RIGHT TO LIFE
American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man
Article I. Every human being has the right to life, liberty and the security of his person.
1. During its visit to Chile from July 22 to August 2, 1974, the Commission received information from various sources concerning the number of persons killed during the open confrontations in the first days and before the cessation of organized resistance to the new Government. It received, in addition, denunciations that, once the armed fighting was concluded, some punitive actions took place against members of the opposition which had ended, in certain cases, in shootings without trial.
2. As is obvious, the Commission, in the brief period of observation in loco in Chile, was not able to obtain the kind of evidence that is essential for issuing a definitive judgment concerning such information and denunciations. For this reason, in its first report concerning the situation of human rights in Chile, the Commission limited itself to indicating the volume of information and denunciations on this subject, with the express reservation that this did not imply a prejudgment (First Report, paragraph 1).
3. After its observation in loco, the Commission continued to receive communications in which there were denunciations of presumed violations of the right to life. Since the denunciations received were processed and considered after the visit in loco, this permitted the Commission to establish a logical sequence of facts and to carry out an evaluation of the changes between the two periods, that is, the period prior to the visit in July, 1974 and the period after that visit. For an orderly arrangement of this material, the denunciations have been classified in three categories: a) homicides imputed to the authorities; b) persons detained, disappeared and presumed to be dead; and c) illegal executions.
A. Homicides imputed to the authorities
4. The Commission received a denunciation that Franklin Antonio Valdés Valdés, resident at Calle San Francisco Nº 1669, San Bernardo, Santiago, accountant and administrator of the Hospital Sanatorium “El Pino”, was detained on September 28, 1973, by a military patrol of the Infantry School of San Bernardo while engaged in his work; that on October 4, 1973, the detained person was called for interrogation at 9:30 a.m. along with other detained persons; that on the same day at 12:00 o’clock, a military patrol left the body of Franklin Valdés Valdés at the Legal Medical Institute, reporting that he had been found dead in the public thoroughfare; that his clothes had been taken, as well as a watch, trademark Tressa, and 9,000.00 escudos, and his documents, so that the body was delivered to the said Institute as unidentified.
The Commission decided to apply to this denunciation the special procedure of Article 53 (Case Nº 1858).
5. In a note of July 29, 1974, the text of the denunciation was transmitted to the Chilean Government and information was requested in accordance with the regulations. By note of October 29, 1973, the Minister of Foreign Relations stated that reports had been requested from the various services concerning the circumstances of the death and that, as soon as his Ministry received background information and the results of the requested investigations, these would be transmitted to the Commission. On January 14, 1975, the Government reiterated the information that it was making the pertinent investigations in order to be able to report to the Commission.
6. In its session of October 24, 1975, considering that more than a year had passed without provision of the information by the Government of Chile, the Commission formally decided to consider as proved the facts of the denunciation, referring to the documentation in its possession, combined with the silence of the Government. The Commission declared, in addition, that this involved a very serious case of violation of the right to life, security and integrity of the person. The Commission recommended, finally, that the Government continue its investigations for the purpose of establishing responsibilities in the case, and it requested that the Commission be informed of the result of such investigations.
7. This formal resolution was transmitted to the Government of Chile by note of December 1, 1975, and the Chilean Government replied on January 21, 1976, with the following observations:
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has adopted this conclusion on the sole basis of an exposition in a private denunciation, without the facts having been corroborated by any other evidence. Not even sworn testimony has been given.
On the other hand, the Chilean authorities have carried out repeated investigations, without being able to find any background information that confirms the denunciation.
In the judgment of my Government, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, comprised of men of law and eminent jurists, cannot consider facts invoked in a private denunciation to be proved when those facts have not been confirmed by adequate corroboration. To do the contrary would be unnatural to the functions and purposes of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
8. It is sufficient to point out that the Government of Chile, by its silence, had given reason for the presumption that the facts in the denunciation were true (Article 51 of the Regulations of the Commission), so the Commission did not need other corroboration.
9. After the Commission completed its observations in loco in Chile, new communications concerning homicides imputed to the authorities have been received:
a) Luis Gilberto Matamala Venegas. According to the denunciation, approximately 10 carabineros [national police] of the Comisaría [police station] of San Joaquín (Nº 12), came to his house (Población Isabel Riquelme, Pasaje 7a de Línea, Nº 245) on September 18, 1974, entering the house by breaking the door. Inside were the person affected and his six brothers. Before they asked the names of the inhabitants of the house, they shot at the head of the minor, Luis Matamala, 17 years of age. The other minors hid under the beds. After shooting, they left, leaving the affected person dying. A few minutes later, the mother, Mrs. Bernarda Venegas Bayo, arrived at the house; she took her son to the Polyclinic of the Red Cross. When they arrived there, the minor was already dead. Death was due to three bullets in the head. From there, the mother went to the Comisaría Nº 12 of San Joaquín. They gave no explanation. There were five carabineros of the Comisaría Nº 12, and they said only that the action was the result of a mistake.
b) Vicente del Carmen Vidal Paredes. According to the denunciation, on October 6, 1973, at his residence (Población Aníbal Pinto, Pasaje Nº 4, house Nº 3271, Stop Nº 3, G. Avenida San Miguel, Santiago), at 1:30 a.m., a patrol, comprised of six uniformed carabineros, armed with machine-guns, came and broke the window of the bedroom and, pointing their guns, compelled Vicente del Carmen Vidal Paredes to get up and accompany them, without presenting any identification or order of detention. He was taken to the Station of Carabineros at Tenencia La Sumar. On the same day, at 9:30 a.m., he was found dead at a place called “Zanjón de la Aguada,” with bullet holes in his thorax and his cranium. The death was recorded in a Death Certificate issued by the Circunscripción de Independencia of the Department of Santiago, dated October 7, 1973, Nº E-2858. On the same day, the wife was informed that the death had been the result of a mistake on the part of the carabineros. The authorities who took note of the facts are: army personnel of the armored regiment Nº 2 of Santiago, on October 7, 1973, and the Central [Office] of Investigations, on October 14, 1973.
c) Jorge Rubén Lamicha Vidal. According to the denunciation, he was detained at four o’clock in the morning on August 13, 1974, in his residence at Errazuriz 126, Buin, by four members of the Army, two carabineros and two persons dressed in civilian clothes. There is no indication of the reasons for the detention. Two days later, on August 15, 1974, a person came to the house of the detained man offering funeral services, asserting that the body of the detained person was in the Santiago Morgue. Members of the family went immediately to the Morgue and confirmed the death. The official death certificate indicates that death by bullet wound occurred in the Infantry School. The wife of the deceased has made the denunciation in her own name and that of her children, before the Court of Appeals. The deceased was a construction worker on his own account. He was 48 years old. In the denunciation to the Court, the wife said “… My husband had retired completely from all political activities since September 11. He had been detained before and he stayed in the National Stadium until November 6, 1973, when he was placed at liberty and given a document issued by the National Executive Secretariat of Detained Persons signed by Colonel Jorge Espinoza in which it was stated that there were no charges against him.”
d) Luis Segundo Toledo González, according to the denunciation, was detained on August 2, 1974, at two in the morning. In his residence, Población Carlos Cortés, Block 27, apartment 44, Santiago, by two persons from 25 to 30 years of age dressed in civilian clothes, in the presence of his housemate, Julia González Santana, without the exhibition of an order. Members of the family tried to ascertain the place of his detention day after day until August 16, 1974. The person who makes the denunciation states that “on the day to which reference is made, carabineros of the district found the body in Calle Carrascal and a member of the family recognized it at the Medical-Legal Institute…” The death certificate shows the cause of death to be two bullet wounds. His neighbor, detained in identical circumstances, was also found dead. The housemate is at present in the Psychiatric Hospital of Santiago.
e) Julio Gastón Valenzuela Bastías, according to the denunciation, was detained in the month of October 1973, in Arica. He was visited several times at the Regimental Headquarters in Arica. There is no indication of the reasons for the detention. The person who makes the denunciation was informed, in the month of December, that the detained person had been transferred to a place of investigations where he could not be visited. The person who makes the denunciation states, “…In the first part of January, they called to deliver the body. The cause of death, as reported by the Department of Investigations of Arica, was an automobile accident. Upon receiving the body, it was seen by a medical doctor who certified that it had two bullets in the back. The State Railways (where the deceased had been a chief operator) inquired by radio on two occasions concerning the cause of death and on both occasions they were told that it occurred as the result of an automobile accident. There was no indication that the affected person was at liberty after his detention…”
10. These denunciations constituted, in the Commission, part of case Nº 1934, transmitted in conformity with the special procedure prescribed in Article 53 of the Regulations. Upon requesting information from the Government of Chile concerning the five preceding cases, providing the Government with transcriptions of pertinent parts of the denunciations, the Ministry of Foreign Relations, in note Nº 2774 of February 18, 1976, replied textually as follows:
Luis Alberto Matamala Vanegas, Vicente del Carmen Vidal Paredes, Jorge Rubén Lamicha Vidal, Luis Segundo Toledo González and Claudio Labra Saure, died in various confrontations with the police or security agents when they were taking part in criminal, subversive or sabotage activities.
