RIGHT TO LIFE
American Declaration: Article I. Every human being has the right to life, liberty and the security of his person.
1. During the period covered by this report, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights examined alleged violations of the right to life in Chile that came from:
a) Denunciations received since March 13, 1976;
b) Denunciations received prior to that date, which were being processed and with regard to which the Commission reached a final decision subsequent to the Second Report.
2. Following the classification adopted for the Second Report, the denunciations in question will be analyzed under the following categories: A. Homicides imputed to the authorities by the claimants; 2. Arrests, disappearances and presumed deaths; and C. Illegal executions.
A. Homicides imputed to the authorities by the claimants
3. In mid-October 1976, the Commission received information from various sources on the death of Marta Lidia Ugarte Román (Case 2106) whose corpse was found on September 12, 1976, and whose murder the claimants impute to members of DINA. The pertinent parts of those denunciations were transmitted to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile in a note dated December 6, 1976.
4. Subsequently, a new denunciation was sent to the Commission that included an extensive account of these events, the most relevant parts of which are presented below:
Marta Lidia Ugarte Román, professor, dressmaker, member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party up to September 11, 1973, administrative head of the Board on Provisions and Prices (JAP) of DIRINCO up to September 11, 1973, was born in Santiago, on July 29, 1934.
Beginning on September 11, 1973, the security forces of the Military Junta mounted an extensive search for Marta Ugarte.
Because of this, Marta Ugarte, to protect her security, left her home and at the time of her arrest was living in Villa Catamarca calle 4 Nº 2195-D, in the company of an elderly woman who loved her very much.
On August 9, 1976, Marta Lidia Ugarte called her sister to tell her that she was going to the doctor, that she would leave home around 2:30 p.m. and would then call her to tell her the results of her visit to the doctor.
The following day her sister went to the residence of Marta Ugarte in a collective taxi. Near the house she saw Marta Lidia in a vehicle of the Investigations Unit. Marta was in the back seat between two men in civilian clothing; she had on her sunglasses and was dressed in her own clothing. Her sister thought that Marta had her eyes covered under the glasses because, despite the small distance between them, Marta did not recognize her and did not appear to see anything.
On August 10, after having seen Marta in the automobile of the Investigations Unit and after having spoken with the elderly woman with whom Marta lived, her sister began to make certain inquiries. Accompanied by another sister, they went to the homes of relatives and friends, clinics and hospitals. Having established that no one had seen her after she left her home on August 9, 1976, a recurso de amparo (rol 761-76) was filed in her name on August 16, and thus began a never-ending series of measures aimed at securing an acknowledgment of her arrest and place of detention.
The International Red Cross asked the National Secretariat of Detainees (SENDET) for information on Marta Ugarte. The President of the Supreme Court refused to receive the sisters, stating that the Intelligence Service had no one detained by that name.
The Government never acknowledged her arrest.
On September 1, 1976, news of the discovery of the corpse of an unknown woman, found by a fisherman on the beach at La Ballena, en Los Molles, appeared for the first time on the pages of the Santiago Press, especially in the newspaper Tercera de la Hora. According to the report, the woman was murdered, most likely by a gang of criminals. Presumably killed some days before being found, her body burnt, her arms and neck tied with wire, one arm and all her ribs broken, giving the impression that she had been thrown from a considerable height... the reports continued to appear during the following days. It was said that the woman's identity was already established, but that it would not be publicized, “so as not to obstruct the investigation.” It was suggested that this was surely a crime of passion and that the murderer would most likely be her husband or her lover. The publicity campaign ended on September 27 with publication of a clear photograph that made identification easy.
On the morning of September 23, at the Vicaría de la Solidaridad, the sisters were informed that the claim of kidnapping in the case of Marta Ugarte filed in the Court of San Miguel had been rejected, and the judge had declared himself “without authority”. On the afternoon of that same day the two sisters went to the Institute of Forensic Medicine where they were shown the corpse which had been brought from La Ligua. This was done on a hunch, as only the color of the hair coincided. They were received by the Legal Adviser, and explained to him why they were there. He asked them for a picture; then he had a lengthy discussion with the Director of the Institute. The two sisters were then received by the Director who asked them about their kinship with this individual. He then posed a number of questions with regard to Marta. With the photo in hand he told the sisters that the corpse that had been brought from La Ligua matched the photo. The Director told them that they had to have courage in order to see the corpse, as it was already in bad condition because of the number of days that had passed.
As part of its campaign, the press widely criticized the terrible lesions inflicted upon the body of the victim by alleged sexual maniacs. However, there is much more still, as the sisters verified when they recognized the martyred corpse of Marta Ugarte; her hands, small in life, were very large and had no fingernails; her feet were in the same condition. Her legs were practically detached at the groin; many parts of her skin showed signs of recent burns and punctures. They were able to view the left side of the corpse only; they were not allowed to view the other half. Part of her tongue was also missing.
The Director said that the identification by the dentist that attended her was correct. Despite the fact that the sisters and the dentist had identified her, it was not easy to get the authorities to agree to turn over the corpse.
On October 8 Marta Lidia Ugarte Román was buried in the General Cemetery of Santiago.
5. Through its Permanent Representative to the Organization, the Government of Chile replied as follows, in note Nº 159, of January 28, 1977:
Case Nº 2106
MARTA UGARTE ROMAN: At present Case Record 15027 of the Court of La Ligua is being drawn up. Because of the background information on her death, the Court of Appeals of Valparaíso appointed a Visiting Judge to try the case. At present the case is in the stage of summary proceedings and inquiries are being made to determine the cause of her death as well as those responsible for it.
