutionaries. Che Guevara’s romantic fiasco crushed hopes for rural revolution. Allende’s fall is taken (perhaps pessimistically) as proving that the electoral route cannot work. Urban guerrillas collapsed in Brazil with Carlos Marighela and in Uruguay with the Tupamaros. The latter represented a high-water mark. Their solid, efficient structure posed a real wartime threat. Probably the military believe that torture was indispensable to crack this structure.

There is still a major campaign in Argentina. We expect the military to pull up their socks and win. They have precedents to guide them, and the terrorists have no handy refuge in neighboring countries.

What will remain is a chain of governments, started by Brazil in 1964, whose origin was in battle against the extreme left. It is important to their ego, their salaries, and their equipment-budgets to believe in a Third World War. At best, when Argentina stabilizes, we can hope to convince them that they have already won. The warriors will not like this. They already snicker at us for being worried about kid stuff like drug-smuggling when there is a real military campaign going on. They accuse us of applauding the defeat of terrorism in Entebbe but not in Montevideo. Our differing perceptions of the threat are raising suspicions about our “reliability.”

What the Right-Wing Regimes Have in Common

These governments are reactive: they derived their initial legitimacy from a reaction against terrorism, left-extremism, instability, and (as they see it) Marxism. Thus, “anti-Marxism” is a moral and political force.

There is also an ideology that is more positive in origin: that of national development.

 The vision of nation has been as effective in South America as it was in Europe. (It may yet turn out to be as destructive; this paper looks only briefly at the potential for conflicts between Latin nations and blocs.) Military establishments, traditional protectors of boundaries and national integrity, are in a position to profit from the new nationalism.
 Economic development is a pressing need and a public demand. Disciplined military establishments can work with technocrats to produce economic development. In the countries we are considering, the military is always the strongest national institution – sometimes almost the only one. It has, typically, saved the nations from civilian chaos.

National developmentalism is therefore real medicine, closer to most citizens than trendy left or right-wing causes. To this extent, military power can find a popular base.

National developmentalism has obvious and bothersome parallels to National Socialism. Opponents of the military regimes call them fascist. It is an effective pejorative, the more so because it can be said to be technically accurate. But it is a pejorative. These days, to call a man fascist is not primarily to describe his economic views.

In practice, the military regimes tend to be full of the same inconsistencies that characterize non-military, pragmatic, non-ideological regimes.

 Local political institutions are (reasonably) considered to have been a failure, and it is suggested that “democracy doesn’t work for us.” Leaders want to build more efficient institutions, to organize their societies entirely differently. Yet there is, at some level of consciousness, an acceptance that democracy is the ideal eventually to be sought.
 No other institution is allowed to challenge military power, yet political parties and courts often exist and perform some valid functions. Brazil’s toothless parliament, for example, does cautiously articulate public opinion and provide a dormant alternative to military rule.
 Insecure, repressive governments nevertheless allow substantial “democratic” freedoms, including varying degrees of freedom of expression. The ambiente is more like Washington than Moscow. You can buy a good newspaper, a pair of decadently-flowered blue jeans, a girlie magazine, or a modern painting.
 These military regimes do not expect to last forever. There is no thought of a Thousand-Year Reich, no pretense of having arrived at ultimate Marxist-style truth.

From the standpoint of our policy, the most important long-term characteristics of these regimes may be precisely that they are reversible, in both theory and practice. They know it. But they do not know what to do about it. Political and social development lag. Long after left-wing threats are squashed, the regimes are still terrified of them. Fighting the absent pinkos remains a central goal of national security. Threats and plots are discovered. Some “mistakes” are made by the torturers, who have difficulty finding logical victims. Murder squads kill harmless people and petty thieves. When elections are held, the perverse electorate shows a desire to put the military out of power. Officers see the trend ending with their own bodies on the rack.

No more elections for a while.

We do not suggest that there is a hopelessly vicious circle. Since some of these regimes are producing really solid economic successes. The officers may eventually trust civilians to succeed them and provide an honorable exit. So far, the military has found it easier to ride the tiger than to dismount. When an alternative government eventually has to be found, it might be that the only one available will be at the far left.

But There Are Also Leading Differences.

In discussing the general characteristics of the southern military regimes, we have made some indefensibly broad generalizations. The following is an attempt to correct the worst distortions, country-by-country. It is important to be clear about the differences because, for reasons we shall develop later, our policy should be to emphasize what the countries do not have in common rather than what they do.

The front-burner cases are Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.

Argentina is the most interesting, both because it is important and because the directions of the new regime are not clear. The Argentines are politically sophisticated like the Brazilians, but unlike the Brazilians, the Argentines lack social and even military unity. To recover economically, they must break the power of traditional structures, and especially of the labor movement. There is also a genuine challenge from left-wing terrorists and right-wing counter-terror. The problem approaches civil-war dimensions. We believe that the Brazilian model will prevail. In the long run, thus, we think the military will win. Videla – or his successor – will have more trouble with hard-line military officers and right-wing terror than with the left. Forces probably connected to the regime have already been killing exiles and priests, among others.

