Operation Condor

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1. At last, the heinous “Operation Condor” as been brought to the attention of an international tribunal, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, to the extent that the instant case of Goiburú et al. v. Paraguay falls within its framework, and is a microcosm of it. In this judgment, the Court assessed the State’s acquiescence as a “positive contribution to these proceedings” (para. 52), and added that “delivering a judgment in which the truth of the facts and all aspects of the merits of the case and the corresponding consequences are determined, is a way of contributing to preserve the historical memory, to make reparation to the victims’ next of kin and to help avoid a repetition of similar acts” (para. 53).

2. Given the historical transcendence of this case, I am obliged to record, in this separate opinion, my reflections on the matter dealt with in the judgment that the Court has just adopted, to justify my position in this respect. In this separate opinion in the Case of Goiburú et al., I will cover the following points: (a) the criminalization of grave human rights violations; (b) the context of State terrorism: ‘Operation Condor’; (c) State crime revisited; (d) international responsibility aggravated by State crime; (e) elements for an approximation to the complementarity between international human rights law and international criminal law; (f) the concealment of State crimes in “Operation Condor”; (g) Condor redivivus: history repeats itself; and (h) the expansion of the substantial content of jus cogens.

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