German Ruiz Figueroa
German Ruiz Figueroa is a former Peruvian military. After the 1968 coup that deposed President Belaúnde and established the Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces, he became Commander of the Peruvian Army and Head of the Military Intelligence Service (DINTE).
In the context of Operation Condor, in June 1980 Ruiz Figueroa was allegedly involved in the capture and expulsion of four Argentinians, accused of being high ranking members of the Montoneros, a leftist urban guerrilla group. The four victims, some of them with Italian nationality, were soon after expelled to Argentina through Bolivia. This operation was led with the collaboration of the Peruvian Prime Minister Pedro Richter Prada and the support of the military intelligence service, under the command of German Ruiz Figueroa.
Covered reports discovered in 1992 among the so-called Operation Condor’s “Archives of Terror” documented the infliction of torture, disappearance and killings on political opponents extradited to Argentina under the regime of Jorge Videla.
In 2006, the Prosecutor of Rome started investigations into the kidnappings and deaths of Italian citizens with dual nationality residing in Southern America, whose fate was linked to military and police actions related to Operation Condor.
On 28 December 2007, a request for extradition was filed by the Italian judiciary to proceed against Ruiz Figueroa, together with the former Peruvian President Francisco Morales Bermudez and the former Peruvian Prime Minister Pedro Richter Prada. The Peruvian courts refused the extradition.
A trial started nonetheless in 2013 and on 12 February 2015, the Italian criminal Court in Rome brought charges against 33 former southern American high ranking officers, accused of murder or disappearance of 23 Italian citizens in the 1970s and 1980s. German Ruiz Figueroa, Francisco Morales Bermudez and Pedro Richter Prada were charged with kidnapping resulting in the death of two Italian citizens.
On 17 January 2017, Ruiz Figueroa was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment by the criminal Court in Rome. Morales Bermudez and Richter Prada were also sentenced to the same punishment.
Operation Condor is the name given to the political repression plan and state terror implemented during the 1970s and 1980s by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America. The program was intended to eradicate communist dissidence and to suppress active or potential movements opposing the neoliberal economic policies of the participating dictatorships. The network remained clandestine and was implemented through intelligence operations and assassination of opponents, with the alleged technical and military support of the US Administration, frequently routed through the Central Intelligence Agency.
On 22 December 1992, the so-called “Archives of Terror” were discovered in Asunciòn, Paraguay. They contained detailed accounts and descriptions of the fate of hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans who had suffered illegal detention, kidnapping, enforced disappearance, torture and killing in the implementation of Operation Condor.