6. The Commission notes that it has been five months since discovery of the corpse and the Chilean authorities have only reported that summary proceedings are underway and have provided neither the results of inquiries made to determine who is responsible for such a serious crime, nor the conclusion to which the Visiting Judge, appointed to try the case, must have reached.
7. On October 11, 1976, another denunciation to the same effect was received by the Commission as part of Case 2106, on the appearance and identification of the corpse of Orlando Boettinger. The claimants stated that the individual in question was arrested in January, but the authorities repeatedly denied that he had been detained.
8. The Commission requested the pertinent information and in note Nº 159, dated January 28, 1977, the Government replied that:
ORLANDO BOETTINGER: There is no record of the arrest of Orlando Boettinger in Chile; this does not exclude the possibility that he has left Chile illegally or is involved in clandestine activities in Chile.
The reply totally omits any reference to that part of the denunciation on “the appearance and identification of the corpse.”
9. In addition, at a meeting held on June 2, 1976, the Commission adopted the following resolution on Case Nº 1810:
1. Marcelo Montecinos N. denounced to the Commission the summary execution of his son Christian Montecinos Slaughter, 26 years of age, married, an employee of the International Monetary Fund, with Christian-Democratic leanings, who was on a visit to Chile. Also denounced were the execution of five other individuals: Julio Saar, dentist; Víctor Garretón, importer; Jorge Salas, student, 26 years old and his wife Beatriz Díaz, of Argentine nationality. The claimant states that “the victims were in no way connected with one another.”
2. According to the denunciation, the events took place at dawn on October 16, 1973; a military patrol from the Officer's School arrested Christian in his father's apartment in Santiago, in an operation in which the night watchman was held at gunpoint, the elevators were taken over, and the telephone cut. Five days later, during which time it was impossible to locate the individual detained, the son of the claimant and the other individuals mentioned were found in the morgue, having been machine-gunned to death. The police records stated: “Found at 5 a.m. at kilometer 12 of the Lo Prado Tunnel. (Unknown). Office of the Military Prosecutor.”
3. According to the claimant, some days after the discovery, an officer from the Armed Forces of Chile visited the Montecinos family to convey condolences on behalf of the Junta. An investigation had been mounted in the II Military Prosecutor's Office. The claimant adds that they assured him that the individual responsible had been summarily shot, but when he was called to testify he was surprised to find the official who supposedly commanded that patrol and whose name has been kept secret.
4. In concluding, the claimant recognizes the interest shown by General Leigh and the Intelligence Service in clarifying the events, but he assumes that other authorities are not cooperating, believing that the proceedings would be closed.
5. The IACHR decided to process the case according to Article 53 of its Regulations and in a note dated June 3, 1974, it requested information from the Government of Chile. On August 22, 1974, the Minister of Foreign Affairs replied that “given the complex nature of the denunciation formulated, I have taken immediate steps to obtain from the competent national authorities the information necessary to enable me to reply adequately to the Commission, as soon as such information is provided to me.” (Note Nº 14378).
6. This response was transmitted to the claimant, who in a letter dated September 3, 1974, makes reference to a denunciation filed by his wife, Lilian Slaughter de Montecino, and again requests that the Commission take into account the complaint presented by him to the IACHR with regard to the same events. In a letter dated September 11, 974, it was reported to the Commission that the claimant never stated that his name was not to be given to the Government of Chile.
7. In a note dated December 17, 1974, the IACHR pointed out to the Government of Chile that on December 5, the 180-day period provided for under Article 51 of the Regulations of the Commission for provision of the corresponding reports had elapsed; it also repeated its request that the information be sent.
8. The Minister of Foreign Affairs replied on December 19, 1974, to the effect that “the investigation continues, and to date it has not been concluded” (Note 171). Finally, in a note dated February 21, 1975, the Minister of Foreign Affairs informed the Commission that “...ever since the Government of Chile received the first denunciation, it has been engaged in an effort to clarify the events that gave rise to the denunciation. In effect, a regular Prosecutor's Office is responsible for the respective proceedings and has conducted innumerable inquiries. As the Commission will understand, this has been a lengthy and difficult task, because of the period during which the events are said to have taken place and the serious nature of the charges made. I received an extensive report from the Prosecutor, who told me that after all their investigation, both administrative and judicial, no concrete and definite conclusion has been reached as to how the events took place, much less the names of those individuals presumably guilty of the crimes. To date no State officials, either civil or military, appear to be involved. I wish to inform Your Excellency that the investigation continues and I will transmit immediately any news, as soon as it is available.
9. On August 6, 1975, the IACHR sent another note to the Government of Chile, repeating its request for information and “especially the results of any administrative and judicial inquiries as may have been made to clarify this matter;” it once again pointed out that the period of time provided for under Article 51 of the Regulations had elapsed so that the Commission was empowered to presume the events denounced to be true should the corresponding information not be provided.
10. Despite the fact that more than nine months have passed since August 6, 1975, the information requested by the Commission was not provided. Thus, the Government of Chile has had two years since the first note of June 3, 1974, more than adequate time to clarify responsibility for the deaths attributed to a military patrol, whose involvement has not been questioned.
11. The version contained in the denunciation was confirmed at the same time by press notices. Furthermore, the IACHR received information attesting to the fact that the soldiers responsible for the five arbitrary executions denounced have been tried and punished but that their identity is being kept secret for reasons of national security.
12. This information is in some way confirmed by the observations presented by the Government of Chile to the Second Report of the IACHR on the situation of human rights in that country. The statement made by the Government is as follows:
Moreover, and as an additional reaffirmation for the Commission, the Government wishes to report, at this headquarters, that the investigation referred to by the Commission have in fact been conducted in one of the cases. Since military personnel were involved, the competent authority was the appropriate military official and such investigations are being kept secret to avoid revealing publicly the identity of the security agents.
