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Reply #128: I just read a link describing institutionalized torture [View All]

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-03 12:15 AM
Response to Original message
128. I just read a link describing institutionalized torture
in the Pinochet regime, referring to two torturers there who were graduates of the School of the Americas.

I thought immediately of having read this thread, and many of the superior posts.

Here's the post containing the link:

Say_What (1000+ posts) Wed Nov-26-03 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #19

20. Villa Grimaldi and the SOA...

Kissinger and Pinochet--war criminals who should be in prison.


Witnesses to Atrocity

...Luis Santibaez, President of the Parque por la Paz Corporation until 2003, was one of the architects who designed the Parque por la Paz.
Atrocities were committed in Pisagua but in Villa Grimaldi atrocity was the system. It was not that atrocities were sometimes committed. Torture was the daily system within that atrocity. The functionaries who participated at Villa Grimaldi were trained torturers, trained at the School of the Americas. We have discovered that the method of atrocity was neither casual nor the result of rage or madness. What has impressed us most is that they considered it normal and routine. What they were doing was good and they did it for the sake of the country.

Facile explanations arise to produce oblivion, to avoid confronting things. They say, "someone just went too far," or "this was the work of madmen." Or it was the consequence of the climate of convulsion produced by the Popular Unity government. Therefore, those who produced the convulsion are to blame. Those are all easy justifications intended to avoid the truth. The truth is that Villa Grimaldi was not the result of a few excesses or madness. It was a system.

Rodrigo Del Villar was imprisoned at Villa Grimaldi four months, beginning in January 1975.
Villa Grimaldi was a place of experimentation. They started out brutally, and then the guys began to learn how to do their jobs better. Torture was not sophisticated. There is nothing sophisticated about making someone stick his head in a plastic bag. The method was so elementary, that when the United Nations inspectors came, it was easy to conceal what was going on there.

The torturers concealed their own identity as well as the identity of each prisoner. The main thing was that the prisoner was no longer a person. We were all given numbers - mine was 83 - and we were always called by those numbers, never by our names. The intent was to deprive us of our individual personalities. The aim was to transform you into a substance that could be easily managed. I think that was part of the policy behind making people disappear. If you are only a number, it is easier to make you disappear. It was not an individual who disappeared; only a number disappeared. Stripping a person's identity was part of the plan of extermination.

For a collection of narratives by and about former prisoners of Villa Grimaldi see

(Written by one of the guests of honor. I would imagine he knows what he's talking about!)
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