On December 22, 1992, files documenting the fates of thousands of Latin American dissidents were discovered at a police station in Asuncion, Paraguay. The files reported details of “Operation Condor,” a clandestine program of political repression economically supported by the U.S. and implemented by right-wing governments of South America from the mid-1970s through the late 1980s.

The so-called “Archives of Terror” document assassinations, kidnappings, torture, secret imprisonments, and surveillance programs aimed to eliminate political opposition. The files listed more than 50,000 deaths and 400,000 political prisoners throughout Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela.

The Archives of Terror are part of UNESCO’s “Memory of the World” register. The register is dedicated to preserving and digitizing manuscripts and other documentary heritage.

dissident
Noun

someone who disagrees with public opinion or authority.

document
Verb

to keep track of.

economic
Adjective

having to do with money.

eliminate
Verb

to remove.

government
Noun

system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

implement
Verb

to carry out plans.

imprison
Verb

to confine or put in a jail-like facility.

police
Noun

local, state, or national government organization for law enforcement.

surveillance
Noun

observation of a person, community, or situation.

torture
Noun

inflicting pain to force a victim to provide information.

Noun

the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

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