And it further states:
It is worthwhile emphasizing once again that the fact that the Government of Chile may not have indicated nor specified proceedings in this regard is not an indication that these did not take place.
The Commission can rest assured that each time an abuse of power has been denounced, the facts have been investigated and in those cases in which guilt has been proven, those responsible have been duly punished.
13. Article 9 bis, paragraph d of the Statute of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights provides that the Commission, prior to exercising its powers to examine communications on presumed violations of human rights and make recommendations to the Government in question, is to determine whether the proceedings and internal remedies were duly applied and exhausted.
14. In this specific case, the information provided by the Government on February 21, 1975 avers that the proper proceedings to verify the events denounced had been conducted, at least formally, and that from the information provided by the Prosecutor, to which the Minister of Foreign Affairs made reference, it seems there is no internal remedy remaining. It is fitting to point out that in similar cases that have occurred since September 11, 973, the families of the victims have resorted to the extreme remedy of requesting the visit of a Minister to ensure that the investigation into denunciations is complete, but the requests have been denied.
15. It is a generally recognized principle in international law that the requirement to exhaust the remedies provided for under internal jurisdiction before resorting to international jurisdiction is not applicable when it is impossible to do so or when evidence shows the absolute uselessness of resorting to such means to obtain satisfaction or such other measures to which the party may have a right.
16. The claimant stated the following in his communication to the IACHR speaking for himself, for his wife, and for the two children and the widow of Christian: “In denouncing these tragic events, it was my purpose to obtain at least moral reparation.”
I. To regard the events denounced as proven, based on the elements of conviction indicated above. These events are serious violations of the right to life, recognized in Article I of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.
II. To recommend to the Government of Chile that:
a) It conclude the proceedings necessary to establish, in accordance with its internal laws, the authorship of the murders denounced and sanction those responsible, in the event it has not done so.
b) It provide to the Commission, before February 1, 1977, an authenticated copy of decisions reached by the competent judicial organ or organs which took up the events denounced.
10. This resolution was sent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile in a note dated October 20, 1976, but to date the Commission has received no response whatever from the Government.
11. At its Sixth Regular Session, when considering the Second Report the General Assembly resolved:
2. To request the Government of Chile to continue giving the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights all cooperation necessary to carry out its work... (Resolution 243).
It is clear that in this case, the Government has not complied with that Resolution.
12. The Commission is processing 19 similar cases, in which other deaths are imputed to members of the police force and armed forces, as a result of an abuse of power and in which the Government, without denying these events, maintain that the action taken by the authorities was justified, but does not provide the elements necessary for the Commission to reach a decision on the substance of the denunciations.
13. The Commission hopes that the Government, bearing in mind Resolution 243 of the General Assembly, will soon provide the data necessary to clarify the actual circumstances of all these claims and, if necessary, punish those responsible for these serious violations.
B. Arrests, disappearances and presumed deaths
14. The Second Report describes the background information on this type of violation denounced to the Commission and the factors that the Commission took into consideration when it calculated that as of the beginning of 1976, the number of individuals to be included under this category was between 153 and 168.1 To be so qualified, the length of time elapsed since the arrest and other factors were taken into account, including the place and circumstances of the arrests in question, and one exhaustion of all means to determine the whereabouts of each individual.
15. The Commission received denunciations and communications in connection with this category during the period covered by this report.
16. The Commission continued its consideration of the individual cases involving complaints of violations in this area. By way of illustration, transcribed below are the resolutions adopted by the Commission on June 3, 1976, with regard to two cases of individuals who have disappeared and are presumed to be dead, and the responses received from the Government of Chile:
A. Case Nº 1958
Communications and claims received by this Commission on July 4, August 12, and October 10, 1975, denounced the arrest of a Chilean physician and congressman, Carlos Enrique Lorca Tobar, Secretary General of the Socialist Youth Movement of Chile, on June 25, 1975, at 130 Maule St., Santiago, Chile. He was arrested by DINA forces, together with Carolina Wiff Sepúlveda del Campo, in an operation that involved twelve automobiles; there are a number of eyewitnesses, six of whom signed statements before a notary public. He has been missing since the arrest. The denunciation adds that the Government of Chile refuses to acknowledge the event.
The denunciation also reports on the fruitless judicial proceedings held to determine the whereabouts of Mr. Lorca Tobar. The Ministry of the Interior reported that it had no individual under arrest by that name and DINA did not reply to the inquiries made by the Court of Appeals nor to those made by the Supreme Court.
On July 8, 1975, the Commission sent the Government of Chile the following cable: “We officially report the arrest of the physician and Congressman, Carlos Lorca, Secretary-General of the Socialist Youth Movement of Chile, on June 25 last. Government refuses to acknowledge the event. We request Commission's immediate intervention.”
On July 23, 1975, the Government of Chile was sent yet another cable, as follows: “Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has received the following denunciation: '...we reiterate the grave situation concerning deputy Carlos Lorca Tobar. We denounce arrest, disappearance and torture of the major national leaders of the Socialist Party... and we request that the Commission intercede before the Chilean Government in order to save their lives which are now in danger.'”
In October 1975, as the Government of Chile had not replied to either of the two previous cables, on October 14, 1975 the Commission transmitted to it a third cable as follows: “Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, now meeting in its thirty-sixth session, considered, among other cases, Nº 1958 regarding Carlos Lorca Tobar, ... and ..., with regard to which it had requested information from Your Excellency's Government by cables dated July 8 and 23 of this year. Because no information with regard to these cases has been received, the Commission decided to ask again the Government of Chile to send that information as soon as possible so that it might be considered during this session, which ends on October 24 of this month.”
