Nº 1874, covers nine communiqués or claims in connection with
individuals who were allegedly executed in Chile by military or police
authorities without trial or after trials in which, according to the
denunciations, the principles upheld in Article XXVI of the American
Declaration had been violated. The cases were denounced to the
Commission during the course of the investigation on the status of human
rights in Chile, conducted from July 22 to August 2, 1974, and they were
classified in accordance with a decision taken by the CIDH at the
thirty-third session in Chile.
a note dated October 11, 1974, the Commission requested the Government
of Chile to provide the appropriate information, transmitting to it the
pertinent parts of the denunciations, in accordance with Articles 42 and
44 of its Resolutions.
Commission examined this case at its thirty-fifth session (May 1975) and
noting that the Government of Chile had not provided the information
requested and that the period of time provided under Article 51 of the
Regulations for transmittal of the information requested had elapsed, it
agreed to presume the confirmation of the events denounced under case
1874, if by September 30, 1975, the Government of Chile had not yet
provided the necessary data.
the thirty-sixth session (October 1975) the Commission continued its
examination of case 1874, observing that the Government of Chile had not
yet provided the information requested on October 11, 1974, and that the
180-day period provided for under Article 51 of the Regulations had
elapsed as had the extension granted. Therefore, in keeping with the
decision reached at its thirty-fifth session, it approved the following
Resolution (OEA/Ser.L/V/II.36, doc.40 rev.1, of October 24, 1975):
and claims received by the Commission during its thirty-third session
(special), held in Chile from July 22, to August 2, 1974, denounced
execution of the following individuals, without due process and under
the circumstances described in each case:
Salín Nash Sáez, 19 years of age, a recruit in the Granaderos
Regiment Nº 1, Company B, with headquarters at Iquique. Demoted,
apparently on September 13, 1973, arrested and removed to Pisagua.
Political affiliation: Marxist. Died on September 29, 1973, "For
not having obeyed orders from above during an escape he attempted with
other prisoners," according to a letter from General Carlos
Forester, Chief of the VI Army Division.
Heriberto Contreras Escamilla, 43 years of age, married, of Porto Alegre
5742, Población Brasilia, San Miguel, arrested on November 10, 1973, in
his home by uniformed agents from the San Bernardo Infantry School. Shot
on November 15, his corpse was claimed on November 16 from the Institute
of Forensic Medicine by his wife, Eloísa Peñaloza, who alleges that
the corpse showed signs of beating and torture. The death certificate
states that he died on the street, although the newspaper El Mercurio,
the November 13th edition, reports: that he was arrested for
Ruiz Tagle Orrego, 26 years of age, of Alcantara 944, Santiago, who
voluntary turned himself in on being summoned in the city of Antofagasta
on September 13, 1973, was tortured to death. His mother, Mrs. Alice V.
Orrego de Ruiz Tagle, after receiving the corpse of her son, describes
physical signs of torture that caused his death on October 19, 1973, in
Antofagasta. The fact was brought to the attention of General Joaquín
Lagos and other military authorities in the area, the Deputy Secretary
of the Interior, Mr. Enrique Montero, of whom permission to exhume the
body was requested "in order to perform an autopsy to establish the
circumstances under which he was killed." This request was read at
the Cabinet Council of the Chilean Government on October 31, 1973. Mrs.
Orrego herself adds that on October 38th she was informed that the body
of her son had "two bullet wounds", which she reported, by
telephone, to one of the Cabinet Minister.
Poupín Oissel, lawyer, residing at calle Agustinas 715, Office 210,
Santiago; Deputy-Secretary General of the Government until September 11,
1973; arrested at La Moneda Palace together with Mr. Eduardo Paredes,
Jorge Klein, Claudio Jiménez, Mr. Enrique Huerta, Mr. Enrique París
Roa, Mr. Alfonso Barrios and other high Government officials under Dr.
