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Part I
The Repression

Nunca Más (Never Again) - Report of Conadep  - 1984


Hostages and 'mousetraps'

If the armed assailants did not find their intended victim at home, they prepared what was known as a ’mousetrap’, and stayed on the spot until the person they sought returned. This led to the kidnapping going on for many hours or even days, with changes in the personnel involved. In all of these cases the relatives were used as hostages, and often submitted to brutal pressure and attacks. The kidnappers would steal all the food and drink they needed, searching and almost invariably looting the properties.

If anyone happened to come to the house, they were also taken hostage. If the originally intended victim did not appear, the attackers often took away someone else (a relative or other person staying in the house at the time).

This is what happened to the Barroca family, according to their father (file No. 6256):

At 10.15p.m. on 15 July 1977 my wife, my daughter, Mirta Viviana, and I were at home, when we heard someone shouting through a megaphone that they knew I was a petty officer in the Navy, and that we were to come out with our hands up, because they had placed explosives at the front of the house. We did as ordered, and saw that the ’delinquents’ were eight in number, not in uniform, and heavily armed with automatic weapons typical of the paramilitary forces.

They took us back inside and interrogated us about the family’s activities, My other daughter, Graciela Mabel, arrived home at 11 p.m. from a friend’s house where she had been studying for an exam she was due to take in the science faculty the following day. They stopped her in the hallway, but we do not know what they did to her, as my other daughter was being interrogated blindfolded in the dining-room, and my wife, also blindfolded, was in the bedroom. At 1 a.m. on Saturday 16 July, before the end of the operation, the man who appeared to be the second-in-command told me they were taking Graciela away to be interrogated by a ‘captain’. He said they had found nothing, but that she had been a member of the JUP (Juventud Universitaria Peronista: Peronist University Youth.) and that we must know what that meant. He also said we should pray that Graciela had not been involved in anything, and that if this were so she would be set free within five or six days. When I reported her abduction to the Villa Martelli police station, I was told confidentially that my daughter had not been kidnapped, but had been arrested by members of the Army and of the Federal Police.

The operation which ended with the abduction of Roque Núñez (file No. 3081) was a grotesque nightmare, as can be seen from his daughter’s testimony:

At 4 a.m. on 21 April 1976, several men in civilian clothes forced their way into my house. They were heavily armed and identified themselves as belonging to the Navy and the Federal Police. Their commander said he was Inspector Mayorga. They took away my father, who was sixty-five at that time. The following day my brother Miguel presented a writ of habeas corpus at the San Isidro court. At 9 p.m. on that same day they came back to my house, this time taking away my mother, hooded. They took her somewhere she has never been able to identify, and for five days subjected her to a violent interrogation. Following her capture, the members of the Armed Forces stayed on in my house. On 23 April my brother Miguel was kidnapped as he entered. During these operations, which lasted for four hours on 21 April, and thirty-six hours from the 22nd onwards, those involved would not allow anyone to give me assistance, although I am a quadriplegic. I had to remain in the same position without eating or having my physical needs attended to. They were constantly trying to force me to telephone my sister, María del Carmen, At one point the telephone fell to the floor and they brought another one, which is still in my house. When they finally left, they drove off in a Ford Falcon car that I had bought. My mother was set free, blindfolded, two blocks from our house. My father and brother have never reappeared. I was later told that my sister, María del Carmen Núñez, her husband, Jorge Lizaso, and one of his brothers, Miguel Francisco Lizaso, were also abducted, and their flat completely ransacked in the process. They are also among the lists of the disappeared.



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