The Government of Chile did not reply to any of the three cables requesting information. The last of these was sent on October 14, 1975. In other words, more than seven months ago.
In view of the foregoing the Commission,
1. To regard as proven the events denounced, that is, the individual named was arrested by agents of the Government of Chile on June 25, 1975, and that since that time nothing further has been heard of him.
2. To recommend to the Government of Chile that it adopt such measures as may be necessary to investigate those events, to determine the whereabouts of Dr. Lorca Tobar and to order his immediate freedom, punishing those responsible for these events, which constitute a serious violation of the right to personal freedom upheld in Article I of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man.
3. To request the Government of Chile to report to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the results or progress of that investigation before February 1, 1977.
4. To transmit the text of this resolution to the Government of Chile and to the claimants.
In a note dated January 27, 1977, the Government of Chile replied as follows:
Case Nº 1958: CARLOS ENRIQUE LORCA TOBAR: The investigations conducted to date as to the status of this individual indicate that he was not arrested by any security organization. Nor has any decision with regard to him been handed down from the Ministry of the Interior nor is one p ending.
B. Case Nº 1963
Communications dated July 21 and 24, 1975, denounced to this Commission the arrest, disappearance, and torture of the major leaders of the Socialist Party, Mr. Exequiel Ponce Vicencio and Ricardo Lagos Salinas, requesting that the Commission intervene to save their lives which were in danger; the claimants stated that they had no knowledge of their whereabouts.
On July 23, 1975, the Commission cabled the Government of Chile as follows: “Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has received the following denunciations: 'We denounce arrest, torture and the danger to life of labor leader Exequiel Ponce, leader of the Socialist Party in Chile, of Ricardo Lagos and... We denounce arrest, disappearance and torture of these national leaders and we request that the Commission intercede before the Government of Chile to save their lives, which are now in danger.'”
The Government of Chile had not replied to this cable by October 19, 1975, so the Commission sent a second cable on October 14, 1975, the pertinent part of which stated: “Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, now meeting in its thirty-sixth session considered, among other cases, Nº 1963, regarding Ezequiel Ponce, Ricardo Lagos ..., on which it sent cables to Your Excellency's Government on July 23 of this year requesting information. Since the information requested with regard to these cases has not been received, the Commission decided to request again that the Government of Chile transmit that information as soon as possible so that the Commission might consider it during this session, which ends on October 24, of this year.”
Neither of the two cables sent requesting information drew a response from the Government of Chile. The last of these was sent on October 14, 1975, that is, more than seven months ago.
In view of the foregoing the Commission,
1. In application of Article 51 of the Regulations, to presume that it is true that Ezequiel Ponce and Ricardo Lagos were arrested in mid-1975 by agents of the Government of Chile and that since that time nothing has been known of their whereabouts.
2. To recommend to the Government of Chile that it take such measures as may be necessary to investigate those events, to determine the whereabouts of the individuals in question and, if necessary, order their immediate freedom and arrange such measures as may be necessary to punish those responsible for these events, which if proven, would constitute a serious violation of the right to personal freedom provided for in Article I of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.
3. To request the Government of Chile to report to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the results or progress of the investigation before February 1, 1977.
4. To transmit the text of this resolution to the Government of Chile and to the claimants.
In a note dated January 26, 1977, the Government of Chile replied as follows:
In response to your note of October 20, 1976, on the personal situation of Ezequiel Ponce Vicencio and Ricardo Lagos Salinas, case 1963, I hereby inform Your Excellency that the pertinent national authorities have reported that there are no records in the country of the arrest of the individuals named; no decision affecting them has been handed down from the Ministry of the Interior, nor is there any decision pending; they have not been arrested by any Security Organization.
It should be pointed out that the military judicial authorities reported that the citizens in question have not been tried by those Courts.
At present the whereabouts of both individuals are not known, and it is presumed that Ricardo Ernesto Lagos Salinas, after leaving the country illegally, can now be found in Sweden, according to information provided by neighbors and former political leaders of the previous regime.
17. On numerous other occasions the Government of Chile states that, according to a report in the weekly newspaper Lea, the name of the individual specified by the claimant appears among the 119 extremists killed abroad in fights among themselves or in confrontations with the Security Forces of the Argentine Republic.
18. In a note dated January 26, 1977, the Government of Chile again reaffirmed the earlier observations, stating that:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in response to the misgivings expressed in the note of December 22 of last year, which request background information on the article that appeared in the Argentine magazine Lea according to which after entering Argentine territory, one hundred and nineteen (119) Chilean citizens had allegedly died in skirmishes; I hereby inform Your Excellency that the Government of Chile is not responsible for the innumerable reports on our country published each day abroad.
However, having consulted the pertinent national authorities and having made the appropriate inquiries, it has been possible to establish that the magazine Lea, of Buenos Aires, did indeed publish a list of Chilean leftist extremists who had allegedly been killed by their own companions or who had disappeared. This magazine published a single issue, specifically the issue that ran the item in question and has never been published again. The information is alleged to have come from Mexico, via Fonel (Fondo Editorial Latinoamericano), a news agency specializing in articles and reports on Marxist activities; this has made it impossible to continue the investigation.
The national authorities have no official record as to whether the individuals referred to in the publication in question left the country nor any information on the manner in which they are alleged to have done so, assuming that, if indeed they did leave, it was clandestinely.”
