(Never Again) - Report of Conadep
Esteban Radonich (file No. 6956) was arrested in Neuquón
on 13 January 1977 and released in Senillosa on the 19th.
He was arrested at half-past eight in the morning at his
office. They took
him on a roundabout route in order to disoriente him:
premises of the 16st Engineers Battalion, to a place called La
Escuelita, which was actually the pick-up centre operating in
the area. There I was handcuffed to the sides of a bed for a
while, before being transferred to another place. They made me
walk in a squatting position all the time in order to prevent
me making out the various installations. once again I was
handcuffed to a bedframe, this time by the hands and feet.
They put two wires under the blindfold on my temples. They
asked me for personal details, which were typed on to what
looked like a file card. This done, a totally different
interrogation session began. The first question they asked me
was my rank and nom de guerre, to which I replied that I had neither. That was when
I received the first discharge of electricity. Their questions
centred around my participation in politics, from my role in
an organization to my inclusion in student election lists.
They also asked me if I had any idea where I was.
clearly worried them a lot since they kept on repeating it - I
had done my military service in that same military unit in
1976. As I continued to reply in the negative, they increased
the frequency, duration and intensity of the discharges, which
were always to the head. I lost track of time, although
several hours seemed to go by. in between questions and my
screams they made various kinds of threats.
was pouring from my mouth, as my muscles contracted during the
discharges and I clenched my jaws with my tongue protruding,
so that I virtually bit through it. As my condition got
progressively worse, they threw a bucket of water over me to
revive me, and eventually suspended the session. They told me that it would start again in the afternoon, and
that it would depend on me, and the answers I gave, whether or
not they continued to torture me. The interrogation session
was conducted by at least three people, and was attended by
the head of the group who had arrested me. He took on the role
of the ’kind-hearted’ one, suggesting I talk as it
wasn’t worth sacrificing myself for the sake of others. The
rest, on the other hand, used a threatening, commanding tone.
the case of Juan Matías Bianchi (file No. 2669) there was a
double simulation: of incineration and of execution:
made him smell a liquid, asking him if he knew what it was
that they were making him smell, to which he replied yes, that
it was a solvent. They asked him if he had anything to say, to
come out with it, because they were going to burn him, all the
time rustling papers for him to hear. They also simulated
execution by putting a gun to his head.
as they were pretending they were going to burn him alive, he
heard a car draw up, someone approached him and said, ’Look,
you’d better resign your position as union delegate’.
After that there was silence, and then he heard the car
pulling away. He stood still for a time, until be realized
that there was nobody there and they had removed the
Osvaldo Pina (file No. 5186) also went through the terrifying
experience of simulated assassination. The whole context was
beyond belief. He describes it thus:
there they took us to two other places, where they continued
to torture-us and, in the second one, after torturing Arra,
they took Moriña away. Koltes and I awaited our turn.
Suddenly Moriña’s screams stopped, and I could hear running
and voices calling for a doctor. After that, they came to
fetch us and, without questioning us, they put Koltes and me
in a lorry and took us somewhere else which I assumed was in
the mountains. Moriña was no longer with us.
spent two or three days in the new place. it was almost a
month since my abduction, though since I was permanently
blindfolded, it was difficult to be specific. On one of those
days I heard people going near the place where, from noises, I
had judged they were keeping Arra. I heard their boots
marching, then they ordered him to ’Get up ... Walk .. .’
heard the sound of feet dragging towards the door and two or
three minutes later, four shots rang out. Then they went to
where I -had guessed Koltes was, and exactly the same thing
happened. When my turn came they didn’t say anything. I
heard the sound of the gun as they prepared to shoot, then
they fired four shots close to my head.
next day they took me away again but this time on my own, in
what I think was an ambulance from the army block. Then I was
transferred to a van belonging, I think, to the Mendoza
police. I was put on the floor and they kicked and spat on me
as well as continually threatening to kill me, until
eventually we arrived at the prison.
are testimonies of other kinds of torture, such as being hung
from a tree or beam. As an example of this ’system’ we
transcribe the relevant part of the statement of one of the
victims, Enrique Igor Peczak (file No. 6947).
was arrested on 15 October 1976 by an army unit, which
surrounded and raided my mother’s house, where I was living.
Jorge Armando González was arrested with me. We were tied up
and blindfolded, then I was suspended from a tree with my
hands behind me and beaten from noon until evening. I could
hear my mother’s screams as she begged them not to kill me.