Chile has been the subject of so much action lately that you probably do not need to hear any more. The Chileans have smashed the Left almost as thoroughly as the Brazilians, but the repressive apparatus is much more unrestrained. There is no one at the top like Geisel who even seems to wish to moderate human-rights abuses. The Santiago regime provides the archetype of the reasoning that criticism of torture can come only from international Marxist plotters. The military seem particularly insecure and isolated, even with respect to the Chilean public.

Uruguay is the third pressing case (with Argentina and Chile). Foreign Minister Blanco was the first to talk about the “Third World War,” and he still insists that the threat continues high in his country. Given this picture, Uruguay is, of course, eager to cooperate with its neighbors in defensive measures. Nevertheless, unlike the Chileans, the Uruguayans have maintained some sense or proportion about human rights and international public opinion. Civilians are up front in the government, give the military substantial support, and interact relatively well.

Brazil: We can and should relate to Brazil as an emerging world power rather than as a trouble-spot. Yet its 1964 “revolution” is the basic model for its neighbors. The biggest problem is that, despite remarkable successes, the Brazilian armed services still cannot find a way to relax their hold on power. On the other hand, they are not much worried about it. They have been able to tap civilian talent for economic purposes. The Left is smashed, but it is not clear whether the President can control the zeal of his security forces. Attempts at political distensao have largely flopped (The word carries both the English sense of “distending”, or enlarging authority from a narrow military base, and the French sense of “relaxing.” Better than détente?) Brazil, like the other large countries, does see itself as a world actor, and this inhibits extremism.

Bolivia is an interesting case but not a hot problem. This is the scene of one of the three genuine social revolutions in Latin America – which makes it all the more puzzling that Che Guevara thought he had a contribution to make. Despite his failure, he left lasting worries. The Bolivians still consider that Che’s death makes them a target of revenge for international terrorists. We cannot quite perceive the same menace. In Bolivian terms, the government is notably stable and economically successful. It has been moderate on human rights.

Paraguay is marching to the same tune as its neighbors but is a mile behind. This is the kind of nineteenth-century military regime that looks good on the cartoon page. Paraguay, however, has eminently sound reasons for being backward and is not in the least apologetic. The Paraguayans remember that, in the Chaco War, they fought off the massively superior armed forces of three neighbors for a ridiculously long time. Pride was saved, if nothing else. There is no democratic tradition whatever. The government has reacted to fear of the left rather than the kind of specific challenge posed in the other countries.

A Political Bloc In Formation?

If police-type cooperation evolves into formation of a political bloc, our interests will be involved in ways that are new for South America. Such a bloc is not here yet. The conditions for its formation are largely present:

 The conviction that an international leftist threat amounts to a “World War” and hence requires an alliance.
 Highly compatible philosophies and political objectives in other respects.
 Improved transport and communication between neighboring countries, which previously had better links with the U.S. and Europe than with each other.
 A suspicion that even the U.S. has “lost its will” to stand firm against communism because of Viet-Nam, détente, and social decay.
 Resentment of human-rights criticism, which is often taken as just one more sign of the commie encirclement.
 Exclusion by the military of the civilian, democratic interplay which helps to maintain a sense of proportion.

There are a few inhibitions on formation of a bloc. Nationalistic thinking is the obvious one. Traditional feuds have largely shaped the sense of nation. With the exception of the Peru/Chile tension, however, border disputes are no longer an overriding factor in the southern cone.

To predict a political bloc would still be speculative. Commonsense could assert itself. There is plenty of it available in these countries and even some in their armies. We do think that the trend toward bloc thinking is present, clear, and troublesome.

If a Bloc Does Form …

In the early stages, we will be a “casual beneficiary” (as one reporter puts it) for reasons that are too obvious to need elaboration here. On the main East-West stage, right-wing regimes can hardly tilt toward the Soviets and Cubans. The fact that we are an apparent beneficiary can easily lull us into trouble, as had historically been the case in this hemisphere.

But we would expect a range of growing problems. Some are already with us. Internationally, the Latin generals look like our guys. We are especially identified with Chile. It cannot do us any good. Europeans, certainly, hate Pinochet & Co. with a passion that rubs off on us.

More problems are on the schedule:

 Human rights abuses, as you know, are creating more and more problems of conscience, law, and diplomacy.
 Chile’s black-sheep status has already made trouble for its economic recovery. The farther to the right the drift goes in other countries, the more difficulties we can expect in our economic links with them.
 We would like to share with, say, the Brazilians a perception that we are natural allies. Brazilian participation in a right-wing bloc would make this unlikely.
 Eventually, we could even see serious strains with the democracies farther north. Orfila has told us that he thinks a confrontation is possible. Uruguay and Venezuela have just broken relations over an incident involved political asylum. A precedent?

Over the horizon, there is a chance of serious world-scale trouble. This is speculative, but no longer ridiculous. The Revolutionary Coordinating Junta now seems to have its headquarters in Paris, plus considerable activity in other European capitals. With terrorists being forced out of Argentina, their concentration in Europe (and possibly the U.S.) will increase.

The South American regimes know about this. They are planning their own counter-terror operations in Europe. Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay are in the lead; Brazil is wary but is providing some technical support.