19. This position implies a failure to recognize the unambiguous information provided by the Government of Argentina to the Commission, the text of which the Commission transmitted to the Government of Chile through a note of December 22, 1976:
1. LEA is not a publication in circulation in the Republic of Argentina, and the only known issue of this magazine is “Year I, Number 1.”
2. As for the address of 1845 Brandsen, listed as the place where LEA is edited, that building has two floors and seven very small and modest apartments. Inquiries conducted by the Federal Police of Argentine refute any contention that this place had been used to edit the aforementioned magazine.
3. A review of the Argentine Federal Police files indicates that the one hundred nineteen individuals named on the list attached to the above-mentioned note are not on record, nor is there any background information available with regard to them.
4. The Argentine Federal Police also stated that it is inconceivable that an event of such magnitude could have taken place in the Republic without the competent organizations becoming aware of it.
20. On June 8, 1976, during the sixth regular session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, held in Santiago, Dr. Eugenio Velasco and four other lawyers in Chile representing the individuals detained or their relatives, presented to the Commission a” lengthy statement on the situation of human rights in Chile. They stated the following with regard to individuals who have disappeared:
An impressive amount of evidence and every type of legal proof are bases to believe that the number of individuals who were arrested by military patrols or teams from the DINA and who have subsequently disappeared, is increasing.
There are a number of indisputable cases of “violent death” imputable to no other type of enemy (as happened in the case of Lumi Videla); there are other cases in which the arrest took place before members of the family, and evidence from the period of arrests in secret houses, and so forth.
The whole world was moved when the news appeared in the Argentina and Brazilian press that 119 Chileans had died or had disappeared as a result of guerrilla encounters with the Armed Forces. This was a lie. What was in fact involved were young people who had earlier been arrested by Chilean authorities or by their representatives. The method of arrest was illegal and their families were never informed of their place of imprisonment. Requests made to account for their whereabouts were always refused. The “official investigation” conducted by the Ministry of the Interior relied solely on the report filed by DINA, in other words, on a report filed by those who were criminally responsible for an illegal arrest and morally responsible for the lives of those individuals. The problem with regard to the Chilean Government still exists today, in its entirety. Despite government promises, no explanation, no acknowledgments and no information from the investigations ordered have been forthcoming. Today, the number of disappearances is much higher. The Judiciary, represented by the Supreme Court, has refused to appoint a Visiting Judge to take up this and other denunciations of massive disappearances. There are now serious studies on the problem which will be presented to the Government for final clarification.
21. Of all the new data the Commission had available to continue its study of the question of disappearances, the most complete and best documented was undoubtedly the “Report on 384 cases of individuals who have disappeared – 1976”, prepared by the Vicaría de la Solidaridad of the Archdiocese of Santiago; the report has five volumes and close to one thousand pages.
22. The first four volumes of this report contain the background information provided to the Supreme Court, dated August 20, 1976, and the request that a Visiting Judge be appointed to investigate cases of disappearances.
23. Subsequently, the relatives of the individuals who had disappeared presented their case before that Court, but on October 13, 1976, the Court rejected their petition, handing down the following decision:
Having seen and bearing in mind:
1. That from the many pieces of background information in the various documents that have been compiled at the request of Mr. Cristián Precht Bañados, Episcopal Vicar of the Vicaría de la Solidaridad. In order to secure a decision from this Supreme Court ordering appointment of a Special Visiting Judge from the Court of Appeals of Santiago in a Criminal Courtroom in Santiago, to examine the various proceedings now being conducted in the criminal courts of Santiago and of the Departments of Presidente Aguirre Cerda and San Bernardo to investigate possible perpetration of crimes in the alleged disappearances of the individuals named on the lists provided for that purpose, alleged to have taken place subsequent to September 11, 1973, it is to be noted that contrary to the claim made in the request in question –and as repeated in the three presentations made by the relatives of those alleged to have disappeared—the investigations conducted and those still being conducted in the various higher criminal courts of Santiago and of the Departments of Presidente Aguirre Cerda and San Bernardo indicate zeal and diligence, and are being directly supervised by the Visiting Judges from the Court of Appeals of this capital.
2. That that same information indicates that of the individuals said to have disappeared, 38 have been found, are free and reside in their respective domiciles; five who have gone abroad have been located; 11 are under arrest by virtue of the State of Siege, three by other of the Military Courts, and three by order of the Regular Courts because common crimes were involved.
3. That the three lists of individuals who have disappeared which are attached to this information and which were presented by relatives of the alleged victims, include the Christian names and surnames of 313 individuals; 223 on the first list, 24 on the second and 66 on the third. It should be pointed out however, that the names of the individuals alleged to have disappeared are repeated on some of the lists, for the obvious purpose of increasing, fictitiously, the number of these disappearances. Although the same name usually appears as the relative-claimant alongside the repeated name, one can see at a glance the lack of correspondence between the signatures, as can be seen, for example, in the cases in which Teresa Eltit Contreras, Jorge Ojeda Jara, Juan Maturana Pérez en Washington Maturana Pérez are named as the individuals who have disappeared, and Teresa Contreras, Arsolia Jara and Hernán Maturana appear as the relative-claimant. Among the missing whose names are repeated on the various lists, noted in a superficial review, the following can be mentioned: Arturo Barría Araneda, Teresa Eltit Contreras, María Angélica Andreoli Bravo, Isidro Pizarro Miniconi, Alvaro Barrios Duque, Jorge Ojeda Jara, Juan Maturana Pérez, Washington Maturana Pérez, Carlos Salcedo Morales, Carlos Lazo Quintero, Julio F. Flores Pérez, Juan Carlos Rodríguez Araya, Ercilia or 'Gabriela C.' Castro Calvadores, Mauricio Jorquera Encina, René Acuña Reyes and Francisco Aedo Carrasco.
