Condor's shadow cast anew in Uruguay: A political crisis prompted by dark elements in the security forces is threatening the President, writes Colin Harding
Monday 14 June 1993
As Mr Lacalle, whose ruling Blanco party is in a minority in parliament, struggled to assert his authority, the opposition clamoured for changes in the government and military, amid complaints that MPs and police commanders had received death threats.
It all began with an anonymous letter, apparently from Uruguayan police sources, alerting MPs to a joint Chilean-Uruguayan military operation behind the backs of both governments. It recounted how, in November, a Chilean biochemist on the run from the Chilean courts for human rights offences had been spirited from Argentina to Uruguay and held near Montevideo. He turned up at the local police station, explaining that he had escaped from his kidnappers, but when four Uruguayan and Chilean army officers came to collect him, the police commander handed him over. He has not been heard of since.
The biochemist, Eugenio Berrios Sagredo, worked for the notorious Chilean secret police, Dina, during the military rule of General Augusto Pinochet in the 1970s and 1980s. He had developed a version of the poison gas sarin for use in Dina assassinations, and was implicated in the murder of Orlando Letelier, a Chilean diplomat, in Washington in 1976.
The Uruguayan provincial police chief who ordered Mr Berrios' return to his captors has been sacked. But the ramifications go far beyond him. His disappearance suggests that the Condor network, a shadowy organisation set up during the 1970s by the secret police of the military regimes then running all the big Latin American countries to exchange information and even prisoners, still has a half-life, even though the military regimes have been replaced by elected governments. Whether the officers were helping Mr Berrios to escape, Odessa-style, or silencing him for good remains unclear.
Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
- 2 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 3 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 4 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
Scottish independence referendum live: Latest news as Scotland decides Yes or No
Scottish independence: Final opinion polls show undecided voters could swing result either way
Scottish independence: Almost half of No voters have felt 'personally threatened' by the Yes campaign
Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...
£45000 - £55000 Per Annum 31 days holiday, pension, healthcare, annual bonus: ...
£110 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experie...
£100 - £222 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recruiting f...