ON THE STATUS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN CHILE
of “on the spot” Observations in
Dr. Aréchaga: By those individuals?
Prisoner: Well, we didn't know. They put a hood over us so we
couldn't see. (Other prisoners speak). Well we arrived there, and each of us was
taken to different vehicles. We lost sight of each other and were transferred to
different places. Some to regiments, others to the air force, one group to the
police, where most of us were held incommunicado. Here of course the various
groups will have to tell their story, because after more than two months, we
came together again here. There was no interrogation, but there was the order
from SENDET—as we were told by the Office of Prisons—for us to be held
incommunicado. This of course is a very general statement, which I believe only
Dr. Aréchaga: I would like to ask one question to complete the
picture. I believe I have the answer, but of course, I would prefer to hear your
reply. During all this time, have you had any contact with any judicial
authority, either civil or military, who has interrogated you?
Prisoner: Some of us. Of course, that is why I said that this
first part is a very general statement regarding our detention. Now is the time
for the individual cases. But as a group, we have not been interrogated by any
judicial authority, either civil or military. We were interrogated in January,
in Dawson, by officials of the Internal Revenue Service, the tax office—in
January. And then two days ago, that is to say, almost six months later, they
came to this camp to continue their interrogation about the same matters. I
would like to know why we were interrogated. If there is a question of beginning
proceedings with respect to that area, it would be a matter for regular courts
to handle. It would certainly not be a matter for military courts, nor would the
cases be political. So that on this aspect of our detention in various places
after coming to Dawson Island, on our stay here, and on the particular case, I
believe that the second question that we should consider, in addition to
clarifying several things…
Another prisoner speaks: A group of seven of us here are from
Valparaiso. The seven of us were tortured on the ship “Esmeralda” for nine
days. I want to explain one of the tortures that was applied to me. I was
stripped to my shorts and my hands were handcuffed behind me. There was a post
there and they tied me to it. They applied electric shock on my skin, on my
testicles, on my chest and back. Also the officers who were interrogating me hit
me 50 times in this part with their fists. All of this left me black and blue,
as the Red Cross verified when they came to Dawson. They saw how all of this was
left black and blue from the blows. Also I want to tell you the following: That
was because—and I heard this—because the Naval Command had given orders to
respect me, that is to say, not to torture me or to do anything to me. I am a
Communist, I am a university professor. My name is Sergio Vuscovic Rojo, and I
was the Mayor of Valparaiso. The Naval Command had given that order, and yet
they did that to me. I also want to tell you that I was three and a half days
alone in the Chaplain's stateroom… they wouldn't let me sleep there. I
couldn't sleep for six days, because they woke me up every ten minutes night and
day by slamming the door so I couldn't sleep. They also did the following to me:
when I was taken for interrogation, they blindfolded me, and the guard who went
with me put his pistol here on the back of the neck, and asked me: do you know
how to swim? I answered: “Some”. “Good… because we're going to throw you
overboard.” Then twenty or thirty persons were gathered together. I say
persons because they were both men and women. We were wearing only underpants.
We could hear how the others were tortured right there where you were. And all
this was done to both men and women, in the training ship of the Chilean Navy
(Interruption). The seven of us from Valparaiso were tortured in that way,
electric shock was applied to us, for example. They applied current to me here
on the temple, and all the while they were asking us if we had weapons, knowing
perfectly well that we had no weapons, nobody had weapons. They asked whether we
belonged to military groups—nobody belonged to military groups—and things of
that kind. I therefore want to inform the Commission of all of this, and at the
same time to make a formal denunciation in the case of the seven of us from
Valparaiso and other companions who are here who have also been tortured. This
is a complete violation of human rights, because the United Nations Charter on
Human Rights prohibits physical and psychological torture, and we were subjected
to both. (Interruption by another prisoner).
Dr. Abranches: Can you give the names of the persons who took part
in these acts?
Prisoner: Yes (interruption).
Dr. Aréchaga: Excuse me, I believe that Dr. Abranches is
referring not to the persons who suffered the tortures, but whether you know who
were the torturers.
Prisoner: The problem is that we were blindfolded (interruption
and another prisoner speaks) Actually, the seven of us from Valparaiso were
horribly tortured. (A passage is omitted here from the verbatim transcript,
because it identifies the prisoner)… On the basis of that, I was severely
punished, beaten, constantly. I was struck with a rifle butt. They threw me
under the bed. And made all of us who came out for breakfast eat kneeling on the
floor, wearing only our shorts. The proof is that from the time I arrived, I
urinated blood for 20 days. On the “Esmeralda” I began to urinate blood on
the third day. They knew what was happening to me. I reached the island
urinating blood, having been beaten as all of us were. I am perfectly familiar
with the situation of the ship “Esmeralda,” because I was a sailor for 26
years. They were marine officers who dressed as sailors. In that way, they hid
their identity, but I knew perfectly well that they were officers. And then
there were the beatings that we were subjected to. Actually, we do not know who
they were, because we were blindfolded, but the important thing is this: that we
were terribly beaten. One of our companions arrived with a piece burned out of
his tongue, and that happened to most of the prisoners from Valparaiso. Later,
when we returned from Dawson, we were taken aboard a small plane, bound hand and
foot, and blindfolded. When we reached Quintero, we were handcuffed and then
placed on the floor of a station wagon to be taken to the concentration camp of
Dr. Aréchaga: How long were you in Puchuncaví?
Prisoner: A little over two months.
Dr. Aréchaga: Were the living conditions there similar to those
Prisoner: Yes. We cannot complain about Puchuncaví. We were
treated fairly humanely there. It would be contrary to the truth if we said that
we were treated inhumanely there.
Dr. Aréchaga: So that actually you cannot identify in any way any
of the persons who directly participated in these acts of torture?
(Interruption, with all of the prisoners talking at once).
Prisoner: I was not called in by any of the military edicts. I
therefore did not turn myself in, and I was free from September 11 until October
10, when I was arrested in a house where I was lodging. I was arrested, of
course, without being in possession of a single weapon, without there being any
grounds to justify either my arrest or the treatment I was subjected to later. I
was taken from there to the Military Academy, where there were others of our
companions, among them Angel Masuli, President of the Radical Party; the former
Minister of Public Words … (inaudible)… former Senator Raúl Cuero; Deputy
Camilo Salvo, who was here with me; Julio Stuardo; Luis Corvalán was there; and
I personally was held 42 days incommunicado. Luis Corvalán, for example, was
kept, from the time he was arrested—and he can tell you this—a considerable
time in a bathroom two meters by two meters. I personally was held 42 days in
solitary confinement of course, without a radio, without anything to read,
without a newspaper, without communication with my family—all day long…
Cleaning the room was the only activity that we were allowed to have. At night,
they did not let me sleep. They woke me up every half hour, asked me my name,
made me show them my wrists. It was constant intimidation. After one week there,
I was interrogated three consecutive times, by SENDET personnel, without
physical maltreatment at that time, but with a rather strong psychological
intimidation. I was threatened with the firing squad. They threatened my family.
