doc. 21 corr.1
25 October 1974
Original: Spanish


Findings of “on the spot” Observations in
the Republic of Chile
July 22 – August 2, 1974

E.       “El Buen Pastor” Detention Center


          27.          In the afternoon of July 26, Ambassador Woodward and Dr. Reque visited the Buen Pastor House of Correction. This is a jail located in a suburb far from downtown Santiago, in the neighborhood of San Bernardo. The establishment is under the supervision of nuns. Conditions in the dormitories appear to be good; there is a television set; the environment is tranquil. There are 38 prisoners; they were in the open air, many of them knitting small garments with wool they received free from the Red Cross. They said that they earned a little money from the sale of the garments; they also made clothing for themselves. They complained of the shortage of wool. The Tres Álamos Prison is nearby. There was clear indication of fear regarding the possibility of being transferred to that jail, which has a very bad reputation.


          28.          Since the Commission had received denunciations mentioning the Buen Pastor House of Correction, Mr. Woodward and Dr. Reque began the visit by asking that they be permitted to interview the prisoners individually.


          The Mother Superior reported that there were 38 prisoners, 37 of whom were imprisoned for political crimes. Of the 37, five had been sentenced and 32 were being prosecuted. There was no obstacle to speaking directly with the prisoners. In a large room, Ambassador Woodward and Dr. Reque spoke to the prisoners to explain to them the purpose of the visit. Later, using as reference the lists the Commission had of the persons detained, they were interviewed in private.


          29.          Ambassador Woodward interrogated the following prisoners:


          Nº 1    Arrested early in October 1973; interrogated at the Stadium and sent to “Buen Pastor” late in October. No specific charge brought against her, but the military prosecutor who interviewed her two months ago informed her that air force intelligence had a file on her anti-patriotic ideas, expressed in a book written several years ago by her.


                   The prisoner stated that she had written in that book what she believed was the truth regarding a number of aspects of Chilean history.


          Nº 2    Was arrested in mid-March 1973, when the authorities raided her apartment looking for weapons. The prisoner stated that she had never taken part in any acts of violence or in the preparation of acts of violence. Was tortured at the air force headquarters, where she was kept blindfolded for two months and a half and received concentrated electric shock on three occasions, all over her body. This caused injuries, such as a hernia in her back.


          Nº 3    Was arrested in late September because of her political ideas. Was interrogated and tortured up to late October, before being sent to Buen Pastor. Was beaten but did not receive electric shocks. Was not visited by the military prosecutor until early February 1974. States that there are no specific charges against her. Has so far not been permitted to have a lawyer.


          Nº 4    Was arrested early October 1973. Was tortured and interrogated at the Stadium and sent to Buen Pastor early in November 1973. Still does not know of any charge against her.


          Nº 5    Was arrested in September 1973 and accused of having acted as a spy or as an intelligence agent for air force matters. Said that she had not taken part in any political activity. Was tortured an entire night with beatings and electric shocks in the Chilean air force headquarters and sent to Buen Pastor late in October, 1973. Still no specific charges against her and was  not visited by the military prosecutor until July 1974.


          Nº 6    Arrested in late June 1974. Was severely beaten and subjected to electric shock during five days of interrogation at the Investigation Department of the Civil Police and sent to Buen Pastor, where she had been in bed until a few days previously. Mr. Woodward asked to speak to her when he saw her walking very slowly with the help of two young prisoners. She said that she had never had anything to do with violence nor with preparations for violence. They raided her house looking for weapons, but found none.


          Nº 7    Arrested September 1973. Never took part in political activities. Does not know charges against her, although she appeared before a “War Council”, when she saw for the first and last time the attorney appointed to defend her. Was sentenced to 20 years in prison.


          Nº 8    Does not know the charges against her. Said that she never took part in political activities. Was sentenced to 400 days.


          Nº 9    Was arrested in San Antonio in September 1973, accused of having weapons in her apartment. Her apartment was raided and thoroughly searched, but no weapons were found. By beatings and electric shock, her captors made her say what they wanted. That was how she had falsely stated that she had had a weapon. Was sentenced to three years.