4. That in view of the foregoing, it is not considered necessary to appoint a Special Visiting Judge to take cognizance of the various proceedings currently underway in the various Criminal Courtrooms of the Departments of Santiago, Presidente Aguirre Cerda and San Bernardo, so long as the investigations are conducted in satisfactory fashion.
The request made by Mr. Cristián Precht Bañados on folio 1 is hereby declared inadmissible, as are the other petitions formulated to this same effect by countless other individuals who claim to be relatives of the alleged missing persons.
Agreed upon against the judgment of the President, Mr. Eyzaguirre and of Judges Ortíz, Retamal, Erbetta and Aburto, who were in favor of agreeing to the appointment of a Visiting Minister in such cases in which there may have been proceedings to investigate the presumed disappearance of individuals and in those which may have occurred this year, 1976.
Let it be so recorded and filed.
Written by Judge Bórquez.
Handed down by the Chairman, Mr. José M. Eyzaguirre E., and by the Judges Eduardo Ortíz S., Israel Bórquez M., Rafael Retamal L., Luis Maldonado B., Octavio Ramírez M., Víctor M. Rivas del C., Osvaldo Erbetta V., Emilio Ulloa M., Marcos Aburto O., Estanislao Zúñiga C., and Abraham Meersohn S. Since he was on leave of absence Mr. Zúñiga did not sign, although he concurred with the decision.
24. On October 16, the Vicaría de la Solidaridad requested that the Court reverse its decision, pointing out the “factual errors the decision involve.” Furthermore, it added 40 new cases of individuals who had disappeared between July and August 1976, leaving out eight names from the previous list of 383 individuals. The request for a reversal was rejected on October 22.
25. In its (original) decision of October 13, the Supreme Court stated that 11 of the individuals included on the lists of the missing were under arrest by virtue of the State of Siege, when all those arrested under those circumstances were free by virtue of a government decision dated November 17, 1976. The Vicaría then asked the Court to provide the names of the 11 individuals under arrest. The Secretary of the Court certified the 11 names, contending that none of them appeared on the list of missing persons turned over in the brief filed by the Vicaría.
26. With new background information at its disposal, the Vicaría de la Solidaridad requested for a second time, a reversal of the October 13 decision, insisting upon its request for appointment of a Visiting Judge to investigate the disappearance of the individuals who have been singled out.
27. Presented below is the list provided by the Vicaría naming those individuals who disappeared in July and August 1976 and whose whereabouts were unknown as of December 2:
1. CANTEROS PRADO, EDUARDO
49 years old
Canteros Prado was arrested in front of his house by a number of individuals in civilian clothing who were travelling in a blue car, into which Canteros was forcibly placed; witnesses to this event were his wife, María Enelfa Gormaz Vera and Jorge Antonio Muñoz Muñoz; his niece, Clara Canteros Torres, has been missing since that same date.
2. CANTEROS TORRES, CLARA ELENA
22 years old
This individual disappeared on the street; on that same date, and uncle of Clara Elena, Eduardo Canteros Prado, was also arrested in front of his home by individuals in civilian clothing. He is also still missing.
3. GALVEZ RIVADENEIRA, GUILLERMO
49 years old
Gálvez Rivadeneira disappeared on a street, on the route between the Círculo de Periodistas and his home.
4. GIANELLY COMPANY, JUAN ANTONIO
30 years old
Gianelly Company disappeared on a public street; that same day three individuals who did not identify themselves went to the school where he taught, Girls' School Nº 24 of Santiago, and demanded that the principal give them the private address of Gianelly Company.
5. LÓPEZ SUÁREZ, NICOLÁS ALBERTO
41 years old
López Suárez was arrested on the street by two individuals in civilian clothing; the events were witnessed by a nephew of López Suárez.
6. MARTÍNEZ QUIJON, GUILLERMO ALBINO
66 years old
Martínez Quijon was arrested in the early-morning hours in his home at Roberto Espinoza 975, house 12, by five agents in civilian clothing, dressed in white shirts. His wife was tied by the feet and hands to the bed and blindfolded.
7. MIRANDA GODOY, DARÍO FRANCISCO
23 years old
On the specified date, Miranda Godoy disappeared along with Jorge Solovera Gallardo, who is also missing, on the way from the Federación del Metal local to the Servicios Culturales Puelche local.
8. MONTOYA VILCHES, RAÚL JILBERTO
43 years old
Montoya Vilches was arrested by individuals in civilian clothing, three men and a woman driving a blue Peugeot, while, having left his house, he was on his way to catch the bus.
9. MORAGA GARCÉS, JUAN HÉCTOR
31 years old
Moraga Garcés disappeared on the street; the next day his wife went to the Police Station at Población Roosevelt, Pudahuel Commune, where she was told that Moraga Garcés was arrested for drunkenness the night of July 22, and then taken to the Drunk and Disorderly Section located on Ave. Pedro Montt, in front of the Santiago Prison; going there, his wife was told that no one by that name had entered there.
10. QUIÑONES IBACETA, JUAN LUIS
31 years old
Quiñones Ibaceta was arrested by individuals in civilian clothing, on calle Balmaceda, between Manuel Rodríguez bridge and Bulnes bridge.
11. RODRÍGUEZ URZUA, ALEJANDRO
49 years old
Rodríguez Urzua disappeared en route from his office to another, to which he was going for work reasons. He went in a 1970 light blue Chevrolet, license number DY-821 of Las Condes, which has not been located. His office was searched.