And at the end of the third interrogation, I was taken back with much violence
to the room where I was being held. I was told that I could only sit down on the
bed, and it was already late at night, around 10 o'clock at night. I was then
prevented from sleeping, and I was even prevented from going to the bathroom. I
could not take care of my minimum necessities. During all of that night, I could
neither sleep nor go to the bathroom. And the next day, I was taken to a place
where many of my companions were—and they can tell you about it—the War
Academy of the Chilean Air Force, which is in Santiago, on the upper part of Las
Condes Avenue. When I reached the War Academy, at first I wasn't able to
identify where I was, because they had transferred me blindfolded and also
handcuffed. I realized—I believe this is true—that we were in the Air Force
Hospital. The truth is that it is rather close to the Air Force Hospital. I
wasn't familiar with the establishment. I also realized later through the dishes
and the food that it was an Air Force establishment. They took me there—kept
me constantly blindfolded, constantly standing. I was kept there one week, but
the harassment and maltreatment only lasted four days. I was continuously
beaten, until I was taken to be interrogated in the evening with electric shock.
That evening they interrogated me twice. Each session must have lasted several
hours. The electric shock was applied to my penis and my temples. There are a
number of persons who were subjected to it, but the dial was only given two
turns for them. The dial was given
eight turns for me, to try it out, and I was given 50 to 70 shocks like that
during the interrogation. The next day, I was interrogated by the Prosecutor's
legal assistant; I was blindfolded. Then at the conclusion, he read me the
statements that he had transcribed and made me sign it blindfolded. The next
day, the changed the treatment and instead of interrogating me with electric
shock, they subjected me to narcoanalysis. I don't have the slightest idea what
I told them. It was only the following day that an officer interrogated me on
the fact that under narcoanalysis, it seems I said that some of the militant
members of my party of the Christian Left might have had personal weapons, as
many people do. He told me to try to remember, and I told him that I had no
information about that. I was there for four more days, with the light lit
constantly and usually seated or standing, without being permitted to move,
without communication with my family. During my interrogation, the person
interrogating me even said: “Look, we can take all the time we want here,
because neither your family nor anybody else knows you are here.” Actually, I
learned afterward that my family had given me up for lost, and had no idea where
I was. Now, the War Academy is under an Air Force Colonel called Horacio Oteiza.
There is an officer under him, also of high level, who is called Barahona. There
is also a lieutenant there. Later they had the unfortunate idea to take me back
to the War Academy after I left Dawson. I was there with other companions, and
this time under other conditions, and I was able to identify by his voice that
the lieutenant was named García Huidobro. I want to tell you that at that very
moment, when we were in the War Academy, for two and a half months, just before
being transferred here, they were keeping constantly in the basement there some
50 to 60 persons, among them several women, with their eyes blindfolded;
torturing them, with the light lit all day long; standing; with physical
intimidation; in the permanent installation. And I am absolutely convinced that
it will be difficult for you to get to that place. At this very moment, they are
conducting continuous tortures there. When we sometimes heard persons screaming
constantly there, they turned the radio on loud (interruption).
Dr. Abranches: Can you repeat the full name of Lieutenant García?
Prisoner: García Huidobro.
Dr. Abranches: García Huidobro. And can you repeat your surname?
Prisoner: My surname?
Dr. Abranches: Yes.
Prisoner: Yes I can, but I wouldn't want to have it recorded.
Dr. Aréchaga: I would like to invite all of you, in whatever
order you wish, to come close so that our recording will be as clear as
Prisoner: Very well, my name is Clodomiro Almeyda. Yes, thank you
very much. I want briefly to tell you about my experience when, after being
transferred to Santiago, I was taken two weeks later to the Air Force Academy
where I was subjected to a treatment similar to that indicated by the person who
previously gave his version of what happened to him. In my case, I was in that
establishment about 40 days. For about one month I was kept blindfolded, night
and day, and subjected to psychological intimidation, which even included the
threat of the firing squad. I was held absolutely incommunicado until my wife
arrived, when the Air Force authorities permitted me to see her. Throughout that
time, I was constantly subject to psychological intimidation, including as I
said being threatened with the firing squad, under the pretext of trying to
escape or something of that kind. Of course under those conditions, I was not
permitted to smoke, to read, or to have any contact with the outside. I slept
handcuffed, with the light lit and music playing all night long. At times it was
turned up to avoid our hearing what has being said in neighboring rooms, as the
person who spoke before said. In the place where I was kept, I could see how the
boys were treated, because the door was kept open. There were generally boys and
girls. Many girls arrived at that establishment, and in that respect, I
confirmed what we heard him say before. As was the case with the others, seeing
this hurt me more even than what I experienced myself at that time.
Dr. Aréchaga: Thank you.
Dr. Aréchaga: I don't know whether you want to identify yourself
before your statement, or whether you want to do it at all.
Other prisoner: I don't know what the practice will be
(interruption, and another prisoner speaks).
