Chilean Pinochet dictatorship soldier confesses massacre

This Associated Press video from Chile says about itself:

University of Santiago symbolically graduates 39 students who disappeared after Pinochet coup

31 July 2015

Ahead of next week’s 40th anniversary of the coup that began Chile’s brutal regime under General Augusto Pinochet, the University of Santiago on Friday symbolically graduated 39 students who disappeared or were executed during this period.

On the day of the coup, military officers swept the University of Santiago campus in the Chilean capital, took thousands of students and teachers as prisoners and moved them to a nearby stadium.

Many former prisoners have reported they were tortured and abused while detained and some others were killed.

Others were never seen again.

Initially, organisers planned to leave 39 empty chairs in honour of the students, but so many people attended Friday’s ceremony the seats had to be filled.

Ana Araneda Yevenes, the sister of Rafael Araneda Yevenes, a student who disappeared on 12 December 1974, attended the ceremony with her family to collect her brother’s diploma.

“This is wonderful because after so many years, after waiting so long, after so many things, this is comforting for the family,” Yevenes said while holding a portrait of her brother.

The head of the University of Santiago Juan Manuel Zolezzi presided over the symbolic graduation.

Zolezzi called the relatives of the absent students one by one and presented a diploma in their honour.

“I find it remarkable that students who participated in such a big way in the Popular Unity period are recognised, they gave their lives, as students,” said Luis Aravena Mardones, who received a diploma on behalf of his brother, Jorge Aravena Mardones.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Thursday asked anyone with information about those who “disappeared” to come forward and help heal the country’s wounds.

In 2011 Pinera’s [right-wing] government officially recognised 9,800 more victims of the dictatorship.

That increased the total list of people killed, tortured or imprisoned for political reasons during Pinochet’s regime to 40,018.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Former Chilean military man confesses 18 executions on the radio

Today, 13:50

The Chilean police have arrested a 62-year-old former soldier on suspicion of murder. The man was found after he had told on the radio about eighteen executions he carried out during the dictatorship of General Pinochet.

ON Wednesday the man who called himself ‘Alberto’ phoned to a popular Chilean radio. He said he wanted to commit suicide.

After a brief conversation about a failed relationship, the man started speaking about his involvement in executions of opponents of Pinochet, who was in power between 1973 and 1990.

The presenter of Sentimental Chacotero was getting quieter and quieter as the man told about the first time he killed someone. “I cried, but the lieutenant said I was a good soldier, a brave soldier.”

“Pow, pow,” the caller yelled. And then: “The second time I liked it, then I enjoyed it.”.

What followed was a conversation of twenty minutes, in which ‘Alberto’ said he was involved in eighteen executions. He also explains what happened to the bodies, a question about which many survivors have struggled in recent decades. “We blew the bodies up with dynamite. There was nothing left of them, not even their shadow.”

The caller did not give his real name, but the police tracked him yesterday and arrested him. He is 62-year-old Guillermo Reyes Rammsy. He has been officially charged with the murder of two members of the Socialist Party who were arrested in 1973. Their bodies were never found.

Chilean human rights organizations welcome the arrest and hope that there is now greater clarity about the fate of many disappeared opponents of the Pinochet regime. An estimated 40,000 people were arrested and tortured during the military dictatorship.

29 thoughts on “Chilean Pinochet dictatorship soldier confesses massacre

  1. Monday 14th
    posted by Morning Star in World

    by Our Foreign Desk

    SENATOR Isabel Allende said at the weekend that her Socialist Party would back an official investigation into the case of a former army conscript who phoned a radio programme to admit to 18 murders during the General Augusto Pinochet dictatorship.

    The daughter of late president Salvador Allende, who died during the 1973 military coup against his government, said that at least two of those killed — Freddy Taberna Gallegos and German Palomino Lamas — were members of her party.

    Former soldier Guillermo Reyes Rammsy made an emotional 25-minute call to a radio programme, confessing to taking part in the killings during the dictatorship’s dirty war against socialists during the 1970s.

    Police arrested Mr Reyes before a judge placed him under house arrest.

    The caller, who gave his name to the radio programme as “Alberto,” recounted taking several people to the desert, shooting them in the head and blowing them up. “Not even their shadow was left,” he said.

    “Have you heard where the disappeared are? Nobody has told you where the disappeared are … Well, it’s because they aren’t. They are totally disintegrated. Nothing remained,” he told listeners.

    Tens of thousands of suspected socialists and communists were rounded up and tortured after the 1973 coup. The government says that more than 3,000 of those were killed, including some 1,200 “desaparecidos” (disappeared) people whose remains were never found.

    “Alberto” said that he’d been a young hippie when drafted but he had had no option when he was sent off to kill.


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