          Nº 10  Said that she was sentenced to 15 years for having taken part with her husband in a meeting with a group of farmers after September 11. Said that they are all uneducated, that they cannot read the newspapers, and that they rarely listen to the radio. They did not know that a meeting with some neighbors could result in arrest and punishment. Her husband is in jail in Santiago. They were accused of possessing weapons, but she says that they did not have any.


          30.          The following persons were interviewed by the Executive Secretary:


          Nº 1    Was arrested in September 1973 and taken to the National Stadium. Was transferred in November to Buen Pastor. Said that proceedings had been initiated against her for having lent her house during 1971 and 1972 for political education. Said that she did not have a lawyer, and that the prosecutor did not permit her to have one. Was subjected to torture, regarding which she did not want to give details for fear of reprisal.


          Nº 2    Was arrested in November for having permitted a person to take lodging in her house a few days immediately after the events of September. Was subjected to torture in the Buin regiment, where she was held incommunicado for 40 days. Se was deaf as a result of the electric shock that had been applied to her ears. Said that she had no medical attention. Requested that the Commission take steps to expedite proceedings against her.


          Nº 3    Was arrested in September for having permitted another person to take lodging in her house. Was transferred to the National Stadium where she was tortured. Stated that the person lodging in her house was a young woman who was killed by police forces. Was transferred to Buen Pastor in October, 1973. Her children have been left abandoned. She requested that steps be taken to expedite her case.


          Nº 4    Was arrested early April 1974. Was taken to the Air Force War Academy. Was raped, tortured with electric shock, and as a consequence, the doctor requested that she be committed to a psychiatric clinic. She is accused of belonging to the left. Stated that she has no right of defense until the prosecutor authorizes her to have counsel. Stated that her parents had died and that she is responsible for several siblings. She asks that her case be expedited.


          Nº 5    Was arrested November 1973 and taken to the National Stadium. Was accused of bearing arms. Says that the War Council had sentenced her to 241 days in prison, and expects that she will be released August 3.


          Nº 6    Was arrested in early October and taken to a Chilean Air Force installation where she was tortured. Has gynecological problems, for which she requires medical attention. She stated that she has a lawyer, but does not know what she is accused of.


          Nº 7    Arrested in October 1973 and taken to the Investigation Section and then to the National Stadium. Stated that reprisals were taken in the Stadium against persons who talked to the Commission's Executive Secretary during his visit in October last year. Requests that steps be taken to expedite her case. No charge of any kind has been brought against her. She was tortured in Investigations, where she was disrobed, subjected to electric shock, and made to witness the torture of other prisoners.


          Nº 8    Was arrested in October 1973 and tortured in the Police Investigations Room. Was transferred to the National Stadium and later went to Buen Pastor. No charges were brought against her. Her husband, who has also been arrested, lost an eye as a result of torture.


          Nº 9    Was arrested in November 1973. Was transferred to Police Headquarters and later to Investigations, where she was held incommunicado. No charges have been brought against her.


          Nº 10  Was arrested in September in Arica. In late December, 1973, the War Council sentenced her to eleven years in prison, but two days later, the sentence was increased to 26 years. Has no right of appeal. They transferred her to Santiago in a prison van in January, 1974. Was in the common criminals section in Buen Pastor, but six weeks ago was transferred to the incommunicado section. Has requested transfer to the section where political detainees are held. This request was denied, and they threatened to take her again to the common criminals section. Requests review of her case.


          Nº 11  Was arrested by the police in mid-September 1973. Was held incommunicado 22 days. After a month's detention, without knowing the charges against her, she was sentenced by the War Council to 20 years in prison. Says she was not permitted to have counsel. Is now serving her sentence in Buen Pastor. Does not complain of maltreatment.