Julio Gastón Valenzuela Bastías died in an automobile accident when the detained person was being transported from Arica to Pisagua.
11. The Chilean Government confirmed the death of the five persons, which occurred in places, on dates and in circumstances that were distinct according to the persons making the denunciations, but the Government asserted that four of the five deaths were the result of confrontations with the “police or security agents” and attributes to the persons “criminal, subversive or sabotage activities” without providing essential details concerning these substantial factual points. With reference to Valenzuela Bastías, the reply of the Government, in addition to confirming his death, recognizes that the person was under detention at the time of the automobile accident that had caused his death.
12. If the information provided by the Government is authentic, there should be carried out in each case an investigation and an official report to confirm the facts, as well as the legality of the use of arms against the dead persons, in conformity with the provisions of the Code of Penal Procedure and the Chilean Code of Military Justice. The same procedure should have been followed in the case of the alleged automobile accident. Nevertheless, the reply of the Government did not provide any information concerning formal reports or about authorities charged with investigations or concerning compliance with legal formalities.
13. On September 5, 1975, Fernando Aristia Ruiz, Bishop of the Catholic Church, President of the Committee of Cooperation for Peace in Chile, and other representatives of various churches, who were members of the same organization, requested the Court of Appeals of Santiago, in conformity with articles 560 and following, of the Organic Code of the Courts, to “designate a Visiting Minister” to proceed with the investigation of presumed homicides, which were described as follows:
Death of Pedro Claudio Labra Sauré. In the morning of February 8, 1975, three automobiles came near the residence of Pedro Labra Sauré, 23 years old, single, student, Séptima Avenida 1580, San Miguel. His parents were spending the summer in El Quisco. He was alone. They knocked on the door. He came down and, just as he opened the door, they let fire with a burst of bullets a few centimeters from his body. He fell down wounded, and in this state, after a search of the house had been carried out, he was taken to the interior of one of the automobiles, which left rapidly. A sister of the victim, informed by the neighbors, went to the house. She found spots of blood inside the house, at the doorway and on the pathway to the street. The hall was covered with tracks. She found a piece of a pajama button, a bone splinter and five shell cases. She began to hunt for the wounded person. Berta Labra entered a recurso de amparo [approximating a writ of habeas corpus] based upon the presumed detention of the person who had disappeared. It was only on February 11 that the body was recognized in the Morgue of the Medical-Legal Institute, where there was no registration of the entry of the body or of any other indicating what authority had been responsible for bringing the body there.
Death of Juan Manuel Valdenegro Arancibia. Juan Manuel Valdenegro, 23 years old, locksmith, married, resident in Población Juanita Aguirre, passage Camberra 5766, Conchalí, left on a bicycle from the house of his parents on February 8, 1975, at approximately 1:30 a.m. He went to his residence which was a few blocks away. But he did not arrive. At 10:30 a.m., two unknown persons came to his residence indicating that Valdenegro had suffered an accident. One of them said that the cyclist had assumed a provocative attitude. The bicycle, which was returned, showed no signs of an accident. The body of Juan Valdenegro was received at 8 o’clock at the Hospital Post J.J. Aguirre. The physician on duty diagnosed the cause of death as blows on the cranium. It was noted in the registers: “Brought from the Buin Regimental Headquarters, in a jeep under the command of Second Corporal Julio Ortega Díaz. Physician who received it: Dr. Luis Rivera. Diagnosed: (traumatismo encefalítico cranial) closed.”
Death of Cedomil Lucas Lausio Olasinovic. On April 9, 1975, there was presented to the Court a request for a recurso de amparo for the arbitrary arrest of Cedomil Lausio, who was detained on April 3. His whereabouts were unknown. Also, the woman to whom he was engaged had been detained on April 4, 1975. Cedomil Lausio continued as a person who had disappeared, until May 8, on which date his cousin, Cristina Stipetich, recognized his body in the Medical-Legal Institute. There is sufficient background information to presume that he died as a result of blows from the persons who had apprehended him and who held him in Villa Grimaldi, the detention center of the Dirección de Inteligencia National (DINA) [National Bureau of Investigation]. Cedomil Lausio was 28 years old. He was single. He lived at Calle Carlos Cariola 6375, Maipú. He is the son of a well-known family of Punta Arenas. The autopsy did not indicate the date of death, indicating that it was in the month of April, without an indication of the day.
Death of Guillermo Hernán Herrera Manríquez. Teacher in secondary school, married, two children, 28 years old, resident at General Gana 671. Detained on May 3, 1975, at approximately 2 o’clock in the afternoon, at the Central Station. Taken the same day by agents of the DINA, to his own residence. The chief of the group that had apprehended him told his father, don Ramón Herrera Sepúlveda, that they had brought his son because he would receive a telephone call from his political chief. That they had had to “soften him up” a little to make him collaborate. The detained person was pale. He entered the house with his hands on his stomach. He was laid down in a room after it had been searched. Handcuffed to the bed, he remained there under constant guard. Only his father could speak with him. Thus it became known that the presumed telephone call had been only a subterfuge of the detained person so he could be brought home. He remained in the bed through Saturday night; on Sunday, he shared mealtimes with his family, but he kept silent. On Monday, May 5, when his father came out of the bathroom, he heard the noise of a death rattle in the room occupied by his son. He burst into the room, shoved the guard aside and took the head of his son between his hands, while the son vomited blood. The son died while he was holding his head. The agents, under the pretext that he was alive, wrapped him in blankets and took him away. Don Ramón Herrera, a functionary of the Army, placed the body in the Medical Legal Institute where it was identified. It did not show any external lesions. It has been learned that the indication of the cause of death was acute anemia caused by a cutting wound in the cervical region, attributed to suicide.
Death of Daniel Abelardo Fuentes Cáceres. He was the object of proceedings before the Eighth Juzgado del Crimen [Criminal Court of First Instance], for check forgery, placed in the Public Jail of Santiago, from which place he was taken by a military patrol, under the command of Captain Pedro Durcudoy Montandón. He was taken to Quillota to be interrogated in a process initiated by the Military Legal Office, on June 11, 1975. He was killed on the way. Multiple bullet wounds. The Military Attorney has alleged that he was killed after stealing a gun from the personnel who were guarding him, so that the patrol “acting in its own defense” had to shoot him. He was 27 years old, married, resident at Lira 693, Santiago.
Death of Fernando Díaz Muller. Detained in the public thoroughfare by two uniformed carabineros of the detachment of the Eighth Comisaría [Station], on June 25, 1975, at 7:30 p.m., near the intersection of Avenida República with Toesca. He was taken to the police station and registered as entered for intoxication. At one o’clock in the morning on June 26, he was transferred to Post 3 (Calle Chacabuco) by Carabineros. He was entered as “NN”, with minor wounds, caused by another detained person named Raúl Reyes Chavez, resident at San Alfonso 4544.
The Comisaría sent an official communication to the Second Juzgado del Crimen, attesting that the person who had caused the wounds had been defending himself. On the 27th, Díaz was visited at the Post by a friend, Belmar García Miranda, an engineer. The visitor was able to talk with the wounded man, who told him that he had been beaten by carabineros. He could scarcely breathe; he was in such serious condition. Taken to the Neuro-Surgery Hospital, he died at 4 o’clock in the morning on June 28. The body was taken to the Crematorium of the General Cemetery, but it was not incinerated. The presumed author of the homicide was placed at liberty on June 30. Fernando Díaz Muller was 46 years old, married, a lawyer, resident at Santa Magdalena Sofía Nº 95, Las Condes.
Death of Fernando Dionisio González Fredes. Mason, 57 years of age, married, nine children, resident at Sprinhill 3386, Población Nueva La Legua. An old employee of the industry Tin Maipú, of Maipú, he was highly regarded by his employer. On July 21, 1975, he was detained by carabineros of the Eighth Comisaría, after leaving a friend, Juan Fredes Aguilera, in the vicinity of the Central Station.
The wife of the detained person presented a recurso de amparo before the Court on July, 1975. Her husband had disappeared after being arrested. She continued her search for him until August 8, the date on which his body was identified in the Medical Legal Institute. She had gone twice to the Medical Legal Institute, but she had been told that the body had not been entered there. The body had been taken there on July 21, by carabineros of the Eighth Comisaría. It had been entered at 11:50 p.m.
It is presumed that he died as a result of multiple concussions that occurred during his arrest, even though it was indicated that he had committed suicide by hanging himself; the death certificate indicates the place of death to be the “calabozo” [jail] of the Eighth Comisaría.
14. The mentioned request for the designation of a Visiting Minister, made to the Court of Appeals, to investigate the facts in these denunciations, in the exercise of the power of corrective supervision, was denied. The same attitude on this subject prevailed in the Supreme Court. The Commission has not been able to obtain the texts of the respective decisions in order to learn the bases for the decisions.