12. SOLOVERA GALLARDO, JORGE
28 years old
On the above date, Solovera Gallardo disappeared together with Darío Francisco Miranda Godoy, who is also missing, while en route from the Federación del Metal local to the Servicios Culturales Puelche local.
13. TOLOSA VÁSQUEZ, JOSÉ VICENTE
31 years old
This individual disappeared on the street.
14. TURIEL PALOMERA, MARIANO LEÓN
29 years old
This individual disappeared on the street; he had been detained previously on October 21, 1975, by virtue of the state of siege, and released on December 23 of that year; on that occasion he was arrested under similar circumstances and was missing for a number of days.
1. SANTANDER MIRANDA, JOSÉ EDUARDO
29 years old
C. de I. 6.341.971, Santiago.
Santander Miranda was arrested near his home by individuals in civilian clothing; he was put into a light blue, late-model Chevrolet, no license plate. The arrest was witnessed by his sister Lidia, Mrs. María Toledo Quezada and Mrs. Sonia Carroza Silva.
2. JERIA SILVA, ENRIQUE
30 years old
3. GODOY LAGARRIGUE, CARLOS ENRIQUE
39 years old
C. de I. 200.576, San Bernardo
4. INSUNZA BASCUÑAN, IVÁN
43 years old
Writ of Amparo record Nº 706-76 shows that the Director of DINA phoned the President of the Supreme Court, to tell him that he had information on Dr. Insunza; the day he disappeared he was driving his car, a Renault, license number OE-76 of Santiago, which has not been located to date.
5. MORALES MORALES, ROSA ELENA
46 years old
C. de I. 3.224.233, Santiago
While traveling with a friend in a taxi, the taxi was stopped by a red car at the intersection of Lord Cochrane and Avda. Matta; individuals dressed in civilian clothing emerged and pulled both women from the cab and put them in their car; the friend was released some hours later.
6. VIVANCHO HERRERA, NICOLÁS HUGO
30 years old
His parents, Alicia Herrera Benítez and Hugo Vivancho Vega, disappeared on August 4, 1976 and were still missing as of August 5, 1976; Vivancho Herrera had filed a writ of amparo in the same of his parents before the Court of Appeals of Santiago (record 699-76); his uncle, Oscar Ramos Garnido, and his cousin, Oscar Ramos Vivanco, were detained on August 5, 1976, and are also still missing.
7. HERRERA BENÍTEZ, ALICIA
45 years old
Her husband, Hugo Vivanco, disappeared the same day; their son, Nicolás Hugo, disappeared on August 10, 1976; both are now missing.
8. VIVANCO VEGA, HUGO ERNESTO
30 years old
His wife, Alicia Herrera Benítez disappeared that same day; his son, Nicolás Hugo, disappeared on August 10, 1976; both are still missing. Her brother-in-law, Oscar Ramos Garrido, and her nephew, Oscar Ramos Vivanco, were arrested on August 5, 1976, and are also still missing.
9. VIZCARRA COFRE, CARLOS MARIO
31 years old
C. de I. 4.665.693 of Santiago
On September 7, 1976, his home was searched by five agents in civilian clothing, carrying machine guns.
10. VILLARROEL SARATE, JUAN AURELIO
55 years old
11. VEGA VEGA, JULIO ROBERTO
61 years old
C. de I. 1.252.460, Santiago
This individual was arrested on the street by individuals in civilian clothing, who put him in a car.
12. SALGADO SALINAS, JORGE
43 years old
C. de I. 112.365, Quillota
13. FLORES GARRIDO, JOSÉ EDILIO
28 years old
Flores Garrido was detained at the intersection of Pirihueico and Club Hípico by individuals dressed in civilian clothing, who were driving a Peugeot, license plate FM-1 of Santiago and a Renault, license number ME-81 of Santiago. Mr. Esteban Munizaga was a witness to the arrest.
14. CORVALÁN VALENCIA, JOSÉ ENRIQUE
46 years old
This individual was arrested at the home of a friend, Mr. Alfredo Sánchez, at calle Ayacara Nº 8523, Población San Ramón, La Granja; Mr. Sánchez was also detained at that time and taken to Cuatro Álamos Camp, where he was released the following day. He stated that Corvalán Valencia was with him at Cuatro Álamos.
15. CASTILLO TAPIA, GABRIEL
33 years old
16. ATENCIO CORTÉS, VICENTE
47 years old
17. RAMOS VIVANCO, OSCAR ANTONIO
24 years old
Ramos Vivanco was arrested with his father, Oscar Ramos Garrido, also missing, at his home and in the presence of his family; the agents who made the arrest were dressed in civilian clothing; they searched the home, and took Ramos Vivanco and his father away in handcuffs, in a Peugeot. His brother-in-law, Hugo Vivanco Vega, and Vivanco Vega's wife, Alicia Herrera Benítez, disappeared on August 4, 1976; his cousin, Nicolás Vivanco Herrera, disappeared on August 10, 1976; all of them are still missing.
18. RAMOS GARRIDO, OSCAR ORLANDO
60 years old
Ramos Garrido was arrested with his son, Oscar Ramos Vivanco, who is also missing, at his home and in the presence of his family; the agents who made the arrest were dressed in civilian clothing; they searched the home and took them away in handcuffs; they were driving a Peugeot. His brother-in-law, Hugo Vivanco Vega, and the latter's wife, Alicia Herrera Benítez, disappeared on August 4, 1976; his nephew, Nicolás Vivanco Herrera, disappeared on August 10, 1976; all of them are still missing.