Prisoner: I arrived on February 1 at the Tacna Regiment, and was
transferred on the eighth of February to the Air Force War Academy. I remained
there until April 3, when I was returned to Tacna. That is to say, I was there
for almost two months—three days less than two months—and was held
absolutely incommunicado, most of the time blindfolded. But here my case is
different from what you have recorded before. I was tortured about as follows: I
was totally undressed, and they put plastic cloths on each knee, on each wrist,
and on each elbow. Then they made me squat down. Excuse me if I show you what
happened, but you will understand it much better. So, seated like this, you put
your hands here, tied, and then they put a pole here. Then they raise you and
hang you on two sort-of racks, so that if you breathe a little, must by breathing,
you tend to move; this produces an imbalance, and causes the body to swing. When
that happens, because one is resisting putting all of his weight on his wrists
(and that's the reason for the plastic cloths, to avoid leaving marks), this
produces a phenomenon that the doctor later—because after they torture you the
doctor immediately sees you to see that you're in good condition to be able to
continue receiving the tortures—said that this produces what they explained to
me as scchymosis. That manifested itself with me as follows: this finger was
absolutely paralyzed for some 20 days after the tortures, and even now I have no
feeling at all in that entire part. I feel nothing, absolutely nothing; I was
left without any feeling at all, but all of this is accompanied by connecting a
magneto to the head of my penis. It still hurts, I don't suppose you want a
demonstration here. And they also applied the current to the rectum. All of this
takes place while you are hanging there, and of course, the electric shocks. I
must tell you that I definitely recognize—although I was blindfolded—I
definitely recognize the Air Force Colonel by his voice, because I saw him
frequently. The man who blindfolded me is Lieutenant García Huidobro. He was
the one who applied the plastic cloths—coffee colored plastic cloths. As for
the other two interrogators, according to the physical description that I have
absolutely clearly, one of them is a Commander named Barahona, and I do not know
the surname of the other. I can tell you that, in any case, the tortures that I
was subjected to were certainly considerably less than those applied to other
persons. I saw them torture—because they don't even take any precautions about
such things in view of the very nature of the place—a foreign journalist, who
I later learned from reading in the “Times” was a Swiss journalist. I was
talking a few days ago about this with Red Cross people. What happened with the
journalist was as follows: They took me one day to the room where the
“court” functioned, and while we were talking, I could hear, with my eyes
blindfolded, the beatings that were going on in the next room, and the screams
of a person who spoke in French. It was a very tense scene. Later, they took me
from the “court”, they were removing that person from there, and he was in
very very bad condition. Later, when I was transferred to the Tacna Regiment,
where I had access to the press, I learned what had happened to a Swiss
journalist. I talked with the Red Cross people, and they told me that actually,
one of them had had the opportunity to talk with him in Geneva, when he left
Chile, and he told me what I have just told you. Without intending to, I had
been virtually an eyewitness. In summary, I can tell you that one of the most
incredible torture centers—because I saw it personally—is the War Academy. I
have no objection at all in giving you my name. I don't want my name tape
recorded, but I have full confidence that in making this denunciation, my name
is not going to be divulged to the military authorities of this government,
because I have a family that has already suffered enough. That is all.
This is Luis Corvalán speaking: The Commission Chairman asked in
this morning's meeting, before we left for breakfast, the names of specific
torturers that we might give him. Some names have been given, and it has been
explained that not all of them can be given, because many persons were tortured
while blindfolded. But I want to add that the present government stated several
seeks ago in a public declaration that there are no tortures, and that if there
have been any, if there have been any, they are foreign to the government's way
of thinking and acting and would therefore be the responsibility of isolated
officials. That is not true. The responsibility for the tortures falls to the
government, and, first of all, to General Pinochet, because there is an entire
apparatus set up. They have an entire apparatus set up, and these tortures
continue as my companions who were in the Air Force Academy a week ago have
testified. The members of the OAS Human Rights Commission will be able to hear
in other concentration camps even more horrible stories, because I believe that
those of us here have not been the worst victims of the physical maltreatment
that has been employed. But it might be said that all of this is a necessary
evil, things that had to be done in the face of X situation in which the country
finds itself, and that is what the government is asserting. They maintain that
we had a particular plan, plan Z, designed to do nothing less than decapitate
the armed forces, to liquidate their entire officer corps. That is completely
false. There was no such plan. Furthermore, General Pinochet in statements made
to the Ercilla Magazine, in the first or second week of March—we had the
opportunity to hear this interview on the radio before we lost the right on
Dawson to listen to the radio—General Pinochet said at that time, that already
in May, 1972, a group of high officers of the armed forces had reached the
conclusion that the situation in Chile had no other solution than the military
one. So that this was prepared, and everything that has been affirmed and that
surely has been told to you members of the Human Rights Commission, about the
Junta, to the effect that the previous government had violated the Constitution
and the Law is also completely false. It has been stated that we used loopholes
in the law. What are these so-called loopholes in the law? The use of particular
decree laws issued, some of them in 1932, by administrations in exceptional
circumstances, which had been used by many other administrations. It has been
stated that we did not enforce the orders of the Judiciary. That is completely
false, except as it relates somewhat to the eviction of land tenants. But on
that subject—and I don't want to go into to many details—there is a very
anachronistic law, and several governments—the government of President Frei
for one—curtailed the application of eviction orders because the orders were
inhumane. It has been maintained that the Supreme Court, the General Accounting
Office, and the Chamber of Deputies arrived at the conclusion, which is set
forth in very well known documents, that the government had acted illegally and
they proclaimed this on behalf of the Constitution and the law. But these were
all political statements, which were part of the creation of a climate designed
solely to set up a coup d'etat and consummate the plans already made in May,
1972, according to the confession or declaration of General Pinochet himself.
Well, where are we now? The least that could be said, the least that they do
say, is that with respect to us the law is enforced, the state of siege is
applied, emergency legislation is applied, which, according to the Junta, is in
existence. And that's the way it is in all constituted countries. In all
countries—and I am going to end with this—the State Political Constitution
establishes that the government can resort to a state of siege or a law
authorizing exceptional political authority, in addition to economic powers, but
this must be authorized by Parliament. In addition the state of siege
constitutionally authorizes—and this must be approved by Parliament—certain
things that have been done. But they haven't merely censored the press here. The
press that exists now is under censorship, but there are newspapers—four or
five newspapers—that were prohibited from publishing. They were closed down,
and there is no legislation in Chile authorizing any government to do that. So
that we have a government that is absolutely arbitrary, absolutely illegal,
absolutely unconstitutional, and even accepting the assumption for the sake of
argument that we deviated in some measure from constitutional and legal criteria
and obligations, well, this government had deviated from them absolutely. It has
liquidated the rule of law that existed in this country. And Mr. Bianchi, who is
a Chilean, knows perfectly well that there has never been in the history of
Chile a dictatorship as brutal as that which our people unfortunately have and
now suffer from. Thank you very much.
Another prisoner speaks: Mr. Chairman, I wanted to speak today to
denounce as an instrument of terror and oppression a so-called military
operation functioning under the military command in investigations in Santiago.
I do not know the situation in the provinces. When I was arrested by this
military operation, I was taken to investigations and I want to denounce at this
time the system that was used in that operation to interrogate prisoners. In
round numbers there must have been approximately 100 to 120 persons continuously
detained in the investigation cells. I was taken from my cell blindfolded, with
my hands handcuffed behind my back. As you go from the cells in this place,
there are three or four steps to go down and then another four or five that must
be climbed to get to the second floor where the interrogation room was located.
They began breaking the prisoner by giving him as he went down the stairs
blindfolded and handcuffed, a cuff on the ears with the open palms, which in
Chile we call “un cachuzaso.” This caused the prisoner to lose his balance
and go tumbling down the stairs. He was then led to the second floor, and there
they began a treatment with blows to the stomach with each question. They didn't
care what the reply was; regardless of the reply, the blow in the stomach was
immediately given. This was repeated until you fell to the floor several times.
You were then led to another room and forced to disrobe. But under the pretext
that the prisoner moved too slowly, his clothing was torn from him in shreds.