The next step might be for the terrorists to undertake a worldwide attack on embassies and interests of the six hated regimes. The PLO has shown the way. We can picture South American activities on a comparable scale, again using the industrial democracies as a battlefield. The impossibility of peaceful change will radicalize exiles who might, in earlier days, have looked forward to returning home peacefully.

Our Response: How to end the Third World War.

Till now, though we have tried to exercise a moderating influence, we have not taken a long-term strategic view of the problems that a right-wing bloc would create. This paper has tried for a sharper focus. We shall have more recommendations in months to come, but the following are a fair start:

(1) Distinguish between countries with special care. If we treat them as a whole, we will be encouraging them to view themselves as an embattled bloc. In our dealings with each country and in Congressional testimony, we should, for example, reflect recognition that:

 Argentina, with its virtual civil war, faces a problem much different from its neighbors.
 Uruguay, with its substantial remnants of military/civilian interplay, is not comparable to Chile.
 Brazil has the weight, sophistication, and world-perspective to share many of our concerns.

Our military-sales programs may also provide an opportunity for distinction. Aid no longer provides significant leverage. There is vast interest in overall economic relations – but not much freedom of movement.

2) Try to get the politics and ideology out of human rights. This objective will be hard to reconcile with the equally pressing need to multilateralize our concern. To avoid charges of “intervention,” we must increasingly work through the Inter-American Human Rights Commission. The countries that support us there, however, will tend to be democracies (and perhaps one or two radical Caribbean governments). Right-wing regimes will feel besieged. Ideally, we should keep one or more of them with us. If that is impossible (as now seems likely), we should take special care to make clear that authoritarian regimes of the right have no monopoly on abuses. (Your Santiago speech had the right balance).

3) Oppose Rhetorical exaggerations – there and here.

 Make clear in our South American dealings that the “Third World War” idea is overdrawn and leads to dangerous consequences.
 In Congressional testimony here, stress that the threat is real for a country like Argentina.

4) Bring them back to our cognitive universe. But how? Our Embassy in La Paz has recommended that we exchange intelligence briefings with the Bolivians. This might provide a way to reach suspicious military officers and work on their “Third World War” syndrome. But there are hazards. We would fail to produce information sustaining their thesis, and they might conclude that we were badly informed or uncooperative. Instead, we think we should work on systematic mid-level exchanges – something more than exchanges of information on terrorists. We need to achieve a perception that neither détente nor distensao is a threat to the legitimacy of friendly regimes.

In time, perhaps we can convince them that a Third World War is undesirable.

ARA/PLC: DCProper/WHLuers
8/2/76 x-29192

Document 2: Defense Intelligence Agency, [Report on Operation Condor] “Special Operations Forces,” SECRET, October 1, 1976.

This comprehensive intelligence report, based on information gathered by the FBI legal attaché in Buenos Aires, provides details on the collaboration between Argentina, Uruguay, and other Southern Cone military dictatorships. The document provided critical information to prosecutors on a joint operation with Uruguayan intelligence agents in late September 1976, in which dozens of Uruguayan members of the militant leftist movement OPR-33 were rounded up, detained, tortured, and a number killed in Buenos Aires. “The entire OPR-33 infrastructure in Argentina has been eliminated,” the document states. The kidnapped Uruguayans are among the over one hundred disappeared victims included in the Operation Condor trial. The document goes on to describe the “formation of special teams” to “carry out operations to include assassinations” in countries as far away as Portugal and France. The report cited a “favorite remark” of Southern Cone military officers as saying that “one of their colleagues is out of country because he is flying like a condor.”

Declassified by DIA in accordance with EO 12958

1. COUNTRY: Argentina
2. SUBJECT: (U) Special Operations Forces (U)
3. ___ NUMBER: N/A
7. SOURCE: Legal Attache, AMEMB
8. REPORT NUMBER 6: 804 0334 76
9. DATE OF REPORT: 1976, OCT 1
10. NO. OF ___: 2
11. REFERENCES: PG1200 PG 1100 ICR A-TAC-44396
PG2200 PG1300
PG2220 PG2240
15. SUMMARY: This IR provides information on joint counterinsurgency operations by several countries in South America. Information was provided by US Embassy Legal Attache who has excellent contacts within the State Secretariat for Information and Federal Police Force.

This IR partially fulfills requirement of ICR A-TAC-44396.

REC'D DS-4B 13 OCT '76


1. "Operation Condor" is the code name given for intelligence collection on "leftists," Communists and Marxists in the Southern Cone Area. It was recently established between cooperating intelligence services in South America in order to eliminate Marxist terrorist activities in member countries with Chile reportedly being the center of operations. Other participating members include: Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia. In addition, Brazil has apparently tentatively agreed to provide intelligence input for Operation Condor. Members showing the most enthusiasm to date have been Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. These three countries have engaged in joint operations, primarily in Argentina, against terrorists targets. During the week of 20 September 1976, the Director of the Argentine Army Intelligence Service traveled to Santiago to consult with his Chilean counterparts on Operation Condor (This travel is similar to trip reported in IR G 804 0309 76.)

2. During the period 24-27 September 1976, members of the Argentina State Secretariat for Information (SIDE), operating with officers of the Uruguayan Military Intelligence Service carried out operations against the Uruguayan Terrorist organization, the OPR-33 in Buenos Aires. As a result of this joint operation, SIDE officials claimed that the entire OPR-33 infrastructure in Argentina has been eliminated. A large volume of US currency was seized during the combined operation.