I could also hear them hitting González. At one stage they
filled a container with water, hung him up by the feet and
submerged him head first. That was repeated several times.
one of them was beating me, he told me that if they hadn’t
forgotten the electric prod I would already be talking. Then
suddenly he punched my ears with both hands, causing me
intense pain and a loud buzzing which lasted for several
the evening they took us down and took us to what I later
found to be the provincial police headquarters where they
separated us and beat me again ...
and hung me by the throat, until I passed out. I began to lose
track of time and my memories became confused, so that I
can’t be sure of the order of events, but I’m almost
certain that they took a photo of me and then used the
electric prod on me on the floor…
took me to a house ... in one of the places they suspended me
by the hands in such a way that I could only touch the floor
with my toes. By then my thirst was unbearable and I shouted
for a glass of water: somebody came and stuffed a gag in my
mouth. Since I passed out, I can’t figure out how long I was
Eduardo Fernández (file No. 1131) was eighteen when he was
abducted. He was a secondary school student. At that age he came
to know all kinds of torture: punches,
kicks, death threats
and what was known as submarino
in both its forms, ’dry’ and ’wet’.
idea was to leave the victim without any kind of psychological
resistance, until he was at the mercy of the interrogator, and
thus obtain any answer the latter wanted, however absurd. if
they wanted you to reply that you had seen San Martín on
horseback the previous day they succeeded. Then they would
tell us we were liars, until you really felt it was true, and
then they carried on with the torture ...
They would make us stretch our hands out and hit us on the
fingertips with a sort of truncheon. Afterwards we couldn’t
move our hands. Others were beaten until their mouth or eyes
even went as far as putting a plastic bag over our heads and
tying it tightly round the neck until we ran out of air and
were about to pass out.
method was to tie us to a board and put a container full of
water at one end. The victim’s head would be submerged in it
and they wouldn’t pull him out until he let out the last
bubble of air; as soon as he took a mouthful of air they
submerged him again.
13 September 1977 I was released, blindfolded, my hair badly
cut, wearing jeans and a T-shirt on a very cold day. They left
me on Avenida Vélez Sarsfield, near a railway crossing.
file No. 5604, Lidia Esther Biscarte describes her abduction and
subsequent martyrdom, It shows the ingenuity the interrogators
brought into play in applying
new methods of torture in addition to the usual tools of
their trade. She was abducted from her home (Zárate, Buenos
Aires province) in the early hours of
the morning of 27 March 1976. They covered her head with the
sheet she had been using. She was kidnapped barefoot and in her
heard from the radio that she was in Zárate police station.
Without asking her anything, they applied the electric prod,
stripped her and applied the prod again in the anus, vagina,
mouth and armpits. They threw water over her and tied her to a
leather armchair. The sheet had been tied over her head.
Somebody came up to her and started to twist her nipples,
causing her intense pain since they had also applied the
electric prod to them.
were another two abducted men in the same room. Somebody came
in and told the other character to leave her alone, ’they
are going to take them for a walk’.
deponent knows that the place she was transferred to later
with the other two people was the Zárate naval base since she
lived a block and a half away, and from the way the boat
berthed. They could hear the shouts of the deckhand and the
shock as the boat bumped against the dock.
were taken off the boat in Zárate arsenal. Stakes were
hammered in, and they were stretched out, and left all day.
They were tortured with the electric prod. When evening came
they were put on board a boat and handcuffed together, that is
to say, the deponent’s arm was handcuffed to someone
the boat, they hung her by the feet and gave her the submarino
treatment in the river. With her were Señor Iglesias, Teresa
di Martino, with whom she was subsequently in prison, Blanda
Ruda, a Dr Marta and her husband, the former being brutally
tortured and her husband raped by the torturers, a lad called
Ferndndez who is now abroad, in Switzerland she believes, and
Tito Cono or Aniconi or something similar, now free.
spent about two days on the boat, during which time they were
tortured and hung from a crane ...
loaded them into prison vans and took them to a place she
believes from the Esso factory whistle was Tolueno, in
Campana. After two or three days they were put on board a raft
and taken across what was probably the Tigre. The raft was
steered by a soldier in green uniform. They left them on the
craft on the shore of an island. Later, she was taken and put
into an Army truck, with lots of other people. They were
driven to a torture house, where they could hear the noise of
cars and aeroplanes.
the house they were put into an empty swimming pool with
high-powered searchlights trained on them. In the pool there
were hundreds of dead bodies. She was moved into the house and
tortured. It was a house with a bathroom and two large
bedrooms. She heard a guard saying, ’These have had it, they
stay here, take them to rooms 1 and 2.’ The guards would
call each other by animal names: ’Tiger’, ’Puma’,
the testimony of Juan Matias Bianchi (file No. 2 669), resident
in Campana, Buenos Aires province, we find a new sadistic
variant of sexual perversion:
4 March 1977 at 3 a.m., four individuals claiming to be
military personnel appeared at the victim’s house, with
black stockings covering their faces.
one point he was lifted up, taken along a corridor and ordered
to undress. He was thrown on a bunk and told: ’Listen, I’m
”The German”.’ He could hear women and men screaming.
’The German’ tried to stick a length of pipe in his anus.
He heard another voice telling the German to leave him alone,
then this person said to him: ’See, I’m ”The Spaniard”
and I rescued you from this fellow busting you by sticking the
bar up you.’
stretched him out naked and tied him down with leather thongs.