After the prisoner was naked, the treatment with blows then continued. Each
person who passed by—and I understand this happened to everybody—stomped on
the prisoner's bare feet with the heels of their shoes. I had the bruises, the
marks, on my toes for a long time until they went away… these hematomas
produced by being stomped on by anybody who passed next to you. And then, while
naked, they proceeded to apply electric shock. In my own case, I can only tell
you that it was really brutal. Because at times they applied shock—as several
of you have heard—on the penis, on the testicles, in the anus, in the mouth,
in the nostrils, and on the temples, simultaneously. I recall clearly that I
staggered all around the place, through all the rooms, because it was really
terrible. And then they prevent the prisoner from drinking. According to what I
have been told, drinking and applying electricity produces shock, so that for
the five days the interrogation lasted, under that system, several times a
day—I lost track and I can't say whether they interrogated me two or three
times a day because I no longer was aware of whether it was night or day—and
in addition when I was taken back to my cell food had already been distributed.
Consequently I didn't have anything to drink. I fell into a state of loss of
awareness, and of course I saw no other outcome than death. During those days I
even thought that the best thing was to die rather than continuing suffering
that kind of torture. Because the physical pain no longer mattered. Together
with all of this was the psychological attack that they practiced with me and
that they practiced with all of the prisoners. In the days following, I could
see that all of the prisoners who were in that investigations wing under the
military operation, all of them were tortured. And from the window or the
peephole that the cells have, I could see how all of the prisoners who had been
interrogated came back. They all came back dragging themselves along on their
hands and knees, as I had done. I saw them come back every day in the same
condition, having been beaten and shocked with electricity. There were whole
groups there who had been rounded up in the factories or in the streets. I could
see groups of 20 to 30 workers who had been taken from their factory. They were
brought there, and subjected to al kinds of maltreatment and torture. Some of
them left after one or two weeks. Others were transferred to other places of
custody. I saw many of them when I was taken from the military operation to the
Chilean Stadium. There I saw several whom I had seen in Investigations. I make
this denunciation because, while this military operation has terminated in the
way it was functioning. I believe that it is still valid because of what I have
heard regarding the Air Force War Academy. Because just as there is an Air Force
Prosecutor's office in that place, there are others in Santiago and in other
locations in Chile places especially intended for the application of torture in
Dr. Aréchaga: Excuse me, are you referring to the Air Force
Prosecutor's Office on Agustinas Street?
Prisoner: The Air Force Prosecutor's Office is in the same
building as the Air Force War Academy.
Dr. Aréchaga: Thank you.
Prisoner: I have been informed that on Londres Street, there was a
place where torture such as I described was used. I know from other persons who
can tell you so, that these places are installed or transferred elsewhere. They
terminated the military investigations operation apparently for reasons of
police effectiveness. Because, when Investigations devoted all of its time to
us, they could not carry out their duties of, let us say, fulfilling the
obligations of their office. So the torture is being done elsewhere and
continues today, just as has been said.
Dr. Abranches: Can you give the dates on which the events in which
you took part occurred?
Prisoner: January of this year.
Prisoner: I want to make a very brief specific denunciation
regarding people who have disappeared and were murdered in the La Moneda Palace
on September 11. I want to make clear that there was no fighting in La Moneda,
because it was bombed from the air, and shelled from a distance, and army units
only entered it when the people there had surrendered. There were a little less
than 50 persons in La Moneda. Of those, only 14 came out alive. They were a
group that was in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was not damaged.
Another group left to parley, on instructions of the President of the Republic,
and there were some doctors who were found there wearing their white gowns. The
rest of the people were killed afterwards. In La Moneda itself, nobody was
wounded or killed except for ex-President Allende and the journalist Augusto
Olivares. A group of about 40 persons surrendered, and they were taken to the
Tacna Regiment. They have not been heard from since. Most of them have been
found dead. I can give you specific names. The following were found in La Moneda
and left it alive: the former Director of Investigations, Eduardo Paredes, the
former Under Secretary of the Government, Arsenio (not audible), Dr. Enrique París,
who was Council of the University of Chile, the sociologists Jorge Klein and
Claudio Jimeno, the Superintendent of the Palace, the former Manager of the
Central Bank, Jaime Barrios, the former Under Secretary of the Interior,
Lautario Ojeda. Nothing has been heard of many many of these people, for example
Lautario Ojeda and Jaime Barrios. We have heard that others were later found
dead. In every case, those people were murdered after they left La Moneda and
Dr. Aréchaga: Are you referring to Claudio Jimeno?
Prisoner: Yes, Claudio Jimeno, the sociologist who was working in
an agency called CENOP, Center for the Study of Public Opinion, which was under
the General Secretariat of the Government. The other sociologist, Jorge Klein,
was working with him. Turning to another matter, I want to state also our
complete lack of confidence in any legal proceedings that we might be subjected
to by military justice, for the following reasons: the Chief of Staff himself
and members of the Junta have on a number of occasions called us criminals and
other epithets. How can we have confidence in the military justice that is under
Dr. Aréchaga: Thank you.
Facilities on the Quiriquina Island
And the Naval Base of Talcahuano
Professor Dunshee de Abranches and Dr. Holzman, after observing, together
with Dr. Aréchaga, the trials held in Linares on July 30, 1974, went by
automobile to Concepción on the 31st, accompanied by Colonel
Espinoza, and Lieutenant Letelier, who had been designated by the Chilean
Government for that mission. Dr. Aréchaga had to return directly from Linares
to Santiago to attend to other duties.
The city of Concepción is 525 kilometers from Santiago by asphalt road,
and Quiriquina Island is in the Pacific Ocean near a peninsula northeast of
Concepción, some 30 kilometers by a good highway which runs through the city of
The Commission representatives were lodged in the Hotel Araucano with the
officials accompanying them. Protocol visits were made to the military commander
of the area and the Commander of the Naval Base, Naval Captain Aníbal Aravena
Miranda. They both stated that they had been informed of the purposes of our
visit and offered us any assistance needed to carry out our mission.
We traveled to Quiriquina Island on a fast boat from the Base Command,
which made the crossing in half the time taken by the boat used by
non-commissioned personnel and families of the prisoners on visitors days.
The island is two and a half miles long and 500 meters wide, mostly
covered with abundant vegetation. The main buildings are the School for
Apprentice Seamen, attended by almost 1,000 students, a club house, a gymnasium,
about a dozen houses for the instructors and their families, etc.
In a depression in the terrain, large barracks were constructed which
serve as a detention facility, comprising dormitories, dining rooms, baths, and
toilets, a small infirmary, and other rooms used by the guards.