3. A third and reportedly very secret phase of "Operation Condor" involves the formation of special teams from member countries who are to carry out operations to include assassinations against terrorist or supporters of terrorist organizations. For example, should a terrorist or a supporter of a terrorist organization from a member country be identified, a special team would be dispatched to locate and surveil the target. When the location and surveillance operation has terminated, a second team would be dispatched to carry out an operation against the target. Special teams would be issued false documentation from member countries, could be composed either of individuals from one member nation or of persons from various member nations. Source stated that team members would not be commissioned or non-commissioned officers of the armed forces, but rather "special agents." Two European countries, specifically mentioned for possible operations under the third phase were France and Portugal.

4. A special team has apparently been organized in Argentina for use in "Operation Condor." They are members of the Argentine Army Intelligence Service and the State Secretariat for Information. They are reportedly structured much like a US Special Forces Team with a medic (doctor), demolition expert, etc. They are apparently being prepared for action in phase three.

COMMENT: More and more is being heard about "Operation Condor" in the southern cone. Military officers who, heretofore, had been mum on the subject have begun to talk openly about it. A favorite remark is that, "One of their colleagues is out of the country because he is flying like a condor."

Document 3: CIA, SECRET, A Brief Look at Operation Condor, August 22, 1978.

In the aftermath of the Letelier-Moffitt assassination, the CIA prepared this short briefing paper for Eugene Propper, the Justice Department’s lead prosecutor in the case. “Operation Condor is a cooperation effort by the intelligence/security services of several South American countries to combat terrorism and subversion. The original members included services from Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia; Peru and Ecuador recently became members.”

Declassified and Approved for Release July 2000


SUBJECT: Classified Reading Material re "CONDOR" for Ambassador Landau and Mr. Propper
DATE: 22 August 1978
COMMENTS: Two papers attached: "A Brief Look at Operation Condor," and [DELETE] the papers are for perusal Ambassador Landau and Mr. Propper.

SUBJECT: A Brief Look at "Operation Condor"

1. "Operation Condor" is a cooperative effort by the intelligence/security services of several South American countries to combat terrorism and subversion. The original members included services from Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia; Peru and Ecuador recently became members. The Agency's first knowledge of the organization's existence came in March 1976 when [DELETE] reported that Colonel Manuel CONTRERAS, then chief of the Chilean Directorate of National Intelligence (DINA), had initiated a program of cooperation between the intelligence services of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia called "Plan Condor." Although cooperation between the respective intelligence/security services had existed for some time -- perhaps as early as February 1974 -- the cooperative effort was not formalized until late May 1976 when a Condor meeting was held in Santiago, Chile. The basic theme of the meeting was long-range cooperation among the services of the participating countries, but went well beyond information exchange. Condor members were given numerical designations; i.e., "Condor One," "Condor Two," etc.

2. By July 1976 the Agency was receiving reports that Condor planned to engaged in "executive action" outside the territory of member countries against leaders of indigenous terrorist groups residing abroad. The latter included members of the Revolutionary Coordinating Junta (JCR) which comprised the Chilean MIR, Argentine ERP, Uruguayan MLN-Tupamaros, and certain other less important groups.


4. During the past two years Condor representatives have met periodically in one or another of the member countries to coordinate their activities, have established a special communications network, and have conducted training of various types including psychological warfare. [DELETE]

Document 4: Department of State, SECRET, “Conversation with Argentine Intelligence Source,” April 7, 1980.

In this revealing memorandum to Ambassador Castro, James J. Blystone, the Regional Security Officer (RSO) at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires, details his April 2 meeting with an Argentine intelligence source. The anonymous Argentine source describes how Horacio Campiglia and Susana Binstock, two militant Montoneros, were captured by Argentine officers of Battalion 601 (in coordination with Brazilian intelligence), taken to Argentina and held at the Campo de Mayo Army base. Campiglia and Binstock who were never seen again, are amongst the more than a hundred victims included in the Operation Condor trial.


DATE: 7 April 1980
REPLY TO ATTN OF: RSO/James J. Blystone, American Embassy, Buenos Aires
SUBJECT: Conversation with Argentine Intelligence Source
TO: The Ambassador
Through: DCM/Maxwell Chaplin

