Wednesday, November 16, 2005
The First September 11: The Tragedy of U.S. Moral Ambivalence Toward Democracy and Torture in the “Condor Years” in Latin America
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.
Issue in Context
When Americans hear the term 9/11, few associate it with the September 11, 1973 overthrow of Chile ‘s democratic government that marked the onset of cooperation between the United States and military regimes in Latin America. During the next decade, Washington turned a blind eye to the conduct of military regimes in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil that perpetrated horrific human rights abuses against both violent revolutionaries and defenders of democracy. In the name of combating the spread of communism, the United States backed a secret campaign to liquidate Latin American dissidents who sought asylum in other countries, “Operation Condor.” The Operation’s spies entered neighboring Latin American countries to track, monitor, and kill political adversaries. The most notorious Condor assassination took place in Washington, DC, in September 1976, when agents planted a car bomb that killed Chile’s former foreign minister Orlando Letelier and an American woman.
About the Speakers
John Dinges is a former foreign correspondent to Latin American countries and author of three books on major events involving the United States and Latin America. He served as a special correspondent in Chile and Central America for The Washington Post. He has been awarded the Maria Moors Cabot Prize for excellence in Latin American reporting, the Media Award of the Latin American Studies Association, in addition to sharing two DuPont-Columbia University prizes for broadcast journalism. His latest book, The Condor Years: How Pinochet and his Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents, is an account of international assassinations and secret police coordination in South America, the United States , and Europe. Dinges is currently on the faculty of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He has a master’s degree in Latin American studies from Stanford University.