Amnesty International is using a print advertising campaign to raise support for “Shadow of the Condor”, a photographic project by Joao Pina exploring the legacy of Operation Condor, a secret plan by the military regimes of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay in the late 1970s to eliminate their political opposition. Four print ads show Joao Pina photographs set as jigsaw puzzles, each with one missing piece. “Please help us to complete the Shadow of the Condor”, a project that is investigating and revealing the human rights abuses perpetrated by the dictatorships of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, who tortured, murdered and disappeared thousands of people, during Operation Condor in the 1970s. Take action and donate on www.emphas.is”
Operation Condor officially started in late 1975, when the secret service had a meeting in Santiago, Chile to define a strategy to use common resources and exchange information, manpower and techniques to execute the plan. Thousands of people, mostly left wing workers and students, were arrested, tortured and executed. Most of the ones who managed to survive sought exile. The operation resulted in the deaths of at least 60,000 people. A final number could never be confirmed because of the number of mass executions.
“Shadow of the Condor”, on which Joao Pina has been working for seven years, aims to create a visual memory of these events and this dark period in the history of the region. Important work is currently being done by the EAAF to recover and identify bodies of disappeared people in Argentina and elsewhere. Trials are taking place in Argentina against perpetrators that are convicting hundreds of people for crimes against humanity.
In early July two of Argentina’s former Presidents and military junta chiefs Jorge Rafael Videla and Reynaldo Bignone were convicted to 50 and 15 years in jail for having stolen babies from slain dissidents. These court cases have sparked a movement in the region and are inspiring other countries to do the same. In Brazil, left-wing president Dilma Rousseff recently nominated a Truth commission to investigate the abuses committed during the military dictatorship. In Uruguay this past March the state has officially apologized for the first time to the victims of the state violence that was inflicted during the iron-fisted years of the 60’s and 70’s.
Joao is now in his final phase of his documentation of the Operation Condor. He has already successfully funded part 1 and 2 in Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay on Emphas.is. The third and final phase will allow Pina to complete the work in Paraguay and Bolivia.
The Amnesty/Shadow of the Condor project was developed at Fuel Lisbon by creative directors Marcelo Lourenço and Pedro Bexiga, account director Sergio Resende, post production team Frederico Almeida, Ricardo Mateus, and photographer João Pina.