On April 2, 1980, the RSO had a meeting with a member of the Argentine intelligence services to discuss various topics. In the beginning the RSO jokingly asked what had happened to the two Montoneros that disappeared between Mexico and Rio. The source answered that he would tell me but only in the strictest of confidence as this information was top secret. Source stated that Force 601 had captured a Montonero and during the interrogation learned that this Montonero was to have a meeting with the two Montoneros from Mexico and the meeting was to take place in Rio de Janiero. The two Montoneros from Mexico are Horacio Campiglia (warname Peter) and Susana de Binstok. Horacio Campiglia (number 4 or 5 in the Montonero structure) has overall charge of the TEI operations and manages these forces from Mexico. Source advised that during the interrogation they told the Montonero that they had captured, that if he cooperated with the forces he would live. This Montonero knew he was in no position not to cooperate, provided the date and time for the meeting in Rio. The Argentine military intelligence (601) contacted their Brazilian military intelligence counterparts for permission to conduct an operation in Rio to capture two Montoneros arriving from Mexico. Brazilians granted their permission and a special team of Argentines were flown under the operational command of Lt. Col. Roman, to Rio aboard an Argentine airforce C130. Both of the Montoneros from Mexico were captured alive and returned to Argentina aboard the C130. The Argentines, not wanting to alert the Montoneros that they had conducted an operation in Rio, utilized an Argentine woman and man to register at a hotel using the false documents obtained from the two captured Montoneros, thereby leaving a trail that the two Montoneros from Mexico had arrived in Rio, registered at a hotel and then departed. These two Montoneros are presently being held at the army's secret jail, Camp de Mayo.

Regarding another subject, the source advised that within the last ten to 15 days security forces had captured alive 12 members of a TEI group which was reinfiltrating the country. Source stated that they had captured some time ago, the Montonero who was the TEI training instructor in Libya (previously reported by the RSO) and who is now working with the Argentine services. This Montonero who is cooperating with the Argentines, received information that 12 members of the TEI would be re-entering Argentina via bus routes from Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil. The Argentine security services, with the cooperation of the police set up a trap to capture all 12 members. The police performed documentation and drug control procedures in the bus terminals in Buenos Aires and the intelligence services with the cooperation of this Montonero, were able to apprehend the TEI members arriving by bus. Once the Montonero member was identified, the police would ask to check their documents and advise the individual he would have to go to the police station for routine police matters. Once the Montonero was placed in a car for transportation to a police station, military intelligence took over and transported the Montonero to their secret jail in Campo de Mayo. All 12 members of the TEI group were captured with documentation which indicated that they would place under surveillance 10 targets of the Minister of Economy and of the 10 targets under surveillance, decide which three would be the easiest to attack. The Argentine intelligence service is upset as none of the 12 TEI members apprehended were armed. Logistically the Argentines are confused as to where and how the Montoneros are obtaining their weapons.

Regarding the TEI, the Argentines have further learned that a group of TEI members are to infiltrate the country to reorganize their political structure, which is a drastic change from previous operations. This for the Argentines signifies a change in the Montonero thinking in that they have decided to give up armed attacks and try to gain their objectives through political means.

On the last subject, the RSO inquired whether the source had any additional information regarding Jarara de Cabezas. Source stated that he hadn't any new information beyond the face that she is still alive and being held by the Navy. (Note, the RSO was not previously informed that this individual was being held by the Navy, just that she was being held.)

The RSO questioned the source regarding the disappeareds who are able to communicate and visit their families. Source advised that this is true. The forces sometimes capture Montoneros but during investigation and interrogation, learn that the individual is a sympathizer, not a full-fledged member or combatant. These individuals, after a period of time are allowed limited liberty by the forces to contact their families until their paperwork is ready. At that time they are sent out of the country. An agreement is made with them that they will not contact their families for a period of months. Source stated that it would be detrimental to the services if these individuals were granted limited liberty and then killed.


cc: DCM

The original source of this article is The National Security Archive
Copyright © Carlos Osorio and Peter Kornbluh, The National Security Archive, 2013
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Re: “Washington’s Pope”? Who is Pope Francis?: Cardinal Jorg

Postby admin » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:51 am

The “Dirty War” Pope
by Bill Van Auken
World Socialist Web Site
16 March 2013



For over a week, the media has subjected the public to a tidal wave of euphoric banality on the Roman Catholic Church’s selection of a new pope.

This non-stop celebration of the dogma and ritual of an institution that for centuries has been identified with oppression and backwardness is stamped with a deeply undemocratic character. It is reflective of the rightward turn of the entire political establishment and its repudiation of the principles enshrined in the US Constitution, including the wall of separation between church and state.

What a far cry from the political ideals that animated those who drafted that document. It was Thomas Jefferson’s well-founded opinion that “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”

Jefferson’s view—and the reactionary character of the media’s sycophantic coverage—finds no more powerful conformation than in the identity of the new pope, officially celebrated as a paragon of “humility” and “renewal.”

Placed on the papal throne is not only another hard-line opponent of Marxism, the Enlightenment and all manner of human progress, but a man who is deeply and directly implicated in one of the greatest crimes of the post-World War II era—Argentina’s “Dirty War.”

Amid the pomp and ceremony Friday, the Vatican spokesman was compelled to address the past of the new Pope Francis—the former Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio. He dismissed the accusations against him as the work of “anti-clerical left-wing elements.”

That “left-wing elements” would denounce the complicity of the Church’s leaders in the “Dirty War” waged by the military junta that ruled Argentina between 1976 and 1983 is scarcely surprising. They accounted for many of the estimated 30,000 workers, students, intellectuals and others who were “disappeared” and murdered, and the tens of thousands more who were imprisoned and tortured.

But some of Bergoglio’s harshest critics come from within the Catholic Church itself, including priests and lay workers who say he handed them over to the torturers as part of a collaborative effort to “cleanse” the Church of “leftists.” One of them, a Jesuit priest, Orlando Yorio, was abducted along with another priest after ignoring a warning from Bergoglio, then head of the Jesuit order in Argentina, to stop their work in a Buenos Aires slum district.

