The Restoration of Democracy and the Search for Justice

1981 - 2024

The countries which had participated in Operation Condor’s repressive coordination eventually returned to democracy. The democratic transition reinvigorated the demands for answers regarding the crimes against humanity committed under dictatorship. Today, the search for truth and justice continues for the crimes that the repressive forces committed against individuals and groups and the alliances that the totalitarian governments formed with businesses and powerful actors to strengthen their corruption.

Each South American country had its own particularities in terms of how its popular and democratic movements resisted overtime and reorganised themselves to overthrow the dictatorship. The proven existence of the repressive coordination which strengthened its capacity to carry out transnational crimes through Operation Condor, continues to represent a challenge to the investigations, the search for justice and human rights in the present day.

The restoration of democratic institutions occurred in the following order:

  • Bolivia: Hernán Siles Zuazo assumed the presidency on 10th October 1982.
  • Argentina: Raúl Alfonsin assumed the presidency on 10th December 1983.
  • Uruguay: Julio María Sanguinetti assumed the presidency on 1st March 1985.
  • Brazil: José Sarney assumed the presidency on an interim basis on 15th March 1985, before being sworn in as President following the death of the elected President Tancredo Neves (by the mechanism of indirect elections carried out by an electoral college).
  • Paraguay: Andrés Rodríguez Pedotti led a coup d’état which overthrew General Alfredo Stroessner on 3rd February 1989. Rodríguez Pedotti then called for elections which were carried out later that same year, on 1st May, when he was elected as the constitutional president until 1993.
  • Chile: Patricio Aylwin assumed the presidency on 11th March 1990.

Click HERE to see the sentences by national criminal courts for Operation Condor’s crimes.
Click HERE to see the sentences of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for the crimes against humanity committed in the context of Operation Condor’s repressive coordination.


Media description
Asunción by Hernán Siles Zuazo (Bolivia, 10/10/1982). The liberation of political prisoners (Uruguay, 10/03/1985). Final statement in the Trial of the Juntas (Argentina, 18/9/1985)
Composition: Barbano - Risso