19. NAZAL QUIROZ, MIGUEL
45 years old
21. MAUREIRA VÁSQUEZ, MARIO OSVALDO
23 years old
Maureira Vásquez was arrested on a street by an off-duty Carabinero in the presence of Santiago Edmundo Araya Cabrera and Juan Carrasco Castro; some days before he had taken part in a frustrated attempt at mass asylum in the site of the former embassy of Hungary, during which he was arrested and then set free.
22. JUICA VEGA, MARIO JESÚS
34 years old
23. HERNÁNDEZ CONCHA, EDUARDO ENRIQUE
28 years old
This individual was arrested in San Bernardo and according to information from the family, taken to Carabineros Commissariat Nº 6 in that area, where he stayed for six days; on August 27, 1976, his brother Manuel was arrested in that same city by Carabineros from the same Commissariat, who later set him free, explaining that it had been a mistake.
24. SILVA BUSTOS, PEDRO EDUARDO
40 years old
C. de I. 3.809.582, Santiago
On August 16, 1976, his home was searched by agents dressed in civilian clothing who were driving a vehicle without a license plate.
25. CÁRDENAS VALDERRAMA, VÍCTOR MODESTO
52 years old
26. VARGAS LEIVA, MANUEL DE LA CRUZ
54 years old
C. de I. 1.169.190 Santiago
His son, Manuel Vargas Manzur, had been arrested by DINA on a number of previous occasions, for questioning on his father's whereabouts.
28. Shortly before approving this report, the Commission received the following information:
At the last full Court of Judges in 1976, held on January 31, 1977, the Supreme Court heard a request that a Visiting Judge be appointed to investigate the cases of 13 individuals alleged to have disappeared, after having been detained between last December 9 and 15.
That it declares admissible the request that the Court of Appeals appoint a Visiting Judge to look into the proceedings being conducted in connection with persons alleged to be missing or alleged injuries.
29. However, a cable received by the Commission on February 8 of this year reported that:
In case 2-77 initiated on January 31, 1977, by order of the Supreme Court of Justice at the request of the relatives in order to investigate the disappearance of Santiago Araya Cabrera and others, on February 7, 1977 the acting Special Visiting Judge, Mr. Aldo Guastavino, declared the investigation complete and the proceedings closed in view of the fact that the Acting Minister of the Interior reported that the individuals in question had fled the country through the Paso los Libertadores Argentina (formerly known as Paso de los Caracoles).
C. Illegal executions
30. In its Second Report the Commission dealt under this category with denunciations of “summary executions” and other violations of the right to life, alleged to have occurred between September and December 1973. These allegations involve application of the death penalty without allowing the prisoners to exercise the right to due process and, in some cases, retroactive application of laws enacted after September 11, 973.
31. In its replies on the individual cases and in its comments on the Second Report of the Commission, the Government of Chile denied events, but did not provide information and documents sufficient to arrive at a well-founded judgment with regard to these serious complaints. In only one case did the Chilean authorities specify the name of the lawyer who served as defense attorney.
32. During the on-site observation conducted in Chile, the Commission examined only one trial in which the death penalty was handed down, because it could not obtain the files on the individual cases mentioned above.
33. For this reason, in a resolution of October 24, 1975, the Commission recommended to the Government of Chile that “it conduct the proper investigations or continue such investigations as it may have initiated in connection with the executions denounced, holding responsible those who have violated the basic rights of those executed and informing the Commission of the results of said investigations.”
34. For his part, one of the claimants, on taking cognizance of the observations made by the Government of Chile with regard to the death by firing squad of Mario Silva Iriarte, repeated his denunciation to the Commission, in a communication dated June 10, 1976, in the following words:
We are prepared to prove that Mario Silva was never tried nor found guilty of any crime, much less condemned by a competent court as the military government contends in its denials of this charge.
We again denounce that Mario Silva was murdered without trial, and without having been found guilty of any crime.
Mario Silva was not in Antofagasta on the day of the military coup and on being informed that he was being summoned by an edict in that city, went to Antofagasta and turned himself over to the authorities voluntarily, refusing the asylum offered him by the Embassy of Mexico, as he had no reason whatever to go into hiding or to try to escape.
We therefore request that the evidence we are prepared to provide to substantiate the truth of our claim be taken into consideration, and to establish that the Government of Chile has falsified the facts in its response to this accusation.
35. The Commission hopes that Resolution 243 cited above, in which the General Assembly asked the Government of Chile to continue to give to the IACHR “all cooperation necessary to carry out its work,” will result in transmittal of the information and documentation requested by the Commission. More than one year and a half has elapsed since the Commission's resolution of October 24, 1975, and the IACHR has still not received the cooperation requested of the Chilean Government.
36. In summary, the conclusion reached is that during the period covered by this report:
a. The number of claims of homicides imputed to the authorities declined, but the Government of Chile did not provide the Commission the cooperation necessary to enable it to make a judgment as to the responsibility for the deaths denounced, which the claimants impute to authorities of that country;
b. When compared with the periods covered by the previous reports, the number of denunciations with regard to individuals arrested, missing and presumed dead also decreased; but as of the beginning of this year, reliable data indicate that with the earlier disappearances, the news faces of disappearances and the alterations made to the list of missing persons, the number of individuals who have disappeared was at that point 415;
c. In response to the observations made by the Government of Chile on the Second Report of the Commission on alleged illegal executions, one claimant repeated his denunciations; however, the Government of Chile has continued to refuse to allow the Commission to view those parts of proceedings involving application of the death penalty, in those cases cited as illegal. Knowledge of these parts is indispensable to formulate a judgment on the denunciations in question.
1 See our Second Report, pp. 68-81.