During the first trial of leaders of the military junta in 1985, Yorio declared, “I am sure that he himself gave over the list with our names to the Navy.” The two were taken to the notorious Navy School of Mechanics (ESMA) torture center and held for over five months before being drugged and dumped in a town outside the city.

Bergoglio was ideologically predisposed to backing the mass political killings unleashed by the junta. In the early 1970s, he was associated with the right-wing Peronist Guardia de Hierro (Iron Guard), whose cadre—together with elements of the Peronist trade union bureaucracy—were employed in the death squads known as the Triple A (Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance), which carried out a campaign of extermination against left-wing opponents of the military before the junta even took power. Adm. Emilio Massera, the chief of the Navy and the leading ideologue of the junta, also employed these elements, particularly in the disposal of the personal property of the “disappeared.”

Yorio, who died in 2000, charged that Bergoglio “had communications with Admiral Massera, and had informed him that I was the chief of the guerrillas.”

The junta viewed the most minimal expression of opposition to the existing social order or sympathy for the oppressed as “terrorism.” The other priest who was abducted, Francisco Jalics, recounted in a book that Bergoglio had promised them he would tell the military that they were not terrorists. He wrote, “From subsequent statements by an official and 30 documents that I was able to access later, we were able to prove, without any room for doubt, that this man did not keep his promise, but that, on the contrary, he presented a false denunciation to the military.”

Bergoglio declined to appear at the first trial of the junta as well as at subsequent proceedings to which he was summoned. In 2010, when he finally did submit to questioning, lawyers for the victims found him to be “evasive” and “lying.”

Bergoglio claimed that he learned only after the end of the dictatorship of the junta’s practice of stealing the babies of disappeared mothers, who were abducted, held until giving birth and then executed, with their children given to military or police families. This lie was exposed by people who had gone to him for help in finding missing relatives.

The collaboration with the junta was not a mere personal failing of Bergoglio, but rather the policy of the Church hierarchy, which backed the military’s aims and methods. The Argentine journalist Horacio Verbitsky exposed Bergoglio’s attempted cover-up for this systemic complicity in a book that Bergoglio authored, which edited out compromising sentences from a memorandum recording a meeting between the Church leadership and the junta in November 1976, eight months after the military coup.

The excised statement included the pledge that the Church “in no way intends to take a critical position toward the action of the government,” as its “failure would lead, with great probability, to Marxism.” It declared the Catholic Church’s “understanding, adherence and acceptance” in relation to the so-called “Proceso” that unleashed a reign of terror against Argentine working people.

This support was by no means platonic. The junta’s detention and torture centers were assigned priests, whose job it was, not to minister to those suffering torture and death, but to help the torturers and killers overcome any pangs of conscience. Using such biblical parables as “separating the wheat from the chafe,” they assured those operating the so-called “death flights,” in which political prisoners were drugged, stripped naked, bundled onto airplanes and thrown into the sea, that they were doing “God’s work.” Others participated in the torture sessions and tried to use the rite of confession to extract information of use to the torturers.

This collaboration was supported from the Vatican on down. In 1981, on the eve of Argentina’s war with Britain over the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands, Pope John Paul II flew to Buenos Aires, appearing with the junta and kissing its then-chief, Gen. Leopoldo Galtieri, while saying not a word about the tens of thousands who had been kidnapped, tortured and murdered.

As Jefferson noted, the Church is “always in alliance with the despot,” as it was in backing Franco’s fascists in Spain, its collaboration with the Nazis as they carried out the Holocaust in Europe, and its support of the US war in Vietnam.

Nonetheless, the naming of a figure like Bergoglio as pope—and its celebration within the media and ruling circles—must serve as a stark warning. Not only are the horrific crimes carried out in Argentina 30 years ago embraced, those in power are contemplating the use of similar methods once again to defend capitalism from intensifying class struggle and the threat of social revolution.
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Re: “Washington’s Pope”? Who is Pope Francis?: Cardinal Jorg

Postby admin » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:21 am

Argentine Cardinal Named in Kidnap Lawsuit
From Associated Press
by Los Angeles Times
April 17, 2005



VATICAN CITY — A human rights lawyer has filed a criminal complaint against an Argentine cardinal mentioned as a possible contender to become pope, accusing him of involvement in the 1976 kidnappings of two priests.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio's spokesman Saturday called the allegation "old slander."

The complaint filed in a court in the Argentine capital on Friday accused Bergoglio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, of involvement in the abduction of two Jesuit priests by the military dictatorship, reported the newspaper Clarin. The complaint does not specify the nature of Bergoglio's alleged involvement.

Under Argentine law, an accusation can be filed with a very low threshold of evidence. A court then decides if there is cause to investigate and file charges.

The accusations against Bergoglio, 68, are detailed in a recent book by Argentine journalist Horacio Verbitsky.

In May 1976, priests Orlando Yorio and Francisco Jalics were kidnapped by the navy. They surfaced five months later, drugged and seminude, in a field.

