memory

PRISON SENTENCES FOR TWO DINA AGENTS INVOLVED IN THE KIDNAPPING AND DISAPPEARANCE OF GONSALVO TORO

Two former DINA agents, Manuel Carevic and Patricio Silva, have been sentenced to 541 days of imprisonment for the kidnapping and disappearance of Gonzalo Toro, a professor of Musical Arts at the University of Chile and MIR militant.

Toro was kidnapped on April 4, 1974 and severely injured. He was transferred to the military hospital where he remained until August 1, 1974, when he was due to be discharged from hospital. On the same day, DINA agents apprehended him from hospital. He was subsequently disappeared.

 

DEFENDER OF COLONIA DIGNIDAD’S PAUL SCHAFER IS CHILE’S NEW MINISTER OF JUSTICE

In contrast to his electoral campaign rhetoric which was on a milder level than that of his counterpart Jose Antonio Kast, Sebastian Pinera’s adherence to right-wing ideology is revealing itself with the appointment of Hernan Larrain, a defender of Colonia Dignidad’s leader Paul Schafer, as Minister for Justice.

During an interview, Larrain defended Schafer, saying that the accusations levelled against the German Nazi who established a colony in Chile and collaborated with the dictatorship was the victim of a frameup.

Alicia Lira, President of the Association of Relatives of Executed Political Prisoners (AFEP) denounced the appointment, declaring it a “sad precedent”, in view of the fact that Larrain was part of Schafer’s circle of friends.

Colonia Dignidad was shrouded in secrecy, thus making investigations into human rights abuses difficult. Schafer had fled from Germany to Chile after accusations of child molestation in 1959. For dictator August Pinochet, Schafer provided both location and opportunity for dictatorship crimes, including torture, murder and disappearance of political opponents. In return, Schafer’s depravity and torture of his own community were assured of impunity.

Former DINA agent dies at Punta Peuco

Basclay Zapata Reyes, a former DINA agent imprisoned at Punta Peuco, died at the age of 71 from cancer. Zapata Reyes former part of Brigada Aguila within DINA and considered one of the most brutal torturers within the intelligence agency. Lorena Pizarro from the Association of Families of Disappeared Detainees, declared Zapata Reyes as “one of the bloodiest agents of the dictatorship, who we will remember for his brutal and inhuman nature, and one of the first individuals associated with the torture and murder of the disappeared detainees.”

Zapata Reyes also formed part of DINA’s joint command, which was responsible for the majority of disappearances in Chile.

 

26 DINA agents sentenced for their role in the kidnapping, torture and disappearance of MIR militant Miguel Angel Acuña

The sSantiago Court of Appeals has sentenced 26 former DINA agents for the roles in the kidnapping, torture and disappearance of MIR militant Miguel Angel Acuña – one of the victims of Operación Colombo.

Acuña was arrested near his home by DINA on the night of July 8, 1974 and transferred to Londres 38, where he was subjected to torture. The exact date of disappearance is not known. It is estimated that the last time Acuña was seen alive would have been in July or August 1974.

César Manríquez, Pedro Octavio, Miguel Krassnoff and Raúl Iturriaga were sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment as perpetrators of the crime.

Gerardo Urrich, Gerardo Godoy, Ricardo Lawrence, Ciro Torré, Sergio Castillo, Manuel Carevic, Basclay Zapata, José Fuentes, Julio Hoyos, Gustavo Carumán, José Ojeda, Luis Villarroel, Rudeslindo Urrutia, Juan Duarte, Pedro Araneda, Víctor Molina, Manuel Rivas, Hugo Hernández, Juan Urbina, Risiere Altez, Hermon Alfaro and Raúl Rodríguez were sentenced to ten years.

New identifications of Pinochet’s Caravan of Death massacres in Calama

Forensic investigations carried out by Servicio Medico Legal on the remains of the Calama victims of Pinochet’s Caravan of Death on November 19, 1973 have now ended, leading to the re-identification of Rolando Hoyos Salazar, Rosario Munoz Castillo and Jose Saavedra Gonzalez, as well as the identification, for the first time, of Carlos Pinero Lucero and Milton Munoz Munoz. The remains were discovered in a mass grave in 1990, 13km away from Calama, on the road to San Pedro de Atacama.

The remains of victims Rafael Pineda Ibacache and David Luna Miranda have not been identified.

Former torture centre to be recognised as memory site

Venda Sexy, a former detention, torture and extermination centre during the Pinochet dictatorship, will be recognised as a memory on Wednesday. The centre will be administered by Colectivo de Mujeres Sobrevivientes Siempre Resistentes after a long social media campaign in which various human rights organisations participated. In a statement, the organisers insisted that the Valech Commission’s failure to specify the torture practices against women at Venda Sexy are an omission of memory that needs to be corrected, in order to avoid the generalisation of torture. The memory site will be exclusively run by women. 

Launching of Rodrigo Rojas de Negri’s complete photographic archive

Next Tuesday, the complete photographic archive of Rodrigo Rojas de Negri was presented at Universidad de Chile. The archive, which comprises over 7,000 photographs, slides, documents, posters and audio visual material, forms part of the investigative project “Archivo Rodrigo Rojas de Negri” which is partly financed by Fondart Regional 2015.

Montserrat Rojas Corradi, curator of the exhibition “An Exile Without Return” which includes Rojas’s work, describes the photographer as “not only a victim of human rights during the dictatorship, but also a photographer portraying Chile during that period.”

Rojas was burned alive in 1986 by a military patrol. Carmen Gloria Quintana, who was also targeted by the military, survived the attack but remained heavily scarred.