Allende. It is alleged that all were first taken to the headquarters of
the Tacna Regiment in Santiago, and then to Peldehue Military Camp and
that there they were executed after having been beaten. The Commander of
the Tacna Regiment and the Commander of the Peldehue Military Camp were
aware of these events. The Ministers of the Interior and Defense denied
any official information in this regard in connection with the writ of amparo
in the name or Mr. Poupín and the above-cited individuals, presented to
the Santiago Bar Association, and to the Court of Appeals of Santiago,
on September 23, 1973, admitted to the Court of Appeals as Nº 500, on
May 24, 1974, without results. "Some of the prisoners who passed
through the Tacna headquarters saw all these individuals, but having
regained their freedom they cannot serve as witnesses because of a fear
Marcelo Taberna Gallegos, of calle Pedro Pablo Muñoz 520, La
Serena, Santiago. Arrested on September 16, 1973, in the city of
Pisagua, Iquique. Taken to the Iquique Logistics Battalion and then to
the Communications Regiment, and later removed to the Iquique Jail and
held incommunicado until the War Council was held, where the defense
Lawyer was not permitted to exercise his privilege, except to interview
the accused the day before the Council was held. The sentence from the
Council, confirmed by the Military Judge Advocate, condemned Taberna to
ten years in prison, with no possibility of appeal; then, on October 30,
he was executed.
wife was arrested twice: first, on September 13, in order to force her
husband Freddy to turn himself over; after being set free on September
17, she was reimprisoned on September 30, and this time taken to
"Buen Pastor", where she was notified on October 30 --the very
day on which the event occurred-- of the execution of her husband. She
remained in prison for two more days, and was then placed under house
arrest and ordered to leave Iquique within 48 hours.
Silva Iriarte, lawyer,
residence at Las Gualtatas 6195, Antofagasta; General Manager of the
"Corfo Norte" Company. He was in Santiago on September 11,
1973, and traveled that same day to Antofagasta, where he met his family
composed of his wife and five small children. Once in Antofagasta he was
arrested and then executed, "without due process and without any
defense whatever", on October 9, 1973, at 1:30 a.m., as shown on
the death certificate.
military post commander at Antofagasta, Comandante Campos, was informed
of the event. General Arellano Stark was responsible for the final
Wegner Millar, surgeon, was executed on December 3, 1973,
"without specifying charges nor bringing him to trial." The
site where the event was alleged to have taken place is not mentioned.
accordance with the power conferred upon it by virtue of Article 9 (bis)
of its statute, this Commission requested the Government of Chile,
through a note dated October 11, 1974, to provide the necessary
information, transmitting to that Government, in accordance with Article
42 of its Regulations, a list of the aforementioned individuals who,
according to the claims or communications received, had been executed.
Government of Chile has not provided any information to this Committee
and this information was requested more than a year ago.
the nature of the corporeal thing damaged and the standards that were in
force or are in force in Chile on the competence of courts in war time
or during a state of siege, it is not fitting to demand of the claimants
proof that they have exhausted the recourses provided for under internal
law, inasmuch as causing a death constitutes a damage for which law
cannot offer any compensation whatever, except punishment of those
individuals responsible for violation of the law.
the documents it has in its possession, the Commission feels that there
is sufficient evidence that citizens Michel Selín Nash Sáez, Luis
Heriberto Contreras Escamilla, Eugenio Ruiz Tagle Orrego, Arsenio Poupín
Oissel, Freddy Marcelo Taberna Gallegos, Mario Silva Iriarte and Absalón
Wegner Millar were executed by military or police authorities, either
untried or after trials in which the requirements of due process were
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, RESOLVES:
application of article 51 of the Regulations, to resume the events on
which information has been requested to be confirmed.
include this resolution in the Annual Report that the Commission must
submit to the General Assembly of the Organization (Article 9 (bis) c of
its Statute) making known that the events denounced under case Nº 1874
constitute a serious violation of the right to personal security
provided for in Article I of the American Declaration of the Rights and
Duties of Man.
urge the Government of Chile to conduct the appropriate investigations
or to continue those it may have begun with regard to the executions of
Michel Selín Nash Sáez, Luis Heriberto Contreras Escamilla, Eugenio
Ruiz Tagle Orrego, Arsenio Poupín Oissel, Freddy Marcelo Taberna
Gallegos, Mario Silva Iriarte and Absalón Wegner Millar, assigning
blame to those individuals who have violated their basic rights and
informing this Commission as to the results of those investigations.
transmit the text of this resolution of the Government of Chile and to
resolution was brought to the attention of the Government of Chile on
December 1, 1975, and of the claimants, on December 11, 1975.