Italy Confirms 14 Life Sentences for Operation Condor Killers

Initially, the judges were analyzing accusations against 20 criminals. During the process, however, the Court found that three defendants had already died and asked to clarify the situation of three Peruvians.

Jul 9, 2021

On Friday, Italy’s Supreme Court confirmed life imprisonment for 14 former officials and military personnel from Chile and Uruguay who were charged with the murder of citizens during Operation Condor, a U.S. counterinsurgency strategy implemented in Latin America during the 1970s and 1980s.

The judges revalidated the judgment of the Rome Court of Appeal issued in July 2019 against these human rights violators. As of Thursday, the accusations against 20 criminals were being analyzed.

However, the Court found that three defendants had already died and asked to clarify the situation of three Peruvians: former President Francisco Morales and the military German Ruiz and Martin Martinez.

Due to the above, the sentences issued on July 9 only affect 11 Uruguayans and 3 Chileans. Given that the case of those Peruvians will be studied in another trial, the investigation into Operation Condor has not ended.

So far, three Chilean citizens have been convicted for the disappearance of Italians: Pedro Espinoza, a member of the secret police, the military man Daniel Aguirre, and the former official of the Investigative Police Carlos Luco.

The Uruguayans who were sentenced to life imprisonment were Jose Arab, Juan Larcebeau, Pedro Mato, Ricardo Medina, Ernesto Ramas, Jose Lima, Jorge Silveira, Ernesto Soca, Gilberto Vazquez, and Juan Carlos Blanco. Among the defendants who died of old age before hearing the verdict are Bolivia’s former President Luis Meza and his Interior Minister Luis Arce Gomez.

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Among the torturers sentenced to life imprisonment is also the Uruguayan military officer Jorge Troccoli who lives in Italy after escaping his country in 2007. This Friday, however, he did not attend the hearing.

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