15. The cases which are mentioned in the following were sent to the Commission at the beginning of the sessions in which this report was prepared. Due to the seriousness of the cases, the Commission agreed to include them in this document, without any prejudgment concerning the veracity of the facts in the denunciations, and taking into consideration, also, the provisions in paragraph 4 of Resolution 190 of the General Assembly. The Government of Chile, on the other hand, will have the opportunity to refer to these cases when it makes its observations on this report.
A summary of the denunciations follows:
a) Death of Arsenio Leal Pereira:
Identity certificate: 95079 of San Bernardo
Date of birth: December 18, 1930
Civil status: Married, four children
Residence: Stop 35, Gran Avenida, San Bernardo
Profession: Transporter; candidate for councilman from San Bernardo
On Monday, September 1, 1975, at 1:20 a.m., the Legal family was aroused by strong blows on the door of their house. The wife of Arsenio Leal, Rosa Herminda, was met at the door by two persons in civilian clothes carrying machine-guns. The shorter of the two had his face painted black. Without any explanation, they came into the house. Legal Pereira asked the reasons for this action and they gave no reply. They required that Leal identify himself, searched the house carefully, and then said to him, “We want to talk with you; let’s go outside. Hurry up.” As soon as they were in the street, they forced him into a white Citroen van. It was then that his wife, who had come out into the street, realized that this was a police round up. There were no fewer than eight persons in the group that was carrying out the round-up, and they had four vehicles: the van already mentioned, a blue Chevrolet CMO light truck, a white Fiat, and another yellow automobile that could have been a Fiat 125 or a Peugeot 404. One of the vehicles was equipped with a radio-transmitter with which it appeared to be communicating with a central point. On Friday, September 5, one of the men who had taken part in the detention came to the house of the detained person and identified himself as an Officer of the Air Force. He stated that Leal Pereira was well and that he was being detained in a place operated by the Air Force. On Monday, September 8, at 10:20 p.m., an individual who was dressed in civilian clothes and who said he was an Officer of the Air Force Health Service came to see the wife of Leal Pereira, and said that he had to inform her that her husband had committed suicide. He told her that she could take the body the next day from the Medical Legal Institute. The body showed bruises in several places and also around the eyes. There was a short strip of cloth around the neck of a color different from the clothing that Leal had been wearing. He had a cut knee, a cut in his right shoulder about 5 centimeters long, apparently made by a knife, a one centimeter hole through his right hand which was very swollen. The hair was gummy with blood, there were bloody spots on his testicles, his forehead had been beaten and his nose was skinned. The authorization for burial, inscribed as E 2435 of 1975, dated September 10, indicates that the death of Legal Pereira occurred on Saturday, September 6, at an unspecified hour. The cause stated was: “mechanical asphyxiation by hanging.”
b) Death of Jaime Olivares Jorguera:
Identity certificate: 6099806-K of Santiago
Date of birth: December 27, 1949
Civil status: Married, one son of 1 year 8 months
Residence: Población Chacarilla, Comuna Nuñoa, Santiago
Profession Without profession; educational level, middle secondary
He was a militant socialist before September 11, 1973.
In 1974, Jaime Olivares was detained 15 days; he was not tried and he recovered his liberty. Subsequently, he was detained 3 days, with his wife, because of a denunciation by some neighbors, and he was taken to Viña del Mar. The last time members of his family saw him alive was July 31, 1975, when he talked with his mother and assured her that he would go to his house the following day, which was in the same small street as hers. Olivares did not arrive at his house that day or in the following days. However, on August 1, at 10 p.m., about 20 civilians armed with machine-guns came to the house of Olivares Jorguera. They said that they were functionaries of the Investigation Service [DINA] and that they were hunting for Olivares. Not finding him, they took his wife in detention, putting her at liberty a few hours later. On August 4, the parents of Olivares Jorguera went to the headquarters of Investigations [DINA] to try to find out what had happened to their son. The functionaries at the headquarters, after questioning the father, informed him that his son had died in a confrontation with police functionaries. The parents were told this at 12:15 midnight on August 5, 1975. The parents did not believe the report and the next morning, August 5, they went to the Medical Legal Institute of Santiago, where they found the body of your Olivares. The Mother examined the body minutely, and it presented the following characteristics: there was no bullet wound; the abdominal region was black and blue, replete with bruises, as were the temples and the cheeks; the lips were blue and the neck showed signs of having been beaten with a heavy object, possible the butt of a gun. The death certificate, issued August 6, indicated that Saúl Jaime Olivares died on August 1, 1975, at 11:55 p.m., in Zañarta Nº 1728 (the place of the headquarters of the Investigation Service), caused by “secondary asphyxiation and suffocation from breathing in vomit.” On August 6, the Santiago newspaper “La Tercera” reported that “three extremists, among them a woman, who took part in various assaults on branch banks, on payroll employees of CHILECTRA and the Metropolitano, in addition to a holdup against the revenue collectors of the Ovalle Negrete bus lines, were seized by the civilian police.” Later, it was reported that “the detained persons were identified as Raúl Jaime Olivares, José Antonio Hernández Manzano and Ana María Manzano González, mother of the preceding.” It added that the first-named of the detained persons was knocked down by the police when he attempted to resist them, armed with a caliber 38 revolver.
c) Death of Gustavo Humberto Castro Hurtado
Identity certificate: 1583283 of Santiago
Age: 54 years
Civil status: Married
Domicile: General Las Heras 10185 Gran Avenida
On September 3, 1975, about 2:30 in the morning, a group of 15 civilians armed with machine-guns, with blankets, some hooded, others with their faces painted with soot, came to the home of Castro. These persons said they were from Investigations [DINA]; however, they did not show an order to search the premises or to detain the victim. On November 12, his wife, Irma Flores Naranjo, learned from the Court of his death, since the Court had received a report on November 7, from the DIFA [Investigation Headquarters of the Air Force], that Castro Hurtado “was detained by that headquarters and that subsequently he had committed suicide, facts which were being investigated in proceedings ordered by the Attorney’s Office of the Air Force.” On September 3, a recurso de amparo was entered for protection of the victim, in the Court of Appeals of Santiago, registry number 1070-75. On October 8, the recurso de amparo was declared out of order “because, in accordance with information received from the pertinent authorities, Gustavo Humberto Castro Hurtado was not under detention.” On October 10, an appeal was made to the Supreme Court (registry 19.596). In this appeal, Irma Flores Naranjo stated that she was a witness to the detention of the person for whom protection was requested, as were her two children. On September 9, the appellant informed the Court that it had been learned that the personnel who carried out the detention belonged to the Air Force, for which reason she requested that the Attorney’s Office of the Air Force be requested to provide information concerning the detention of her husband. After this had been under official consideration for a month, the Court of Appeals rejected the request for protection, in view of reports from the authorities indicating that the person for whom protection was requested was not under detention. On October 23, again requesting that a report be sought from the Intelligence Headquarters of the Air Force, she stated: “I have gone to Tres Alamos with the hope of finding him there, but instead of hope, I found more anguish there. There, other persons detained by the DIFA told me that they had been my husband in a place of the Chilean Air Force (FACH)—they did not know where, because they had been taken there blindfolded—and that he was in bad health. This was due to the blows he had received and which he could not stand at his age. On November 7, the Intelligence Headquarters of the Air Force reported to this Court that HE WAS DETAINED BY THIS HEADQUARTERS AND THAT HE HAD THEN COMMITTED SUICIDE, FACTS WHICH WERE BEING INVESTIGATED IN PROCEEDINGS ORDERED BY THE ATTORNEY OF THE AIR FORCE. In this report, so brief, so tragic for our family, not even the date of death was mentioned, nor the date on which he was detained, nor by order of what competent authority and with what authority to order such a measure, and, even more, there was not even an indication of the whereabouts of the body of the person for whom protection had been requested, nor what proceedings had been ordered by the Attorney of the Air Force.”
d) Death of Enriqueta Reyes Valerio. On Saturday, November 1, 1975, at about 10:30 p.m., Father Guillermo Halliden Howard, of Irish nationality, Regional Superior of the Congregation of San Columbano, foreigner’s identity document Nº 5.639.307-2 of Santiago, arrived at his residence at Larraín Gandarillas, Santiago. His residence is the seat of the Congregation of Santiago.
A half hour later, there came to his residence Dra. Sheila Cassidy, who lives near the intersection of Bilbao and Larraín Gandarillas, Santiago, for the purpose of visiting Sister Constancia Kelly, who was ill. A little later, Father Guillermo went to his office on the second floor, where the room of the ill person was also. Suddenly, he heard in the silence of the night a burst of machinegun fire and a horrible, prolonged scream. He thought that the house was being attacked by robbers. He went down to the ground floor and upon entering the living room, he saw on the floor his housekeeper, ENRIQUETA REYES VALERIO, 30 years old, separated from her husband, with 4 children, who gave her services to the Congregation. Around her there was much blood. The priest called the radio patrol, reporting the brutal incident. Then, a new burst of machinegun fire came from the front garden on Calle Larraín Gandarillas. They heard more bursts of machinegun fire. The priest went to the back of the house to a small interior patio, which is next to the house of Sr. Alberto Balart. Surprisingly, he found 3 civilians armed with machineguns who were trying to jump over the dividing wall.