Some of the rooms of the barracks were unfinished, and the prisoners were
working to finish them. The dormitories are collective, each one with about 50
four-tier beds. The baths and toilets of the barracks are still not in
operation, so the baths in a temporary structure about 60 meters away are being
used. The kitchen is primitive and is located in a shed separate from the
barracks. The overall condition of the establishment was still unsatisfactory,
but when the work is completed, it would be adequate. According to the
prisoners' statements, the condition of the place was worse previously, but it
had considerably improved in recent months.
The food, which was being prepared at the time of the visit, was similar
to that of other detention facilities visited by the Commission in the country.
The military guards in the barracks reported that they receive the same food as
the prisoners, but some of latter complained that they didn't get enough.
The prisoners were decently dressed and in general seemed healthy. They
fell in in the yard to receive the Commission's visit and were informed by
Professor Dunshee de Abranches of the purpose of the visit and that they had the
right to speak in private with him and with his companion, Dr. Holzman. At
first, the prisoners appeared somewhat reluctant, even when the authorities
remained far enough away to ensure privacy. The reluctance gradually eased, and
groups formed around each Commission representative. The prisoners then
explained that they had suffered reprisals after having complained to foreign
journalists who previously visited the island with the government's permission.
Some of the prisoners reported that about 30 persons, whose names were
contained on a list, were in the Naval Base, housed in the gymnasium, to which
those who were to be submitted to interrogation were periodically taken.
The most relevant points of the complaints of the prisoners who spoke
with the Commission representatives are the following:
Some of the prisoners have not had specific charges brought against them.
They had a Prosecutor's hearing, but they continued to be deprived of their
liberty, without means of supporting their families.
Some of them stated that they were subject to “beating” and other
harassment during the interrogations, but they expressed fear of making specific
complaints by giving the names and other means of identification of those who
perpetrated the violence.
The complainant who provided the most specific information on the alleged
harassment suffered during his interrogation was a prisoner accused of
concealing a secret place for storing explosives after September 11, 1973.
Those who complained of having been subjected to acts of violence during
their interrogation, indicated that although they had been taken blindfolded to
the place utilized for such purpose, they would affirm that it was a building
near the gymnasium of the Concepción Naval Base (Talcahuano), where the group
of persons waiting interrogation were lodged, until they returned to the
barracks on Quiriquina Island, or were transferred to another prison, or were
Another person stated that he had been arrested only because he was a
member of leftist political parties, and that, in being interrogated, he was
forced to sign statements without reading the text.
In view of the information supplied by those who made complaints during
the Commission's visit to Quiriquina Island, Professor Dunshee de Abranches
decided, after returning to the Naval Base, to request permission from the
Commander to visit the gymnasium which allegedly housed persons whose names
appeared on the list of prisoners but who were not on the island. After some
hesitation by the authorities there, the Commission representatives and those
accompanying them, were taken in an automobile from the landing facing
Headquarters Command to the base gymnasium.
The gymnasium is located on a private road of the base, surrounded by
other buildings and near the market which is open to marine officers and troops.
It is a large solid and clean building. There were over 20 prisoners inside,
some of them playing ball, others reading or talking, which showed that the
visit was unexpected.
At the exact time when the Commission representatives entered the
gymnasium, they saw a blindfolded person, in civilian clothes, led by two
military guards, who had left the building to the left of the gymnasium, going
east. Professor Dunshee de Abranches requested permission to speak with the
prisoner, but the authorities refused citing security reasons and indicating
that the person was being held incommunicado.
The prisoners in the gymnasium received permission to speak in private
with the Commission representatives, but only a few of them accepted the offer.
These indicated that they had arrived there a short while ago and that they were
receiving reasonable treatment. They had no complaints other than the delay of
their trials and the deprivation of liberty without charges brought against
them. They explained that some of them did not want to speak, because they
expected to be released soon. None of them indicated that acts of violence were
then taking place during the interrogations.
When the Commission representatives terminated the visit, the person who
had been seen with his eyes blindfolded and who could be identified by his
physical appearance and clothing, came up to Professor Dunshee de Abranches. He
stated that he had been subject to interrogation without any harassment, and
that he had no other complaints but the desire to return to his home. He showed
no outward signs of any physical violence.
The Santiago Public Jail
The Commission Chairman and Executive Secretary visited the Santiago
Public Jail on July 31.
Yards 5 and 6 were reserved for political prisoners.
The cells, which were very small, had a door leading to the yard. Tiered
beds are against two walls. The length, which is the same as the wall against
which they are standing, is barely enough for a man lying down. In some cells,
we saw up to four beds in tiers. There are cells in which eight persons are
living. The cells are filthy, and their only furnishing aside from the beds are
some cans and rags.
The Commission Chairman talked with the following persons in sight of the
jail personnel, without being molested. The main denunciations and charges are
Nº 1. Arrested six
months ago. Was held in Investigations in Negra Island (San Antonio).
Tortured—they tore off two of his toe nails and injured his fifth lumbar disc.
Electric shock was applied to his eyes, causing cataracts. He can no longer see
with the eyeglasses given to him by the Red Cross ten or twelve days ago. He
says that the treatment is good in the jail.
Nº 2 Arrested
mid-June 1974. The person who made the arrest was recently identified in the
Ninth Police Station. He is not a member of the Carabineros, Investigations, or
Intelligence. The prisoner was not tortured. He belonged to the “Private
Guards”, an agency authorized by decree with legal capacity since 1940. He was
arrested for alleged usurpation of police functions. He has not yet testified to
the Prosecutor. Received good treatment in the jail.
Nº 3 Says that he
did nothing after September 11, 1973. Electric shock in the Air Force War
Academy. Blindfolded for 75 days. Worried about other companions he says have
Nº 4 Arrested by
Investigations early in June, under weapons control law. His father, being very
sick, tried to commit suicide with a caliber 32 or 38 revolver that he (the
father) had in his possession. The son hid it from him, and that was how it had
been found. He has not testified to the Prosecutor. Treatment in the jail is
Nº 5 Arrested
September 11, 1973. Accused of having killed a Carabinero. Had an automatic
pistol that a C.U.T. leader had given him. He says that he fired only two shots
to try to open a door, without hurting anybody. Three hundred and twenty workers
were arrested. Nine (including him) attended the C.U.T. distribution of weapons,
and five of them were arrested with him. He denies responsibility for the death
of the Carabinero. Was sentenced by the War Council to life imprisonment, for
planning the killing. He requests banishment or exile. Maintains that treatment
in the jail is good.
Nº 6 Was arrested
97 days ago. Was detained and tortured by the Carabineros. Was subjected to
electric shock, beatings with chains, etc., until he was hospitalized late in
April. Found a pistol that had been thrown away in Santiago, and not wanting to
turn it in here, because he said others had been tortured, he took it to the
Police Station in a nearby locality. They arrested him there for “carrying
weapons.” Tortures caused a heart attack. A month ago his house was burned,
and his 11-year old daughter was killed. Asks that his case be expedited and
that he be permitted to see a lawyer.
