Videla had once said that “As many people as necessary must die in Argentina so that the country will again be secure.” From 1976 to 1983, somewhere between 9,000 and 30,000 Argentines were arrested without trial, confined in secret prisons, gruesomely tortured, raped, and eventually, executed and buried in unmarked graves. Others were hurled, drugged and insensate, into the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans from low flying airplanes and helicopters, their bodies never to be discovered. Thousands more still were subjected to lengthy prison terms and/or torture before being released into the world broken by the experience. Typically, a raided household would be stripped of everything of value (the house itself included). Unwilling to limit their actions to their own country, the juntas made their intelligence service an integral part of the Pan South American Operation: Condor, collaborating with Augusto Pinochet’s Chile, Alfredo Stroessner’s Paraguay, and the military juntas of Bolivia, Peru, Uruguay, and Brazil to terrorize, repress, and assassinate leftists across the continent. The eventual death toll reached somewhere around 60,000, making Operation: Condor the worst politicide in the history of modern South America.
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