Later, the civilians went up the stairway to the second floor and proceeded to search the rooms. They found the ill nun who was on her knees praying. They struck her with a kick and made her go downstairs with her hands in the air, at gunpoint.
The chief of the group called the ambulance to take the body of Sra. Enriqueta, who, according to Dra. Cassidy, still had a pulse. Subsequently, on going back to the living room, the priest saw three uniformed carabineros. Two were officers. He was very glad because he thought they were the ones he had called by telephone. The arrestors took away Dra. Cassidy and his employee after cutting the telephone line and the internal bell. A little before they went away, the ambulance had come to take the dying person. After the arrival of another priest, Father José Joyce, a patrol of carabineros came in response to the telephone request. The priest told the leader all details of the incident, and he showed them the marks of blood scattered on the floor and the empty shell cases of the projectiles that were scattered about the street. The officer insisted persistently that this action was not by the Carabineros and he took some of the empty shells with him, stating that they were not of the Carabineros.
The official report, given by the Information Headquarters of the Government in a public statement on November 4, stated that, in the “residence of the Columbano Fathers, Sheila Cassidy took refuge along with another unidentified individual when she learned that she was going to be detained.” “Upon arriving at the said place, personnel of the National Security Service were received by shots from pistols and AKA rifles, presumably by the doctora and her companion, gunfire which was returned by the functionaries.”
“Immediately after the shooting, the doctora was able to slip away and hide in a closet of the house, covering herself with clothing until she was discovered. Her companion was able to get away.”
“As a result of this confrontation, one of the men in the Service was wounded in the arm with a projectile from a caliber 765 pistol.”
“Likewise, the employee of the house was shot by a projectile from an AKA rifle, fired by the companion of doctora Cassidy, from the interior of the residence, when the victim was in the line of fire. Moments later, she died at the Central Post of the Public First Aid.”
“In the interior of the residence, there were found three empty shells of an AKA rifle and three from a caliber 765 pistol. Upon searching the residence of the Columbano Fathers, there were found in it only one nun, ill and in bed, and one priest of advanced age who remained on the second floor, in addition to the implicated persons and the victim of the confrontation.”
e) Death of Humberto Juan Carlos Menanteaux Aceituno and José Hernán Carrasco Vásquez
These persons were detained in December 1974, and for many months they were incommunicado in “Cuatro Alamos” and “Villa Grimaldi.”
The second fortnight of February, 1975, under detention in DINA [National Intelligence Headquarters], these persons made a public declaration by television to the entire country, along with Cristián Mallol Comandari and Hernán González Osorio (who were likewise under detention by DINA) in which “they called on the MIR to lay down its arms and end what they called a sterile and suicidal road of clandestine military opposition to the government of the Military Junta.” In that occasion, they summarized the losses of personnel by the MIR since September 11, 1973. A few days later, they gave a press conference which was transmitted to the entire country by National Television.
Toward the end of September, 1975, three of them were placed at liberty, by decree 1482 of September 3 of that year. There remained under detention only Mallol, who is at present in “Tres Alamos.” González Osorio was permitted to travel to Spain.
On November 19, Humberto Menanteaux was detained in his house in Maipú. The following day, José Hernán Carrasco was detained in the house of some friends on Avenida Egaña. Both detentions were carried out by members of the DINA, as was mentioned by the detained persons to other persons who were in the same places of detention. In the first case, members of the family of Menanteaux recognized agents of the DINA among the captors.
There was no news of them until one of the wives received a telephone call on November 25 which was attributed to the MIR. They said: “Of the 4 traitors, only 2 remain. The MIR.” The wives of the affected persons came to the Committee and signed a request for a recurso de amparo for their husbands, requesting protection for them. The said recurso was declared out of order and at present is in the Supreme Court. “On November 25, the said wives received a declaration from the DINA which, as in other occasions, was written with identification as though coming from the MIR, in which it was announced that justice had been administered to their husbands.”
In the Medical Legal Institute, according to the declaration of the relatives of the dead persons, at the time of claiming the bodies, that of Menanteaux lacked an arm and the teeth. That of Carrasco was half-devoured by animals and birds of the field. The funerals took place on December 12.
f) Death of Jaime Ignacio Ossa Galdames
Personal background information:
Date of birth: October 2, 1943
Identity certificate: 4.529.032 of Santiago
Domicile: Argentina 9156, Comuna la Cisterna
Civil status: Single
Profession: Professor of Spanish at the Catholic University and the Night Secondary Lyceum Juan Bosco
He was arrested in his domicile on October 20, 1975, between midnight and 12:30, by 5 persons who identified themselves orally as belonging to the Military Intelligence Service (among them a woman), all of whom had come to the house of Ossa an hour before. The arrest took place at the moment Ossa arrived at his house and it was in the presence of his parents.
The day following the arrest, a number of the family of Ossa talked with one of the persons who carried out the arrest, who identified himself as a member of the DINA. The first information that was obtained concerning the detained person was obtained by means of a recurso de amparo, with a report on October 27, 1975, from the Ministry of the Interior informing the Court of Appeals that Ignacio Sossa Galdames “was under detention in the Campamento 4 Alamos.” On December 1, they were told in the office of that agency, that there was no information whatever concerning the arrest of Ossa Galdames and that the report of the Ministry of the Interior had been declared null by order of that Ministry itself. In view of this, there was presented to the pertinent Criminal Court a criminal complaint and, before the Court of Appeals, a new request for a recurso de amparo.
On December 11, 1975, through the Medical Legal Institute, it was learned that, not having been claimed by members of his family, the body of Jaime Ignacio Sossa Galdames had been put in a common grave in the General Cemetery. The death certificate stated that the person affected had died on October 25, in the public thoroughfare, from an abdominal vertebral trauma.
g) Deaths of Alberto Gallardo, Roberto Gallardo, Catalina Gallardo and Mónica Pacheco and Luis Andrés Gangas Torres
On November 19, 1975, the Information Headquarters of the Government announced that a violent confrontation with shooting took place between members of the DINA and Investigations and 6 “extremists” who were dead in the Rinconada de Maipú. In one of its parts, the report stated: “With supplementary investigation, it has been possible to come to the following conclusions: the dead extremists are Mónica del Carmen Pacheco Sánchez, alias Miriam, belonging to the MIR, 26 years of age, teacher of Basic Education in School 457 of Quilicura, married to Roberto Gallardo Moreno, alias Juan, likewise of the MIR, who was killed in the shooting that took place in School Nº 51, last Monday. Catalina Esther Gallardo Moreno, likewise belonging to the MIR, 30 years of age, sister of Roberto Gallardo Moreno; Manuel Lautaro Reyes Garrido, also belonging to the MIR, Alberto Gallardo Pacheco, belonging to the proscribed Communist Party; Luis Andrés Gangas Torres, alias Jaime or Lucho Cárcamo, belonging to the MIR, trained in Moscow, and Pedro Blas Cortés Jeldes, belonging to the Communist Party, alias Marcos.” However, things were completely different, according to the explanation in the request for a recurso de amparo presented to the Court of Appeals of Santiago, on Thursday, November 20, on behalf of three of these victims, by a member of their immediate family. This recurso was entered on behalf of Alberto Recaredo Gallardo Pacheco, his daughter Catalina and his daughter-in-law Mónica del Carmen Pacheco.
In the request for the recurso, it was indicated that Catalina Gallardo, on Tuesday, November 18, at 11 o’clock in the morning, came to the house of one of her sisters, in anguish because of the disappearance of a brother of both, Roberto, who had not come home the preceding night. Catalina remained all day at the house of her sister and, at 7 in the evening, her sister-in-law, Mónica Pacheco arrived, three months pregnant, seriously worried about the fate of her husband since they had not heard anything from him. They both thought that he was implicated in a confrontation that had occurred the night of Monday, November 17, at the School Nº 51 in Calle Bío-Bío, Santiago.
At 10 o’clock at night, 6 individuals dressed in civilian clothes came, carrying machine-guns, and they took away the three women, with a child of 6 years, son of Catalina Gallardo, after requesting identification of the husbands of Catalina and Mónica Pacheco.
They were taken to the headquarters at General MacKenna, and at the main entrance they saw Alberto Gallardo, his wife, Ofelia Moreno, and their granddaughter, Viviana, 9 years of age, and their son Guillermo Gallardo.
When they entered the headquarters of Investigations, they were separated. Mónica remained on the first floor and the rest of the group were taken to the basement and remained in the hallway without being able to speak. The father, Alberto Gallardo, and his son Guillermo were interrogated separately. The father remained in a room and, subsequently, Catalina Gallardo and her sister-in-law, Mónica Pacheco, were separated from the group. They were interrogated approximately an hour and a half. They heard screams and the disturbance this caused to the personnel of investigations.
At 5 in the morning, the sister of Roberto Gallardo heard her father calling: she went out of the room where she was and she saw him alive.
