Operation Condor was a secret plan that, at the height of the Cold War, brought together six Latin-American countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay) living under right-wing military regimes. Through the exchange of information, resources, torture techniques, and political prisoners, these countries intended to annihilate all political opposition, which they referred to as «the communist threat» or the «subversives». Some estimates are that at least 60,000 deaths can be attributed to Condor, and possibly more.
For nearly a decade, João Pina, traveled extensively through Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay to document what is left of the Condor years and report on a plan that resulted in extrajudicial executions dozens of thousands of people. Condor is a haunting book with pictures of relatives, of execution spots and torture chambers, or places where vanished people were last seen, and emotional faces of their mothers, fathers, children and lovers. A heartfelt epitaph for people who's lives were expunged secretly, their bodies disappeared, and at times, the fact of their very existences left in doubt. Here too are a few of the Condor's murderers, once-powerful men who look fixedly at their hands or else down at the ground instead of at the photographer. In these images, one senses the ultimate victory of the concept of historical memory. But it is also a wan victory, for nothing can bring back the lives of those who lost them.
The book includes an introduction by Jon Lee Anderson, staff writer at The New Yorker, and an epilogue by the judge Baltasar Garzón.