Nº 7 Arrested in
September 1973 by Carabineros. Proceedings have not been initiated against him.
His house was raided. He has eight children. No weapons were found. Subjected to
Nº 8 Arrested six
months ago; shot at by a carabinero, because, according to him, they confused
him with somebody else. Testified at the office of the Second Prosecutor of the
Minister of Defense. Does not have a lawyer. Says that his detention is making
him psychologically unbalanced.
Nº 9 Toward
mid-July, came to Talcahuano to visit a younger brother. Was arrested by
carabineros, was subjected to kicks, punches, blows with rifle butts, was
falsely accused of attacking a carabinero. Suffered fracture of a left rib, his
coccyx and left arm. No political affiliation. Does not have money to pay a
lawyer. Asks that a lawyer be assigned to him.
Nº 10 After our visit to
“Tres Álamos”, in which he made denunciations, they had transferred him in
reprisal. That is what the Director of Tres Álamos had told him. Was in
Chacabuco before. Has had no news of his family.
Nº 11 Forty-five days of
imprisonment. No criminal or political background. Fernando Andrade lent him a
revolver and then denounced him. Now Andrade is also in detention. Asks that his
case, 6/35, under the Weapons Control Law, be expedited.
Nº 12 The death penalty has
been asked in his case, now before the Santiago Court of Appeals. The only thing
that concerns him is that his “adopted mother” is being frequently arrested
and maltreated. They have sacked the house, and objects of value disappeared. He
asks protection for her.
Nº 13 A resident in Chile for
19 years. Arrested late in July, 1974 for alleged mistreatment of a carabinero
(is getting on in years). He says that he complained to the carabineros because
a cigarette vendor had treated him insolently. He was arrested and beaten. His
left ear is visibly injured, and there are blood stains on his clothing.
Nº 14 Arrested late
September, 1973. Voluntarily reported when he learned that his companions were
being arrested. Is part of the Bachelet2
trial, but has not yet been sentenced. Says was tortured in Air Force War
Academy, in the School of Specialists, and in the Defense Ministry, in the room
facing the Prosecutor's office.
Nº 15 Detained since October,
1973. After a time, was transferred to the Specialized School, where he was
tortured. The person responsible for the torture is Colonel Manfredini. He was
“burned” with electric shock on the genitals and the anus. Was blindfolded
during interrogation. Then taken to the Air Force War Academy, where he was not
tortured, but asserts that they tortured others. They threatened to torture his
wife, if he did not confess to having committed espionage for the U.P. He is
also involved in the Bachelet case.
Nº 16 Arrested late November
1973. Death penalty requested for him and was sentenced to life imprisonment for
planning the mistreatment of a carabinero. Sixty/two members of the INDUMET were
imprisoned with him, and he is the only one remaining. No political affiliation.
The Commission Executive Secretary talked with the following persons:
Nº 17 Says was arrested
September, 1973. Transferred to a police station in San Juan, where was
tortured. Was transferred to the National Stadium, where he was beaten and
electric shock was applied all over his body. Has been sentenced to five years
in prison for having organized a group of workers. States that, at the police
station, one of this companions named José Machado, was killed by a bullet in
Nº 18 Arrested five months
ago. Accused of attacking the armed forces. Says he was beaten and subjected to
electric shock. He is a student, and his mother is taking the necessary steps to
obtain his release.
Nº 19 Arrested mid-September
1973. Was taken to the National Stadium where he remained 20 days, and then was
transferred to jail. States that he was taken only once to the Prosecutor's
office to testify.
Nº 20 Was arrested three
months ago for being a political activist. Says no proceedings against him.
Nº 21 Arrested early in March
1974. Taken to the Carabineros Headquarters and then to jail. Said that he was
accused of having violated the law on weapons control.
Nº 22 His wife made a
denunciation to the Commission in the Hotel Crillon. Was arrested in October
1973 and taken to Air Force facilities, where he was beaten for three hours and
subjected to electric shock. Said that they hung him up and kept him there for
two days. Is a union leader, and proceedings have been brought against him.
Nº 23 His family submitted
information to the Commission in the Hotel Crillon. Has been imprisoned for two
months. Said that he was beaten in the Air Force installation. Is accused of
offenses against the armed forces.
Nº 24 Arrested two months
ago. Is accused of belonging to leftist groups. No proceedings have been brought
against him. Requests that he be tried and released, because he has to support
his wife, his mother, and four children.
Nº 25 Arrested in January
1974. Was in Tejas Verdes, the Chile Stadium, and later was transferred
incommunicado to the Public Jail. Is accused of forming para-military brigades.
Says he was tortured in Tejas Verdes. Married, with one daughter. His wise has
visited him in the jail. Says that six of his comrades were executed in Tejas
Verdes. He supplied their names and professions.
Nº 26 Arrested a month ago
and accused of falsifying documents for travel abroad. States that no
proceedings have been brought against him, he has not been brought before the
Prosecutor, and was held 18 days incommunicado. Requests he be tried or
Nº 27 Arrested in October
1973. Said he was tortured in the Ministry of Defense and in the Air Force
Specialists School. Was sentenced by lower court. Was accused of being a co
perpetrator of robbery, and the Prosecutor requested a sentence of three years
and one day in prison. Was acquitted of the charge, but was accused of
rebellion, and the War Council sentenced him to 15 years in prison. Has
tuberculosis and was hospitalized two months. Requests medical attention.
Nº 28 Arrested in mid-May. Is
accused of offenses against the armed forces. Was tortured and subjected to
electric shock. Was kept blindfolded four days.
Nº 29 Twenty years old,
arrested in June 1974 and accused of wearing the army uniform. Denies the
charges. No proceedings against him.
Nº 30 Arrested in July 1974,
accused of attacking the police. Says that there are no charges and that no
proceedings have been instituted against him.
Nº 31 Arrested in November
1973. Accused of having broken the weapons control law. Because they have very
little money, his family, who live in the interior, cannot visit him. Says he
was tortured and beaten.
Nº 32 Arrested in October
1973 and taken to the Marine Camp in Valparaiso and from there to Chacabuco. Was
released in five months and was free for six days. Was arrested again early in
April 1974 and accused of belonging to the Communist Party. Said he was tortured
in Valparaiso and was held incommunicado for three days. Has not been tortured
in the Public Jail.
Nº 33 Was arrested in
February 1974, accused of breaking the weapons control law. Says he was beaten
and tortured. Was subjected to electric shock. Was brought before the
Prosecutor, where he was questioned with respect to the socialist leader
Altamirano. Requests that proceedings against him be expedited.