At 8:45 in the morning of Wednesday, the 19th, the said person was left at liberty with his mother, his brother Guillermo and the two minors. Before that, he had been informed that his brother, Roberto Gallardo, had died in a confrontation on Monday night at School Nº 51, that his father and his sister had been delivered to the DINA, since they would know what to do with the detainees, and that his sister-in-law had been taken to another prefecture of investigations.
Separately, the mother of Luis Andrés Gangas Torres related, as follows, the incident that culminated in the assassination of her son. On Wednesday, November 19, at 3 in the morning, the following persons were detained in her house in Calle San Pablo 1955: Doña Ester Torres, mother of Luis Andrés, and her sons: Renato, Mauricio, and Francisco Javier Gangas Torres, 24, 18 and 20 years of age.
The persons who made the arrest did not exhibit any order and they forced open the lock on the door to the street. Having completed a search, they asked for Luis Andrés, who was not living with his mother. Then, they blindfolded the 4 persons, put them in a vehicle and took them to Villa Grimaldi. They separated the sons from the mother and began to interrogate them. She heard their screams and an individual who was guarding her threatened her with identical treatment if she would not tell them the whereabouts of her son.
She was confident that justice would give opportunity for the defense of Luis Andrés, if he was involved in some political matter, and, in view of the suffering of her sons, she decided to reveal to the DINA the place where her son, Luis Andrés, was.
The mother of Luis Andrés led the members of the DINA to the house of her father. There she saw that the block was surrounded by innumerable people and vehicles. They penetrated the house violently and arrested Luis Andrés.
Luis Andrés and his mother were put in an auto. On the way to Villa Grimaldi, the young man was questioned about his political militancy. He denied that he was a militant of the MIR and that he had borne arms. When they arrived at Villa Grimaldi, Luis Andrés was taken to a place apart. Ester Torres rejoined her three sons.
At approximately 4 in the morning, they arrived at Cuatro Alamos, and Luis Andrés was left in Villa Grimaldi.
h) Death of Oscar Arrow Yáñez
He was detained on Friday, September 26, at 4 o’clock in the afternoon at his place of work, ENACAR, Teaching Section, Concepción, where he was working as a lathe operator.
The supervisor of the Company informed his wife, Mary del Carmen Nurín Castro, that a carabinero came to “talk” with her husband. Upon leaving the plant, they put him in a white Fiat 125. A relative told her of the arrest and she went to her mother’s house. While she was on her way there, she was detained by the police. They put her in the vehicle in which her husband was, and they took both of them to their house, which was searched.
The following day, Arrow Yáñez was taken again to his house. They told his wife that they had brought him there so he could wash himself and change his clothes.
“My husband was emaciated, pale, talking incoherently, as though he were crazy and could not speak. I helped him wash, he could not do it by himself, and I saw his beaten body. I asked him why it was that way and he said they had hit him a lot.”
Arrow Yáñez was put in the auto again, he was able to say goodbye to his son, and that was the last time they saw him alive.
On Sunday, the 28th, he was found in the public thoroughfare, in a place called “Calero,” in Lota Alto, by a carabinero. He died as he was being taken to the hospital.
The death certificate issued by the Hospital stated that the cause of death was acute anemia brought about by bullet wounds and the bad treatment received. A relative visited him in the Medical Legal Institute and was prepared to present information to a court stating that the body was mutilated, the testicles inflamed, and that there was a perforation in the thorax and another in a wrist.
i) Andrés Nicanor Cortés Navarro
Personal background information:
Age: 17 years
Civil status: Single
Profession: Ironing worker
Andrés Nicanor Cortés Navarro was shot on September 19, 1975, at 2:30 in the morning, in the public thoroughfare by a uniformed man who got out of a private truck with two other men.
Cortés Navarro, was with two brothers, his sister-in-law and a nephew in a house that was authorized for Patriotic Festivals by the Mayoress of Santiago. They stayed there until one-thirty in the morning of the 19th, and at that time they left for home, which was 5 blocks from the place. They went by a place where alcoholic liquors are sold, to buy a demijohn, since they were going to stay up to see a tennis match that was being transmitted by television at 6 in the morning.
The place they entered was two blocks from their house. They left there, walked a block and a half, and it was two-thirty when they were stopped by a private truck driven by a member of the Chilean Army, in olive-green uniform, who was accompanied by two other uniformed members of the Army. These two carried machine guns. The chauffeur stopped them with filthy language and asked them for their identity cards.
The driver got out of the truck; his two companions got out, and they again asked for the documentation. The sister-in-law of Nicanor Cortés was frightened and ran to the house with her little boy; the house was about 100 meters away. Nicanor, seeing that they were going to fire at his sister-in-law, thrust himself in the way and cried at them not to do it. The uniformed man shot 4 times into Nicanor; twice in the chest and twice in the leg beside the testicles. The driver of the truck ordered them in a loud voice to finish him off. These cries were heard by neighbors who had been awakened by the pistol shots.
j) Death of Dagoberto Pérez Vargas
The national media reported on October 16 and 17, 1975, that, in a confrontation between members of the Intelligence Headquarters (DINA) and members of the Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MIR), which occurred in the night of Wednesday, October 15, in the property Santa Eugenia, the locality of Malloco of the Province of Santiago, a leader of that group in opposition to the government of the Military Junta, Dagoberto Pérez Vargas, had died.
According to information published in “El Mercurio” (17-10-75), “On Wednesday afternoon, members of the National Intelligence Headquarters [DINA] dressed in civilian clothes went to the main entrance of the property accompanied by two functionaries of the Carabineros from Padre Hurtado.” According to this same source, these agents knew that a cell of this movement existed in that place, and the DINA planned to carry out a search.
“As soon as,” reports “El Mercurio,” “the uniformed police arrived at the big wooden door of the property, a rain of bullets from a point 30 machine gun closed off the passage for the military personnel.” There was then an intense exchange of fire which increased when the DINA called in reinforcements. The leader, Dagoberto Pérez, who continued firing in order to cover the flight of his companions, fell mortally wounded. Another four persons, according to this source, had fled.
However, according to the version of a witness to the confrontation (who lived in the vicinity), which has not been sufficiently verified, Dagoberto Pérez Vargas had not died in the confrontation but had been seriously wounded and was in a state of semi-consciousness. In that condition, he had been taken to some unknown place to be interrogated and had then died. According to this source, Dagoberto Pérez was still able to move at the time he was taken from the place of the confrontation.
On October 22, the morning newspaper “Las Últimas Noticias,” reported that “until the late hours of yesterday (October 21), no one had claimed or identified the body” of Dagoberto Pérez Vargas. In the same news item, it was stated that “the background information obtained from sources close to the Legal Medical Institute indicate that Dagoberto Pérez arrived at that place in the morning of Friday (October 17), the day the autopsy was carried out, with numerous bullet holes in his body.
“Until yesterday,” “Las Últimas Noticias” continues, “the body appears as N.N. of masculine sex and no one has come to claim it or identify it.”
Contradicting this information, members of the family of Dagoberto Pérez Vargas went, for the first time, precisely on Friday, October 17, to the Medical Legal Institute where they were denied the body of that person. Surprisingly, then, these same members of the family were informed, in the same Medical Legal Institute, that the body of Dagoberto Pérez Vargas had been buried in common grave Nº 5588 or Nº 5589, in patio 26, of the General Cemetery of Santiago, the preceding Wednesday, December 10. The reason that was adduced was that “no one had come to claim or identify” his body, just as the facts are reported in the morning newspaper “Las Últimas Noticias.”
B. Persons detained and presumed to be dead
16. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in its first report, indicated that the number of cases of persons who had disappeared after their detention and whose whereabouts are unknown was very large. This constituted, certainly, one of the factors that caused the most disquiet and anguish in the Chilean family. With the passage of time and thanks to the measures adopted by the Government of Chile, by private organizations and by the High Commissioner for Refugees of the United Nations, the problem of disappeared persons has diminished numerically, but it has become more seriously qualitatively. The fate of the majority of the thousands of disappeared persons has been clarified and has been reduced to a figure that varies between 153 and 168 persons. The list has been stabilizing, even though from time to time some names are taken off and others are put on. That figure pertains to the category of persons who have been detained, have disappeared and are presumed to be dead, considering the length of time that has passed since their detention and other indications, related to the place of detention and the circumstances of the respective detentions, all efforts to determine their whereabouts having been exhausted.
17. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has received a large number of communications related to this category of detained persons, who have disappeared and are presumed to be dead, including voluminous news reports published in the Chilean and international press. In view of the impossibility of referring to all this material, in large part repetitive and frequently contradictory, the Commission prefers to take as a point of departure the information and the statistical data which have been consistently set forth in the requests for the designation of an Extraordinary Visiting Minister presented to the Supreme Court of Chile by Monsignor Fernando Ariztia Ruiz, Bishop of the Catholic Church and other representatives of various churches, the most recent of which is dated September 5, 1975.
18. The substantial parts of the allegations of the proposers of this designation, before the Supreme Court, are the following:
In any organized society such as ours, no one is above the law; we are all subject to the law. No one in such a society can consider himself the arbiter of the life of another person, nor carry out any act that even places in danger his security and integrity. If this, unfortunately, happens, it is the Courts of Justice that must intervene, investigating the facts and sanctioning those responsible, with the objective of avoiding the repetition of this conduct.