At the time, Bergoglio was the superior in the Society of Jesus of Argentina.
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Re: “Washington’s Pope”? Who is Pope Francis?: Cardinal Jorg

Postby admin » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:25 am

Former Argentinian dictator says he told Catholic Church of disappeared
by The Irish Times
Jul 24, 2012, 01:00



Jorge Videla said the hierarchy advised him on ‘managing’ the dirty war, writes TOM HENNIGAN in São Paulo

ARGENTINA’S FORMER military dictator said he kept the country’s Catholic hierarchy informed about his regime’s policy of “disappearing” political opponents, and that Catholic leaders offered advice on how to “manage” the policy.

Jorge Videla said he had “many conversations” with Argentina’s primate, Cardinal Raúl Francisco Primatesta, about his regime’s dirty war against left-wing activists. He said there were also conversations with other leading bishops from Argentina’s episcopal conference as well as with the country’s papal nuncio at the time, Pio Laghi.

“They advised us about the manner in which to deal with the situation,” said Videla in a series of interviews conducted by the magazine El Sur in 2010 but published only on Sunday.

He said that in certain cases church authorities offered their “good offices” and undertook to inform families looking for “disappeared” relatives to desist from their searches, but only if they were certain the families would not use the information to denounce the junta.

“In the case of families that it was certain would not make political use of the information, they told them not to look any more for their child because he was dead,” said Videla. He said the church “understood well . . . and also assumed the risks” of such involvement.

The confession confirms long-held suspicions that Argentina’s Catholic hierarchy collaborated with the military’s so-called process of national reorganisation, which sought to root out communism. In the years following the 1976 coup led by Videla, thousands of left-wing activists were swept up into secret detention centres where they were tortured and murdered. Military chaplains were assigned as spiritual advisers to the junior officers who staffed the centres.

In contrast to the Catholic hierarchy in Brazil, where church leaders denounced that country’s military dictatorship and provided sanctuary to its victims, in Argentina bishops were prominent defenders of the regime against accusations of human rights abuses from abroad.

At the height of the state’s offensive, Cardinal Primatesta refused to meet with mothers of the disappeared who, in the face of violent intimidation and media silence, were seeking help in finding out what had happened to their missing loved ones. He also prohibited the lower clergy from speaking out against state violence, even as death squads targeted Catholic priests critical of the regime.

The cardinal’s defenders said he believed a break with the regime would be counter-productive and that in private he characterised disappearances and torture as against the Christian spirit. On his death in 2006 human rights campaigners in Argentina said he took to the grave many of the junta’s secrets after they failed to force him to testify about his dealings with it.

Accusations of collaboration with the junta also dogged the subsequent career of Laghi, who had been a regular tennis partner of the navy’s representative in the junta, Admiral Emilio Eduardo Massera, when in Buenos Aires.

The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo human rights group tried to prosecute him in Italy for his involvement with Argentina’s dictatorship but the effort failed.

Videla is serving life in prison for human rights abuses committed while in power. Earlier this month a court sentenced him to 50 years for orchestrating the theft of babies born in captivity to women subsequently murdered by their military captors.

He gave the interview to El Sur on condition that it be published only after his death, saying he did not want to cause any more pain. But the magazine said it was released from its obligation after Videla subsequently gave a series of interviews to other journalists that were published.
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Re: “Washington’s Pope”? Who is Pope Francis?: Cardinal Jorg

Postby admin » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:33 am

Admiral Emilio Massera: Naval officer who took part in the 1976 coup in Argentina and was later jailed for his part in the junta's crimes
by Hugh O'Shaughnessy
10 November 2010




Emilio Massera, former commander-in-chief of the Argentine navy, promoter of the 1982 invasion of the Falklands and expert trafficker in babies and young children, has died in Buenos Aires after a cerebral haemorrhage. He is widely regarded as one of the most baleful of the many evil military figures who under Western patronage strutted across Latin America in the last century.

Born in Paraná on 19 October 1925, one of five children of Emilio, a modest engineer whose parents had immigrated from Switzerland, and his wife Emilia, the future admiral joined the Naval College when he was 16, graduating nearly five years later. He developed a forceful, often violent personality, and immense ambition. Despite his small stature and a dark complexion which earned him the nickname of "El Negro", he was seen as a promising officer who began carving a niche for himself in naval intelligence.

Regarded as an enemy of communism, he was head-hunted by the US – much as Idi Amin had been fostered by the British authorities in Uganda – and invited to a course at the School of the Americas, then sited in Panama. At the height of the Cold War this institution was successful in producing a crop of dictators for the region, indoctrinating Latin American officers in techniques of the "national security state". Putting into practice ideas first formulated by President Truman, it persuaded many officers to abandon ideas of Latin American nationalism – which might go against Washington's interests – and adopt the ideas of US nationalism.

As a middle-ranking officer Massera became involved with P2, the international masonic lodge led by the Italian Licio Gelli.
Massera began to rise in the world of service politics which, in a country used to military dictators, offered the most effective way to supreme power. It was a slippery, complicated world where factions within the army, navy and air force were at daggers drawn with each other and each arm was at odds with the other two – a tragi-comic situation which during the Falklands war helped cripple Argentina's military effort.