Nº 34. Arrested early in June 1974.
Is accused of the crime of usurpation of functions. Requested that proceedings
against him be expedited.
Ambassador Woodward and Commission official Dr. Gómez traveled to
Antofagasta, by LADECO plane at 9:00 a.m. on July 30. Antofagasta is 1,395
kilometers from Santiago. The Director of the Chacabuco Prison, an army
commander, did not keep his promise to receive Ambassador Woodward and Dr. Gómez
at the airport at 12:00 noon. They looked everywhere in the airport for half an
hour. The Director of the airport lent the visitors an automobile to get to the
Hotel Turistica in the city. From there, they called Dr. Reque in Santiago and
asked him to communicate with Colonel Espinoza so that he might call the
Commander of the Chacabuco Prison.
The Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Jorge Farias Rodríguez, arrived
personally at the hotel at 4:30 p.m., much too late to visit the prison on that
day, since its is 100 kilometers from Antofagasta, in the middle of the Atacama
Desert, approximately halfway to Calama.
Ambassador Woodward and Dr. Gómez made an appointment with Commander
Farias to leave in a station wagon at 7:00 a.m. on the 31st, to
interview as many prisoners as possible before returning to the airport to catch
a plane at 3:00.
The Chacabuco Prison is in a town abandoned in 1925 by the saltpeter
industry. The place was converted into a detention center in October 1973. The
Commander said that some 5,000 persons were living in the town. The extremely
dry climate preserves the barracks of the former miners, and the town includes
large factories and warehouses, and a church of impressive size.
The trip from Antofagasta to the Chacabuco camp in the station wagon took
an hour and 15 minutes because of the early morning mist. The return trip,
including time to change a tire, took exactly one hour.
The Political prisoners camp in Chacabuco houses 587 prisoners, after
transferring 51 prisoners to Santiago on July 30. Lieutenant Colonel Farias, the
Camp Commander, informed us that one of the prisoners was sentenced by a “War
Council” and that the remaining 50 were released when they reached Santiago.
He submitted copies of the relevant documents.
The Commission checked in the prisoners' records for the names of those
persons who were reported in Santiago to be detained there. Of the total of 78
persons on the Commission's list, it was found that 72 were actually in the
camp. The names of the persons not listed on the camp records are the following:
Luis Fuentealba Muñoz: Arrested December 27, 1973, taken to the
Chile Stadium and then to Tres Álamos. Is a graduate chemist educated in the
U.S.S.R. (1966-72). According to the information, his documents are in the
SENDET. Reportedly no charges against him.
Eduardo Puebla Hermosilla: Arrested May 2, 1974, taken to the
Sixth Police Station in Santiago and then to the Chile Stadium. Reportedly no
charges against him.
Patricio Corvalán Carrera: Arrested September 14, 1973, by
personnel of the Investigations Service. Was detained in the Chile Stadium. An
appeal was filed before the Santiago Court of Appeals, without result.
Eugenio da Via Ferreira: It was reported in Chacabuco that he was
in the Santiago jail serving his sentence, which according to the informant,
would be completed on August 3, 1974.
Claudio Mario Vargas Vargas: Arrested January 2, 1974, by the
Investigations Service, and then on orders of the Military Intelligence Service,
was successively transferred to the Chile Stadium, Santiago Jail, Tres Álamos,
and from there to Chacabuco (according to data furnished in the SENDET). This
prisoner was suffering from frequent internal hemorrhaging, and his state of
health was very precarious, according to the claimants.
Rolando Rosendo Rodríguez Aguirre: Arrested in the factory where
he was working (Textil Progreso) on September 12, 1973, and taken to the Chile
Stadium, then to the National Stadium, where he remained for two months, before
being sent to Chacabuco.
Mr. Woodward requested the guards to call in two prisoners, with whom he
held a brief interview to determine their physical condition and their status.
In summary, he reported the following:
That both had been arrested six months ago, no charge of any kind had
been brought against them and they had not even been interrogated.
That both had been severely beaten in a place called “House of the
Bells”, in Santiago, at the time of their arrest. They were then taken to
Tejas Verdes, where they had also been tortured, although no interrogation of
any kind had been made.
The Commission then visited the camp barracks to contact the prisoners.
Mr. Woodward interviewed the members of the so-called “Council of
Elders” (presided over by Professor Gregorio Meno). The Council submitted a
list of complaints on the conditions in the camp.
In addition, the Council of Old Men reported the following, in summary:
The 587 men detained in Chacabuco were there without any specific
charge against them. Of the 587 prisoners, 400 had been detained over 8
months. There were no women in the prison.
The main desire expressed by almost all of the prisoners was to return to
the normal life of the country, to work and earn their living. The principal
concern of most of them is the pressing economic situation of their families. A
census taken by the prisoners indicates that the members of their families total
over 1300. The National Red Cross and the Welfare Association give minimum
Conditions in Chacabuco are much better than those in other detention
centers. Prisoner complaints are mainly that they themselves had had to organize
most of the medical service, since there was little official care provided. It
is very difficult to arrange hospitalization in real hospitals like the one in
Antofagasta, except for the most urgent cases. Dental service is also deficient.
The diet is not balanced, lacking fruit, vegetables and adequate protein. Some
weeks, mail delivery (once a week) is capriciously delayed. Censorship
(performed by the Catholic Chaplain) does not seem to cause complaints in
The prisoners told us that most of them had been severely tortured in
interrogation centers during the first few days of their detention. They spoke
of a place they called “House of the Bells” (they are not sure of its
address, having been taken to and from the place blindfolded and with hoods over
their heads). The main forms of torture they mentioned were blows and electric
shock all over their bodies. They have suffered no physical maltreatment in
Chacabuco. One of the prisoners reported he had not been maltreated.
As for their worries about the economic and psychological status of their
families, most of the prisoners stated they had been fired from their jobs
because of their arrest. The “Secretary” of the prisoners' “Council of
Elders” gave us a list of the 587 prisoners in Chacabuco at that time,
indicating that proceedings against 384 of them had been dismissed and the
status of all of the rest—except for 16 cases—is very indefinite.
At the present time, according to the data that we were given, there are
31 minors under 21 years of age detained in Chacabuco.
At the meeting with the Council of Delegates, almost all of them said
they were forced to sign papers in the first few days after their arrest,
without any possibility of knowing what they were signing, because they were
blindfolded. In addition, because they were blindfolded, they were not able to
identify their interrogators or torturers.
We were also informed that prisoners about to be released in Santiago
were required to sign a document stating that they had never been maltreated.
