"The Condor Trials" by Francesca Lessa

The Condor Trials Transnational Repression and Human Rights in South America Francesca Lessa

Publication date:
26 Jul 2022
Yale University Press
392 pages: 235 x 156mm
7 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

Buy this eBook

You can purchase this title from a number of online retailers:

Stories of transnational terror and justice illuminate the past and present of South America’s struggles for human rights.

Through the voices of survivors, human rights activists, judicial actors, and experts, The Condor Trials unravels the secrets of transnational repression masterminded by South American dictators between 1969 and 1981. Under Operation Condor, the regimes of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay closely monitored hundreds of exiles and kidnapped, tortured, murdered, or forcibly returned them to their countries of origin. This cross-border network designed to silence opposition in exile transformed South America into a borderless zone of terror and impunity. Francesca Lessa shows how, gradually, transnational networks of activists materialized and effectively transcended national borders to achieve justice for the victims of these horrors. Based on extensive fieldwork, archival research, trial ethnography, and over 100 interviews, The Condor Trials explores South America’s past and present and sheds light on ongoing struggles for justice as its societies come to terms with the unparalleled atrocities of their not-so-distant pasts.

Francesca Lessa is a lecturer in Latin American studies and development at the Department of International Development and the School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford. She is also the honorary president of the Observatorio Luz Ibarburu (Uruguay).

“Lessa’s exploration of transnational repression in 1970s’ South America could not be more current in these days of resurgent authoritarianism. Her analysis of the Condor period is groundbreaking and documents both the human rights crimes and the efforts of international ‘justice seekers’ to breach— eventually-- the dictatorships’ impunity.”—John Dinges, author of Hunting Enemies Abroad