Wednesday, June 01, 2016

This Isn't a New Plan Condor

Plan Condor was a Cold War effort (spearheaded by Manuel Contreras) that spanned multiple countries and had the approval of the United States. Its purpose was to coordinate the detention, torture, and death of so-called "subversives" who were fighting against South American military dictatorships. Fifteen retired Argentine military officers were just convicted of Plan Condor crimes. Read Patrice McSherry's excellent book on the topic (which I reviewed almost a decade ago).

It's unfortunate that now "new Plan Condor" is being thrown around loosely. Luis Almagro calls for an OAS meeting and Nicolás Maduro says it is like Plan Condor. Rafael Correa said earlier this year that the Brazilian political crisis was like Plan Condor.

This is unfortunate because unlike "coup" (which we can debate) Plan Condor bears no resemblance at all to what's happening in South America. Using it loosely makes it seem like any political machinations are exactly the same as hunting people down, torturing them, killing them, and dumping their bodies. That does a serious historical disservice.


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