Operation Condor and Transnational State Violence against Exiles

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J. Patrice McSherry


This article aims to provide a deeper understanding of Operation Condor and its lethal focus on exiles through an examination of new evidence that offers fresh insights into how the repressive system functioned. Operation Condor targeted persons who had escaped Latin American military coups and dictatorships in their own countries in the 1970s. Condor forces pursued these exiles—many of whom were under United Nations protection—using covert, cross-border abductions and disappearances, “renditions” to home countries, torture, and extrajudicial executions. The article analyzes the military regimes’ obsession with political exiles, blending recent research on exile activities with data on Condor’s targets and functioning drawn from newly declassified US, Chilean, Uruguayan, and Argentine archives; Chilean court rulings; the University of Warwick archive on solidarity with Chile; and survivor testimonies.

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