This has always been understood by the Supreme Court, which has been extremely vigilant over any fact or circumstance that places in danger human life or seriously perturbs the peace of the national community, [which has manifested its concern] by ordering an investigation of the facts or by expressing its disquiet to the Government leaders and warning them of the pernicious consequences.
The disappearance of persons who have been arrested in conformity with the standards of the state of siege, that is, when those persons are in the custody, and under the tutelage, control and vigilance of the State, is certainly a circumstance of this nature.
Therefore, we do not doubt but that the Court is going to order an investigation of this. However, in order that the dimensions of the requested investigation may not diminish its efficacy, we request that this be initiated and centered in a preferential manner on the situation of the 188 persons arrested and concerning whose whereabouts there has been no news, whose names appear in the list that is attached as an appendix to this petition, the circumstances of whose arrest are attested in the sworn declarations that accompany the list.
The inquiries to which allusion is made should, in addition, necessarily include the fate of the individuals listed in the weekly publication LEA of Buenos Aires, and the Daily O’DIA, of Curitiba, Brazil, which have been reprinted in the national press of Chile, between July 18 and 23 of this year, which names are also included in the list attached to this petition. (…)
The first newspaper to comment on these events was the Daily El Mercurio which, in its editorial of August 3, 1975, stated that “the subject is certainly one that cannot be overlooked, since it concerns the fate of more than a hundred Chileans, the members of whose families are suffering because of their disappearance…,’ adding, in the same article, that ‘the humane thing is to do everything possible to find the disappeared persons…” Subsequently, the magazine “MENSAJE,” in its Nº 241 of August, 1975, under the title “WHERE ARE THEY?” presented 4 disquieting questions: “Where are these 119 Chileans?; if they are dead, where are their bodies?; Could they all have been liberated and have crossed the frontier clandestinely under false names to be operating now under their true identity?; Could the members of their families have sworn falsely?” This goes on in the magazine “QUÉ PASA,” which, in its edition Nº 225, of August 14, 1975, asserts, under the suggestive or disquieting headline “Are 119 Chileans Missing?” that “the gist of the problem is that 119 Chileans are missing, that they are alleged to have been killed on foreign territory: but that the last trace of them was lost in Chile and some of them are asserted to be under detention here. Their identity as Miristas [members of the MIR] or extremists is a mere suspicion; even if they were, however, obviously, their rights as Chileans and as human beings would be the same. And, in short, a rapid reply to the anguish of their families is due.”
Important foreign newspapers reaffirm the disquiet that is expressed in the national press. We mention only “The Financial Times” of July 29, 1975, “Le Monde” of August 6, 7, 10 and 11, 1975, “The New York Times” of August 3, 1975, and the magazine TIME of August 18, 1975.
The Secretary of State to whom allusion has been made has given indications of this concern about the problem that has been presented, in ordering the personnel of the civilian police, according to a report in EL MERCURIO of August 5, 1975, to carry out an investigation “to determine the origin of the list of about a hundred Chileans, presumably affiliated with the MIR, who are said to have died in armed confrontations.”
Unfortunately, the Minister of the Interior himself, certainly without realizing it, gave a certain amount of authenticity to the reports in the Daily NOVO O’DIA of Curitiba, Brazil, and the magazine LEA, Buenos Aires, by citing the lists and reports published in them without significant analysis and questioning, in a letter which he sent to the members of families who were affected, a copy of which is attached hereto.
Undoubtedly, Honorable Court, the act which demonstrates most the public alarm which has been caused by the situation of the persons who have been arrested and have disappeared and who are said to be dead in foreign countries, is the speech made by the President of the Republic, General don Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, on August 20 of this year. On that occasion, speaking from the balcony of the Consistorial Building of San Bernardo, the Chief of State announced that he had “ordered an investigation of the news from abroad about the fate of 119 Chileans,” as was reported in the Daily EL MERCURIO of August 21 of this year. (…)
This Committee of Churches and religious communities, during the months from March to May of this year, at the request of the members of the families of the persons who had been arrested and had disappeared, decided to carry out a complete study of the state of affairs, which it has now been bringing up to date. The accounts and testimony presented by the affected members of families and analyzed, as well as the statements in the recursos de amparo that have been presented to the Court of Appeals of Santiago, in the denunciations and formal complaints entered in the various Criminal Courts; and consideration has been given to the extent to which they have been given official cognizance, to the official replies and reports, and to the letters that have been sent to members of families by the various governmental authorities and the International Red Cross, etc.
From all of this, the following can be inferred:
1. That practically all of the persons arrested, about whom there has been no news whatever, were arrested by civilian functionaries who did not identify themselves at the time of carrying out the arrests, even though they asserted that they were members of the National Intelligence Headquarters (DINA), and who were operating without being provided with an order issued by a competent authority, or at least without exhibiting such an order or intimating that they possessed it in legal form.
2. That a large number of these arrests were carried out in the house of the affected persons, during the hours of curfew, or in their places of work. In some instances, the functionaries carrying out the arrests remained for several days in the dwelling of the affected person, even keeping the entire family group under arrest.
3. That, during the first half of 1974, of a total of 1,436 persons that we register as having been arrested, 690 disappeared for a period, and 182 continue to have disappeared.
4. That, during the first half of 1974, the average length of time that the arrested persons disappeared was 57 days, 21 days during the second half of 1974, and 10 days, after the issuance of Decree-Laws 1008 and 1009.
5. That the total number of persons arrested during the period from January 1974 to June 1975, who continue to have disappeared, is 629.
6. That, on behalf of those persons, requests for recursos de amparo and petitions for ordinary justice have been presented, so that at present not less than 220 complaints and denunciations for presumed failure of justice, illegal arrest and sequestration are in process before the 11 Criminal Courts of First Instance of Santiago, the 4 of the Department of Pedro Aguirre Cerda, and those in San Bernardo, Talagante and Melipilla.
From the background information that is set forth, it was concluded that the problem of the persons who had been arrested and had disappeared was a collective problem which could not be resolved individually, case by case, but which would require a common investigation carried out by a Magistrate of the highest rank. As a result of the studies, a list was prepared of the persons arrested during 1974 and the first three months of 1975, about whom there had been no news whatever after the moment of their arrest, who had continued to have disappeared for not less than a month, and in whose cases the act of arrest is attested to by members of the families or by trustworthy third persons who were prepared to declare this under oath before a Notary Public.
This gave birth to the list of 163 persons who have been arrested and have disappeared, for whom a request was made on July 4, 1975, for the designation of a Visiting Minister who would devote himself to investigating this situation.
We have now brought this list up to date, using the same basic criteria that we have described, but extending the list to persons arrested during the first half of this year. The number on the list has now increased to 188 disappeared persons.
There exists, therefore, background information, documents, and statements of witnesses, which are sufficient with respect to 188 persons who have been arrested and have disappeared, to initiate and carry out a judicial-penal investigation.
19. For the purpose of clarifying the facts mentioned in the petition of September 5, 1975, to the Supreme Court of Chile, as well as in other communications and denunciations received by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, it was decided to request by note from the Ministers of Foreign Relations of Argentina and Brazil, the following information:
The General Assembly of the Organization of American States, in its last session, provided that this Commission must prepare a second report concerning the situation of human rights in the Republic of Chile, which would permit an evaluation of the changes that have occurred in this respect since August 1, 1974, the date of the completion of the observation in loco that we carried out in Chilean territory, and on the basis of which we prepared our previous report.
In the course of the work that has been carried out to comply with this mandate, the Commission has learned of the denunciations that have appeared in an Argentine magazine and in a Brazilian newspaper, according to which a total of approximately 119 Chilean citizens, after crossing the frontiers of their country, are said to have been killed, most of them in the Republic of Argentina, either in guerrilla battles with the public forces or, in some cases, in fights or confrontations among themselves.
The Commission has great reservations about the sources of these reports, since the Argentine magazine which is cited is “Lea”, year 1, Nº 1, with an indication that the editorial offices, on the date of appearance of this edition (July 15, 1975), was Calle Brandsen Nº 1845 (Buenos Aires). And the Brazilian newspaper, “O Novo Día,” of the city of Curitiba, with editorial offices on the date of appearance of this edition (June 25, 1975) at Praça Osorio, 1st Floor, Apartment 104, appears not to be published at regular intervals.
Nevertheless, Mr. Minister, in view of the seriousness of the acts that are denounced and the anguish which such news reports have caused to the families of those who are indicated as the presumed victims, this Commission considers that it has the duty of requesting the assistance of your illustrious Government in clarifying the case.
