Dictator's henchman now an Evangelical preacher

Conrado Alberto Avegno (85) infiltrated leftist cells in South America. Now an Evangelical Christian pastor, he confessed to providing information to brutal dictatorships.

 

Conrado Alberto Avegno, who was long alleged to be a spy for Brazil and several Latin American dictatorships from the 1960s through the 1980s, has been found alive and well in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. According to a report by Brazilian daily Folha, Avegno had been hiding some 40 years and used various aliases. Now 85 years old, Avegno was discovered by investigating journalists living and working under a new identity as the pastor of an Evangelical Christian church in the South American capital.
 
Avegno confessed to reporters that he worked for the Brazilian government and other dictatorships for several decades by infiltrating guerrilla groups and other leftist movements. "My only desire was to fight communism," he said, quoted by the Uruguayan newspaper 'La Republica.'  The former spy indicated that for over 14 years he worked under the pseudonyms 'Altair', 'Johnson', 'Nario', 'Zuleika' and 'Carlos Silveira'  in Latin American revolutionary groups and passed on information to the governments and military of several governments. It was during those years that governments in the region resorted to torture, extrajudiciary killings and arrests of dissidents and other enemies.
 
When asked about his "missions", Avengo admitted that he worked among Uruguayan exiles and thus came to be arrested in Uruguay, and even in Brazil, but was finally released so that he could continue his work. Avegno noted that he wrote 361 reports to Brazil's ministry of foreign affairs of Brazil, which in turn was responsible for sending them to similar offices in neighboring countries. His period of greatest activity was between 1974 and 1975.
 
"He was a fundamental piece of the security system in Brazil to Uruguay, and the only one who managed to infiltrate the world of subversives repeatedly," said Rui Oro. Oro was a key personage in Brazil's dictatorship (1964-1985) and its Foreign Intelligence Center.


Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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