In the 1970s Massera had the foresight to get close to the ageing former President, General Juan Domingo Peró* who, since his overthow in 1955, had been living in exile in Madrid. He also cultivated Perón's third wife María Estela, a former nightclub dancer known as Isabelita and his private secretary José López Rega, (El Brujo, "The Warlock"). These relationships were widely remarked since Perón's first period of rule had been cut short by the navy in a putsch during which it had trained the guns of its warships on Buenos Aires itself. On his re-election to a second period in power in 1973, Peró* named Massera commander-in-chief of the navy on the The Warlock's advice.

He set about installing an interrogation and torture centre in the Naval School of Mechanics, ESMA, a base sited on a main road close to the centre of the Argentinian capital. It was a sophisticated, multi-purpose establishment, vital in the military plan to assassinate an estimated 30,000 "enemies of the state". It became a clearing house for valuables looted from political opponents which ensured wealth for Massera and his shipmates. Many thousands of ESMA's inmates, including, for instance, two French nuns, were routinely tortured mercilessly before being killed or dropped from aircraft into the River Plate. Hundreds of women captives saw their newborn babies and children taken off for sale, another source of profit for the admirals and captains. Yet other detainees, mainly former members of the Montonero guerrilla group, a violent, heretical sect of left-wing Peronism, were organised in Task Force 3.3.2. and put to producing propaganda to counter international protest at the activities of the Argentinian armed forces. One of Massera's principal protégés in the ESMA was Captain Alfredo Aztiz, "the Blond Angel of Death" who personally tortured captives but whose career ended when he surrendered without firing a shot to British forces on South Georgia in 1982.

At the same time the former Montoneros were told on pain of torture and death to build the ideological base for an eventual lunge by Massera for the presidency, an urgent task since Massera, full of ambition, was very short on ideas. One fruit of this was the appearance of a set of ideas supporting nationalism and a strong state.
There was particular scorn for the neo-liberal creed of privatisations and the shrinking of the state which was espoused by José Alfredo Martínez de Hoz, a local politician and guru for army commanders, rich Argentinians and foreign financiers.

By July 1974 Peró* died and the presidency passed to Isabelita who, in harness with The Warlock, now minister for social welfare, ruled the country with hysterical incompetence. As Argentina plunged into generalised terrorism and a hyperinflation rate of nearly 60 per cent per month, the three armed forces seized their opportunity in March 1976 and carried out the sort of coup which Massera had long urged on the hesitant General Jorge Videla, the army commander, and Brigadier Ramó* Agosti, the commander of the much less politically important air force.

It was to be a discreet coup where victims were eliminated secretly, not the sort of anti-left spectacular which General Pinochet had pulled off in Chile in 1973 and which earned him international opprobrium. Burson-Mars-teller, a New York PR agency, was engaged to do for the Argentinian dictatorship what it was trying to do for the East German dictatorship, viz. to hide atrocities from world attention.

Massera, the most forceful member of the triumvirate, did his best to maintain his links with Washington. He assisted in the development of Plan Cóndor, a collaborative scheme to co-ordinate the terrorism being practised by South American military régimes, and he favoured Washington's bizarre plan for a strategic pact in the South Atlantic to include the apartheid government, a plan which foundered on opposition from Brazil, home to millions of blacks.

In 1977, remembering the lessons he learnt in the School of the Americas, Massera travelled to Nicaragua, where Argentina was active in support of the Central America military tyrants regarded as allies of the West. In Managua he was decorated by President Anastasio Somoza, the second of the three members of the notorious Nicaraguan dynasty.

At home, Massera's friends included the papal nuncio Archbishop, now Cardinal, Pio Laghi, with whom he used to play tennis. Laghi maintained support for the military dictatorship among Argentine clergy and the tacit acceptance by the Vatican of its atrocities – including the murder of at least one bishop – in the name of anti-communism. In August 1978, ultimately unable to secure the political victory of the Argentine navy over the more numerous and powerful army and win the presidency for himself alone, he was forced into retirement. He unsuccessfully tried to found a political party and continued to lobby in favour of the invasion of the Falklands. "The Malvinas are not", he used to say, "a bit of land. They are a bit of [Argentina's] soul". Ironically, in the Falklands War Argentinian warships were either sunk or fled from contact with the British.

When civilian government was re-established in 1983 Massera was tried and found guilty of crimes against humanity and jailed for life. When the neo-Peronist President Menem came to power Massera was amnestied. Re-arrested in September 1999, he was again sentenced to life imprisonment again, this time for his trafficking in babies and children, a sentence he was allowed to serve in one of his houses because of his age.

His crimes brought him disgrace. When he was recognised in a restaurant in Uruguay, the clientele insulted him and departed en masse. In 1997, the River Plate football supporters club dismissed him as a member and in March 1998 the idea of a member of a petty officers club to offer him a gala dinner was vetoed by the club committee.

On 2 November 1999 an international arrest warrant for him was issued by the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzó* but Argentina refused to extradite him to Spain.

Emilio Eduardo Massera, naval officer and politician: born Paraná, Argentina 19 October 1925; commissioned Argentinian navy 1942, named commander-in-chief 1973; narried Delia "Lily" Esther Vieyra (two daughters, three sons); died 8 November 2010.
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