The persons who are indicated to have disappeared and who are presumed to be dead are:
Information from the weekly “LEA” of Buenos Aires:
1. ACUÑA REYES, René Roberto
2. AGUILERA PEÑALOZA, Arturo
3. ANDRONICO ANTEQUERA, Jorge
4. ARROYO PADILLA, David
5. ARÉVALOS MUÑOZ, Víctor
6. ALVARADO BORGEL, María Inés
7. BINFA CONTRERAS, Jacqueline del Carmen
8. BUENO CIFUENTES, Carmen
9. BUSTOS REYES, Sonia
10. CABEZAS QUIJADA, Antonio
11. CARRASCO DÍAZ, Mario
12. CONTRERAS GONZÁLEZ, Alejandro
13. CUBILLOS GALVEZ, Carlos
14. CHACÓN OLIVARES, Juan
15. CHAER VÁSQUEZ, Roberto
16. CHANFREAU OYARCE, Alfonso
17. DE CASTRO LÓPEZ, Bernardo
18. DOCKENDORFF NAVARRETE, Muriel
19. DOUILLY JURICH, Jacqueline
20. ELGUETA PINTO, Martín
21. ESPINOZA MÉNDEZ, Jorge
22. FLÓRES PÉREZ, Julio
23. FUENTES RIQUELME, Luis
24. GAETE FARÍAS, Gregorio
25. GARAY HERMOSILLA, Héctor
26. GALLARDO AGUIERO, Néstor
27. GAJARDO WOLF, Carlos
28. GONZÁLEZ INESTROZA, María Elena
29. IBARRA TOLEDO, Juan
30. JORQUERA ENCINA, Mauricio
31. LABRADOR URRITIA, Ramón
32. LAGOS HIDALGO, Sergio
33. LARA PETROVIC, Eduardo
34. LÓPEZ DÍAZ, Violeta
35. MACHUCA MUÑOZ, Zacarías
36. MUÑOZ ANDRADE, Leopoldo
37. MARTÍNEZ MEZA, Agustín
38. MIRANDA LOBOS, Eduardo
39. MORALES CHAPARRO, Edgardo
40. MONTECINOS ALFARO, Sergio
41. NEIRA MUÑOZ, Marta
42. ORTIZ MORAGA, Jorge
43. PALOMINOS BENÍTEZ, Vicente
44. PALOMINOS ROJAS, Luis Jaime
45. PEÑA SOLARI, Nilda
46. POBLETE CÓRDOVA, Pedro
47. QUIÑÓNEZ LEMBACH, Marcos
48. RADRIGAN PLAZA, Anselmo
49. REYES NAVARRETE, Sergio
50. REYES PIÑA, Daniel
51. SANDOVAL RODRÍGUEZ, Miguel
52. SILVA PERALTA, Claudio
53. SILVA ZALDÍVAR, Gerardo
54. TELLO GARRIDO, Teobaldo
55. URBINA CHAMORRO, Gilberto
56. SALINAS EYTEL, Marcelo
57. UGAS MORALES, Rodrigo
58. VILLAROEL GANGAS, Víctor
59. VILLALOBOS DÍAZ, Manuel
60. ZIEDA GÓMEZ, Eduardo
Information from the Daily “O’Novo Dia” of Brazil:
1. AEDO CARRASCO, Francisco
2. ACUÑA CASTILLO, Miguel
3. ARIAS VEGA, Alberto Wladimir
4. ANDRÓNICO ANTEQUERA, Juan Carlos
5. ANDREOLI BRAVO, María Angélica
6. ALARCÓN JARA, Eduardo
7. BUSTILLOS CERECEDA, María Teresa
8. BUZIO LORCA, Jaime Mauricio
9. BARRIAS ARANEDA, Arturo
10. BRAVO NÚÑEZ, Francisco Javier
11. CALDERÓN TAPIA, Mario Edgardo
12. CONTRERAS HERNÁNDEZ, Claudio
13. CASTRO SALVADORES, Cecilia Gabriela
14. CHÁVEZ LOBOS, Ismael Darío
15. CORTES JOO, Manuel
16. CID URRUTIA, Washington
17. DURÁN RIVAS, Luis Eduardo
18. D’ORIVAL BRICEÑO, Jorge Humberto
19. DE LA JARA GOYENECHE, Félix Santiago
20. ESPINOZA POZO, Modesto Segundo
21. ESPEJO GÓMEZ, Rodolfo Alejandro
22. ELTIT CONTRERAS, María Teresa
23. FIORASO CHAU, Albano Agustín
24. GUAJARDO ZAMORANO, Luis Julio
25. GONZÁLEZ PÉREZ, Rodolfo Valentín
26. GARCÍA VEGA, Alfredo Gabriel
27. GONZÁLEZ INESTROZA, Hernán Galo
28. HERRERA COFRE, Jorge Antonio
29. JARA CASTRO, José Hipólito
30. JOUI PETTERSON, María Isabel
31. LÓPEZ STEWART, María Cristina
32. LAZO LAZO, Ofelia de la Cruz
33. LLANCA ITURRA, Mónica
34. MOLINA MOGOLLONES, Juan René
35. MARINO MOLINA, Pedro Juan
36. MORENO GUENZALIDA, Germán
37. MARCHANT VILLASECA, Rodolfo
38. MARTÍNEZ HERNÁNDEZ; Eugenia
39. MATURANA PÉREZ, Juan Bautista
40. NÚÑEZ ESPINOZA, Ramón Osvaldo
41. OLIVARES GRAINDORGES, Jorge Alejandro
42. OLMOS GUZMÁN, Gary Nelson
43. PEÑA SOLARI, Mario Fernando
44. PIZARRO MENICONI, Isidro Miguel Angel
45. PÉREZ VARGAS, Carlos Fredy
46. PERELMAN IDE, Juan Carlos
47. RETAMALES BRICEÑO, Asrael Leonardo
48. REYES GONZÁLEZ, Agustín Eduardo
49. ROBOTHAM BRAVO, Jaime Eugenio
50. RÍOS VIDELA, Hugo Daniel
51. SALCEDO MORALES, Carlos Eladio
52. SALINAS ARGOMEDO, Ariel
53. SILVA CAMUS, Fernando
54. TORO ROMERO, Enrique
55. URIBE TAMBLAY, Bárbara
56. VAN JURICK ALTAMIRANO, Edwin
57. VILLAGRA ASTUDILLO, José Caupolicán
58. VÁSQUEZ SAEZ, Jaime
59. ZÚÑIGA TAPIA, Héctor
The Commission would most sincerely appreciate any information that your Illustrious Government may be able to provide, if possible before December 31, 1975, the date on which it should have together all the data for drafting its report, concerning [the newspaper O NOVO DIA and the weekly LEA] and whatever it may be possible to find out concerning the sources from which they obtained the information they published.
20. The Governments of Argentina and Brazil have not answered these requests for information.
C. Illegal Executions
21. Of the denunciations received by the Commission in this category, it has been found that seven meet the formal requirements, including the detailed information necessary for transmission in conformity with the special procedure prescribed in articles 53 to 57 of the Regulations of the Commission. This file comprises Case Nº 1874.
22. In a note of October 11, 1974, with reference to Case 1874, information was requested from the Government of Chile, and the pertinent parts of each denunciation were transcribed for the Government. These transcribed parts were as follows:
1. Miguel Salín Nash Sáez, 19 years old, recruit of the Grenadier Regiment Nº 1, Company B, with seat in Iquique. Discharged, it appears, on September 13, 1973, arrested and transferred to Pisagua. Marxist political affiliation. Killed on September 29, 1973, « for not complying with orders to ‘halt’ during flight which he was attempting with other detained persons,” according to a communication from General Carlos Forester, chief of the VI Division of the Army.
2. Luis Heriberto Contreras Escamilla, 43 years old, married, resident at Porto Alegre 5742, Población Brasilia, San Miguel, detained on November 10, 1973, in his domicile, by a uniformed agent of the Infantry School of San Bernardo. Shot on November 15, the body being taken from the Medical Legal Institute on November 16 by his wife, Eloísa Peñaloza, who alleges that the body showed the marks of beating and torture. The death certificate indicates that he died “in the public thoroughfare,” even though the daily “El Mercurio,” edition of November 14, reports that he was detained “for suspicious acts.”
3. Eugenio Ruiz Tagle Orrego, 26 years old, resident at Alcántara 944, Santiago, who presented himself voluntarily to the authorities when he was called, in the city of Antofagasta, on September 13, 1973, was tortured until he died. His mother, Mrs. Alicia V. Orrego de Ruiz Tagle, after receiving the body of her son, describes the signs of physical torture observed on it, and which caused his death on October 19, 1973, in the city of Antofagasta. This information was given to General Joaquín Lagos and other military authorities of the zona, and to the Under Secretary of the Interior, Enrique Montero, who was requested to give permission for exhuming the body “for the purpose of carrying out an autopsy which would show the form … in which he was assassinated.” This petition was read in the Council of the Cabinet of the Government of Chile on October 31, 1973. Mrs. Orrego herself adds that on October 30 she knew that the body of her son had “two bullet wounds,” which she reported by telephone to one of the Ministers of State.