All of them said that one of their biggest worries is that when they are
released, or sent to Santiago allegedly for that purpose, they would again be
subjected to new arrests or even to transfers to a place much worse than
They felt that Chacabuco was obviously so isolated in the Atacama Desert
that it was not a suitable place for political prisoners. There were no
complaints regarding the limitation of visits. Visitors arrive by bus from
Santiago and other regions of the country on Saturdays and Sundays. Over half of
the prisoners are from Santiago. The buses take 16 hours from Santiago. One
prisoner estimated that up to 200 visitors had arrived last Sunday.
There are currently no lawyer's visits because the prisoners do not have
lawyers nor could they pay for lawyers. When I asked about this point, I got the
impression that the idea of having a lawyer never had occurred to the prisoners.
The Commander informed us that the President of the Press Club and three other
men, including the Press Club's lawyer, visited nine journalists in the prison a
few weeks ago. The Commander said there was no limitation on visits from
There are six persons in the camp who have been “tried” by the
“Council of War”, and they continue in detention, without any explanation.
In the case of one of those prisoners, Eduardo Rojo Cortés, of Copiapó, the
sentence was for 61 days (which had already been served). The other five
prisoners were “acquitted” by the War Council, but they continued in prison.
One of the other prisoners, Marcos Saavedra Brafman, who had been transferred to
Chacabuco from the Bio Bio jail in Los Angeles, on April 24, 1974, received
information some two weeks after his transfer, from his mother, that a “War
Council” in Los Angeles had sentenced him to five years, without his presence
at the “War Council” and without transmitting any information to him up to
The International Red Cross had sent representatives to the camp two
times for very brief periods.
There are two prisoners in the Chacabuco camp who are not political
prisoners, according to the information given to Mr. Woodward when he asked
about this point. However, the member of the Council of Delegates said that the
political prisoners were not bothered by the presence of those two common
In the conversation about alleged “places of torture”, reference was
made to Tejas Verdes. The prisoners in Chacabuco said that when visits were made
to Tejas Verdes by groups or individuals such as the Commission members, the
authorities transferred the prisoners temporarily in trucks to a nearby cold
storage plant, or locked them up in trucks while the visits took place.
Despite the desire of the Commission representatives to talk personally
with the greatest number of prisoners possible, and dividing up the work between
Ambassador Woodward and Dr. Gómez, they were unable to do much more than to
speak with groups of prisoners during the 3 hours and 30 minutes their visit to
the camp lasted.
The prisoners informed us that treatment varied with changes in
subordinate personnel: a platoon of some six non-commissioned officers was
changed every two weeks. The Commander informed us that he tried to select the
best qualified personnel from among the many non-commissioned officers of the
regiment stationed in Antofagasta.
The Commission interviewed some of the 31 minors imprisoned in the camp.
The following information was gathered, in summary:
That they were housed in the same barracks as adults, although in the
case of Carlos Ayress Moreno, who was arrested together with his father, he
preferred it that way, so that he could take care of his sick father.
They had been subjected to torture in the places where they had been
previously detained after their arrest. In particular, one of them showed marks
of having been tortured with electric shock on the back, shoulders, arms, chest,
One of the minors had been held in the Chacabuco Camp for 10 months, by
order of the former Minister of the Interior, General Bonilla. The reason for it
was not known up to that time.
Even if they were immediately set free, the schools where some of them
had been studying had cancelled their registration, and it was impossible to
register in other schools because of the mere fact that they had been arrested,
according to information their families had. They protested that the government
policy with respect to minor students who had been arrested made it impossible
for them to continue their studies in Chile.
Although, in general, most of the prisoners alleged that they had been
victims of physical and psychological harassment, some of them insisted on
giving specific details of their cases, as follows:
Nº 1 Arrested in
September 1973 by carabineros, taken to the Chile Stadium first, and then to the
Tacna Regiment, to Tejas Verdes and Chacabuco. Shows various deep marks of
maltreatment on the wrists, both arms, and the upper and lower back. Also shows
lacerations and scarring on the genitals, which, according to one of the doctors
imprisoned in the camp, can only be produced by the application of electric
shock. According to the doctor, he may suffer permanent damage to the left
testicle and scrotum.
Nº 2 Arrested
October 1973. Says he was beaten a number of times on the head and back at Tres
Álamos and at Londres Street. Shows marks from maltreatment on the back and a
wound (scarred) on the frontal region of his hand.
The Commander reported that a number of sports, cultural and handicraft
activities were carried out in the camp, in which the prisoners participated.
There was a sparsely equipped workshop in which the prisoners have begun making
modest articles that they intend to sell in Antofagasta, to help somewhat with
their needs. There is also a general store and a cooperative.
Dr. Luis Reque, the Commission's Executive Secretary, visited this
installation on August 2, 1974, at 11:00 a.m., accompanied by a Secretariat
staff member. He was received by Commander Rubén Castillo Juay, the Military
Deputy Director of the Military Hospital. Commander Castillo indicated that he
had already received the visit of the International Red Cross representative. He
indicated that Mr. Gonzalo Toro Garland, a political prisoner, was not in the
hospital. The following persons were interviewed:
Tovar: Does not remember when he was arrested. Does not remember how long he
has been in the hospital either. Says he was informed there were no charges
Commander Castillo indicated that Mr. Tovar had been in the hospital
since July 24, 1974.
Jaime Tohá: Was arrested September 11, 1973. Has been in the hospital for a
week. Stated that his family had been informed that there are no charges against
him and that he would be released after a series of medical examinations. He
stated that he was on Dawson Island and that he was transferred to the Buin
Regiment on May 8.
Jaime Jorquera: Stated that he was arrested on September 12, 1973, and that
he had been hospitalized since July 15, 1974. Stated that there were no charges
against him and that the authorities had informed his family he would be placed
under house arrest. He stated that he had received visits from Red Cross
officials; that he is a retired journalist, and that he had a 12.000 escudos
pension, which had been cancelled. He indicated that he did not owe the
government any money.
San Bernardo Infantry School
Ambassador Robert F. Woodward and Commission Executive Secretary, Dr.
Luis Reque, visited this detention center on July 26, 1974, at 4:00 p.m.
They were received by Colonel Pedro Gustavo Montalva, who told them that
only four prisoners had been at that place, three of whom had been transferred
to Santiago, so that at that time, the only remaining prisoner was Mr. Vladimiro
Arellano Colima, the former Director of the Budget of the Treasury Department.
Mr. Arellano Colima stated that he reported to the Defense Ministry on
September 11, 1974, because he was called in by a military edict. He was
transferred to the Military Academy and in four days was taken to Dawson Island
where he remained until May 8, 1974, and then was transferred to the San
Bernardo Infantry School.
He stated that he had not received physical maltreatment in any
establishment and that his wife visited him both in Punta Arenas and in San
He said Colonel Montalva had stated he would be released in a few days.