          Nº 12  Her house was “taken” (they took possession of it) by a leftist party. She reported voluntarily to the Carabineros Academy on September 19, 1973, to explain the matter of her house. They arrested her that day and took her to the National Stadium, where she remained until October 26. She was free until February 4, when by order of the Prosecutor, she was arrested and taken by a lieutenant to the Matadero Lieutenancy, from which she was transferred to the Fourth Carabineros Station and was interrogated by the Prosecutor, Jaime Rojas. Was finally sent to Buen Pastor. After February 4, she was interrogated two more times, says that her case has not been tried. She alleges that she is entirely innocent and does not know whether she will be released. Requests that her status be clarified.


          Nº 13  Was arrested in December 1973 by elements of the SIM (Intelligence Service.) Was taken to “Tejas Verdes” and detained there until late December 1973. Was tortured with electric shock, beatings, and psychological torture. Was held incommunicado, she says, “in a cage one meter wide by two meters long.” Was brought before a War Council in Tejas Verdes in early January 1974. Accused of assault against the carabineros and intellectual sabotage. Was sentenced to six years in prison. Was transferred to Buen Pastor in early March. Had no defense. Her lawyer was designated by the War Council, and was barely given time to ask her name. Requests that her case be reviewed, since there is no proof of the charges brought against her.


          Nº 14  Was arrested in late June 1974. Was accused of secretly making Molotov cocktails, because she was found in another factory on September 12, 1973. They took only one statement from her. She was transferred to Buen Pastor and was held incommunicado for the first six days. Her case is pending and will be brought before the War Council. Requests that her case be expedited.


          Nº 15  Arrested in early May 1974 by members of the SIM. They tortured her with electric shock, beatings on the lower part of her body, the use of the electric bed, etc. for the first two days. The last four days she was placed with other persons in a ditch full of excrement. In early May, she was taken to the Military Prosecutor and was made to sign a paper but does not know what it said or what it dealt with. She was charged with being a political activist, because pamphlets of a leftist party were found in her possession. She was taken to Buen Pastor the same day. She does not know what will become of her later. Requests that she be released because her children are shifted from house to house with no one responsible for them. She says that there is no guarantee that she will be set free, because she may be taken from Buen Pastor to Tres Álamos.


          Nº 16  Was arrested in early January 1974 and accused of being an accessory. Was taken to Investigations and was forced to turn over her house to her captors. She was only interrogated and then transferred to Buen Pastor. She has been a prisoner since then, and in almost seven months has not been informed of anything, whether proceedings have begun in her case, or whether she will be brought before the War Council. In March of this year the Prosecutor came to see her. She says that her only crime was to have had in her house a former official of the previous regime, who has now left the country, while she continues in jail.


          Nº 17  Was arrested in mid-January 1974. They did not tell her the reasons for her arrest. After three days she was taken to Tejas Verdes where she was interrogated with torture, beatings, etc. She was there 35 days. Then she was transferred to Buen Pastor. Later, in early April, she was transferred to the Chile Stadium, where she remained a month without having been interrogated. In early May, she returned to Buen Pastor. She hopes to be released with a dismissal of her case in two weeks to one month. She asks to have the signing of her release expedited.


          Nº 18  Her house was raided in March 1974, and she was taken prisoner to the Chilean Air Force Investigations Section (El Bosque Air Force Base), for no reason at all. She was blindfolded. Six other persons whose names she does not know were with her. They were interrogated four times a day with torture: beatings, and electric shock. She was found guilty of being an accessory, because a young socialist was living in her house. She was then transferred to “Tejas Verdes” in mid-March 1974. There she says that they tortured her only one day. She remained 45 days locked up in a wooden building (a kind of cabin) together with about 20 women. Food was very bad. They were given two plates of food a day and two cups of tea. She was taken to Buen Pastor where she remained until late April. She does not know what charges were brought against her.


          31.          At the express request of some of the prisoners, who stated that they had been subjected to serious torture, all reference to their particular cases has been omitted, because they expressed fear that their attitude would provoke reprisals.


2             Air Force General Accountant, General Alberto Bachelet, who was appointed to manage the State distribution agency called “National Bureau for Distribution and Marketing”.

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