4. Arsenio Poupín Oissel, lawyer, resident at Agustinas 715, office 210, Santiago: Under Secretary of Government up to September 11, 1973, detained in the Moneda Palace on that same day with Messrs. Eduardo Paredes, Jorge Klein, Claudio Jiménez, Enrique Huerta, Enrique París Roa, Alfonso Barrios and other high functionaries of the Government of Dr. Allende. It is alleged that al of them “were first taken to the headquarters of the Tacna Regiment of Santiago and subsequently to the Military Camp of Peldehue” and that they were executed there after being beaten. These reports have been given to the Commandant of the Tacna Regiment and the Commandant of the Military Camp at Peldehue. The Ministers of the Interior and Defense refuse to give any official information on this, and a request for a recurso de amparo presented on behalf of Mr. Poupín and the other persons named, before the College of Lawyers of Santiago and before the Honorable Court of Appeals of that city, on September 23, 1973, entered in the Court of Appeals with Nº 500 of May 24, 1974, without result. “Certain detained persons who were in the Headquarters of the Tacna Regiment saw all these individuals, but upon recovering their liberty they are not able to serve as witnesses for fear of reprisals.”
5. Freddy Marcelo Taberna Gallegos, resident at Calle Pedro Pablo Muñoz 520, La Serena, Santiago. Detained on September 16, 1973, in the city of Pisagua, Iquique. Taken to the Communications Regiment, subsequently transferred to the Iquique Jail and kept incommunicado until the holding of a Council of War in which he was not permitted to have a lawyer to defend his rights but only to have an interview with a lawyer the day before the Council of War was held. The sentence of the Council, confirmed by the Military Advocate, condemned Taberna to 10 years in prison, without appeal, and then on October 30, he was shot.
His wife was detained twice: first, on September 13, in trying to see her husband Freddy; after she was placed at liberty on September 17, she was again jailed on the 30th of that month, being taken this time to the “Buen Pastor” [House of Correction for Women], where she was notified on October 30—the very day on which the act occurred—of the shooting of her husband. She was kept in prison two days more, and then was placed under house arrest, being ordered to leave Iquique within a period of 48 hours.
6. Mario Silva Iriarte, lawyer, resident at Las Hualtatas 6159, Antofagasta; General Manager of the firm “Osorio Norte.” He was in Santiago on September 11, 1973, and traveled the same day to Antofagasta, where he rejoined his family composed of his wife and five minor children. When he arrived in that city, he was arrested and then shot “without any legal process and without any defense” on October 19, 1973, at 1:30 in the morning, according to the death certificate.
This act was reported to the Military Chief of the Headquarters of Antofagasta, Commander Campos. General Arellano Stark had the final decision.
7. Absalón Wegner Millar, physician-surgeon, was shot on December 13, 1973, “without substantiation of the charges and without legal process.” The place of the act is not mentioned.
23. One year having passed, that is, more than double the length of time indicated in Article 51 of the Regulations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Government of Chile has not provided any information whatever concerning these acts.
24. At its session carried out on October 24, 1973, the Commission considered it to be sufficiently proved “with the documentation that it had in its possession,” combined with the silence of the Government of Chile, that the citizens Michel Selín Nash Sáez, Luis Heriberto Contreras Escamilla, Eugenio Ruiz Tagle Orrego, Arsenio Poupín Olssel, Freddy Marcelo Taberna Gallegos, Mario Silva Iriarte and Absalón Wegner Millar, were executed by military or police authorities, without any trial, or after trials in which the requirements of due process had not been observed.
25. In the same resolution, in compliance with Article 57 of the Regulations, the Commission recommended to the Government of Chile that it carry out, with regard to the executions, the pertinent investigations or that it continue those investigations that it may have begun concerning the executions that were the subjects of the denunciations, fixing responsibility on those who may have violated the fundamental human rights of the executed persons and informing the Commission of the results of such investigations.
26. The text of the resolution was transmitted to the Government of Chile in a note of December 1, 1975.
The Chilean Government, in a note of March 3, 1976, made the following observations:
FREDDY MARCELO TABERNA GALLEGOS, was tried in case 4/74 that was conducted in the 6th Military Juzgado [Criminal Court] for the crime of “treason to the Motherland,” contemplated in Book III, Title II of the Military Code of Justice. In the trial, it was convincingly proved that he was guilty of being the author of a plan that had for its object the assassination of the members of the Armed Forces and the civilians who would prevent the country from being subjected to a totalitarian Marxist regime. The organization that was in charge of carrying out this plan was constituted as a paramilitary group, which had logistical support and a large quantity of arms and high-powered explosives. The trial was carried out in conformity with Title IV, Book II of the Military Code of Justice, which has been in effect since 1925. The guilty person was defended by a prestigious lawyer, Hugo Sotil. Voluminous documentary proof and testimony of witnesses were presented on behalf of the criminal.
The Auditor [Judge] of the Council of War was a distinguished magistrate of the Court of Appeals of Antofagasta, and the legal advisor was the judge of the First Criminal Court of Iquique.
The sentence imposed was the death sentence, which was carried out by shooting on October 30, 1973.
MIGUEL SELIN NASH SAEZ, was under detention at Pisagua in conformity with the Law of the State of Siege. He died on September 29, 1973, as a result of gunshots, when he was attempting to escape and did not obey the orders to halt which were given to him three times.
ARSENIO POUPÍN. The Chilean authorities have conducted repeated investigations without having found any information whatever to confirm the denunciation. Nor is there any indication that this person has been detained in Chile.
LUIS HERIBERTO CONTRERAS ESCANILLA, was found dead in the public thoroughfare on November 16, 1973. On the same date, an autopsy examination was carried out in the Medical Legal Institute. The circumstances and the authors of his death are unknown. The investigations carried out have not resulted in finding any information that confirms the denunciation.
MARIO SILVA IRIARTE, was tried by the First Criminal Military Court of Antofagasta. Registry Nº 349-73. He was tried for the following crimes:
A) Illicit association.
B) Placing in danger the external security and sovereignty of the State.
C) Misappropriation of public funds.
D) Frauds and illegal extortions.
His participation in these crimes was proved convincingly. In the trial, he confessed his participation as supporter, organizer and principal leader of a paramilitary organization in charge of carrying out acts of sabotage in industries. He gave orders to workers to destroy the gears of wheat-elevating machines, which caused a notable diminution in the production of flour. In his capacity as Manager of the Institute CORFO Norte, a financial institution with autonomous administration, it was proven that he misappropriated funds for political purposes, especially financing for groups of the Socialist Party. He exerted pressure on industries such as ENAMI, MADECO and INACESA, making use of his position, in order that they should contribute funds to the Socialist Party. Arms were seized from him, among them machineguns, the possession of which is prohibited by law. In the trial, which was carried out in conformity with the Code of Military Justice, in effect since 1925, he was condemned to death, which was carried out by shooting on October 19, 1973.
As Your Excellency can appreciate, the assertion in the denunciation that he was shot “without legal process and without any defense” is totally lacking in basis.
EUGENIO RUIZ TAGLE ORREGO, the same as Silva Iriarte, was tried as case 349-73, which was carried out in the First Criminal Military Court of Antofagasta. He was proved to be guilty of the crime of misappropriations of public funds. In his capacity as Manager of the National Cement Industry, he drew funds to acquire armaments for the Socialist Party and the Popular Action Movement. In addition, it was proved that he was responsible for the organization of a terrorist plan prepared for the days September 18 and 19, 1973, that contemplated the following measures:
A) Blocking the southern access to the city of Antofagasta.
B) Cutting off the drinking water supply for the population, by blowing up with explosives the tanks at Salar del Carmen.
C) Organizing student fronts and popular fronts.
D) Dynamiting the railway bridge at “Carrizo.”
As a result of his responsibility for these acts having been convincingly proven, the court imposed the death penalty which was carried out by shooting on October 19, 1973.
27. The tardy observations presented now by the Government of Chile are not of such a nature as to invalidate the conclusions drawn by the Commission from the silence of that illustrious Government and from the documentation which the Commission has in its possession, except in the case of Freddy Marcelo Taberna Gallegos, in reference to which the Government has provided sufficient information, in the judgment of the Commission, including the name of the attorney who acted in defense of the person executed.
28. To end this chapter, we wish to indicate that the Government of Chile informed the Commission of its intention of adopting legal measures to establish the responsibility of those persons who are accused of abuses and excesses of the power imputed to the military and police authorities, who are the subject of denunciations to this Commission or to the Chilean courts, in order that the authors of those crimes may be punished, but up to the present no report has been received concerning the adoption of any such measure.
Moreover, in the individual cases mentioned in this report, already definitively examined by the Commission, in which it is considered that the violations that are the subject of denunciations have been proved, and with respect to which recommendations have been made to the Government of Chile that it adopt the legal measures to establish responsibility for the acts and punish those responsible, the Government of Chile, up to the present, has not informed the Commission that it has taken any concrete measure to comply with the recommendations.
Finally, the facts related in this report reinforce the conviction of this Commission, already expressed in previous cases of serious and repeated violations of human rights that have occurred in other American countries, that the lack of, or delay in, investigations of such violations contributes decisively to incite the perpetration of new violations by the subordinate personnel in charge of maintaining public order and the defense of the internal security of the State, even though the carrying out of abuses and excesses may not be authorized by their hierarchical superiors.