’The Spaniard’ told him to talk applying electric current
to his ankle, burning his muscles so badly that he still bears
the mark. He was also questioned by a woman. ’The
Spaniard’ then applied the prod to his armpits, where he
also still has scars. ’The Spaniard’ was laughing and said
to the woman, ’Since you like the privates, you carry on.’
he felt the woman grab his penis and pour in a sort of caustic
liquid, as a result of which he has had problems with
In the following extracts from testimonies, there appear amongst
other tortures various forms of rape. The victims in each case
will remain anonymous,
Argentine, married, (file No. 7372) was abducted outside her
workplace in the centre of Buenos Aires at 5 p.m., the time she
usually leaves work. The usual procedure followed car without
markings ... blindfolded ... ending up in an unknown place ...
tied to a bed ...
five men proceeded to question me for about an hour, roughing
me up and instultng me. They
obtained my in-laws’ address and decided to go there,
leaving me alone for several hours.
they returned from my in-laws’ house they were furious. They
tied me with my arms and legs spread out, and interrogated me
again with worse treatment and insults than before. They said
they had taken my two-year-old son prisoner so that I would
cooperate; soon afterwards they took that back.
they proceeded to insert what I afterwards knew to be a police
truncheon into my vagina. Then they took me to another room,
where they tried to force me to eat handcuffed to a table.
When I refused they moved me again and they stood me in a
corner while they interrogated me once more, hitting me on the
head and threatening to stick the truncheon into my anus…
what could be called the daily routine, I remember the door of
the room was locked from the outside. We were fully dressed
all the time, even when we slept. In the sleeping quarters, on
trips to the bathroom and to the kitchen, my eyes were
uncovered. They would make some or all of us wear a blindfold
‘wall up’ - whenever members of the force other than the
usual guards came in. In these cases it was routine for them
to intimidate us with their guns, pushing them into our
bodies, neck or head ...
two occasions they took me blindfolded to another building,
where I was made to strip against a wall. Shouting abuse they
pushed me down on the metal frame of a bed and tied me with my
limbs apart. Then they ’prodded’ me in the lower abdomen
and vulva while questioning me. On the second occasion they
told me they had AG.P. with them, who worked in the same
department as me and was office representative. She had been
abducted on 28 March 1977, outside the institution.
these sessions they would
make me dress, and politely, with words of consolation,
they would take me to the sleeping quarters and tell another
woman prisoner to come and comfort me. This they also did when
they brought one of the other woman prisoners from their
sessions. I asked for medical attention, and they did give me
some treatment for my palpitations ...
day they took me blindfolded from the dormitory to a room I
recognized as the place where I had been ’prodded’. They
made me take off my blindfold, and I was left alone with a man
who, offering me cigarettes, politely asked me to tell him
everythng they had done to me.
I described the events to him, he pointed out one I had
missed, which showed that he had witnessed all the
interrogation and torture sessions or, at least, that he was
fully aware of them. At the same time, he tried to instill in
me the idea that nothing which had happened to me there had
really been that serious, nor had the blows been as heavy as I
imagined. He told me they would release me and that I wasn’t
to tell anybody what had happened to me during that time.
once again, they took me back to the dormitory. At midnight on
14 June they announced that they would let me go and gave me
back some of the belongings (watch, bracelet, money) I had had
with me at the time of my abduction. They took me blindfolded
out of the building and put me in a car in which there was
only the driver (who turned out to be the same person who had
kindly tried to show me that all that had happened was
trivial) and myself.
driving over a rough, potholed terrain, he stopped the engine.
He told me he had orders to kill me, guiding me with his
gloved hands to touch the guns he had in the glove
compartment. He offered to save my life if in exchange I would
agree to have
sexual relations with him.
agreed to his proposal, in the hope of saving my life and of
having the blindfold removed ...
started the car and after we got on to an asphalted surface he
told me to remove the blindfold. He drove the car to a motel;
he told me that he was taking a big risk and that if I did
anything suspicious he would kill me immediately.
entered the motel. I carried out his demands under threat of
death, so I felt and consider myself to have been raped. On
leaving, he drove me to my in-laws’ house.
seventeen-year-old adolescent, then a secondary school student,
refers in the following statement to the outrage to which
she was subjected.
AN (file No. 6532) reports that she was abducted from her home
in Buenos Aires on 9 May 1978. She was taken along a motorway to
a secret detention centre. They, followed
the usual procedure. She goes on:
in the early hours of the morning she was taken to another
room where she was tied to a bed with wooden slats. She was
surrounded by ’The Basque’, three or four other men
subordinate to him, and a woman nicknamed’La Negra’.
was stripped of her clothes, tied to the bed and interrogated
with the application of the electric prod and blows to her
interrogation concerned her school companions (she was
attentinding the Carlos Pellegrini school), particularly M.W.
and J.C.M were already being held in that detention centre and
are still ’disappeared’.
was also interrogated about two boys, L.Z. and G.D. and a
young woman, M.G.; as it turned out, they were also being kept
there and were afterwards released,
a time, the duration of which was impossible to ascertain, the
deponent was taken to various places in the secret centre
night a man came to her cell. He tied her up and beat her,
then raped her amid threats, forbidding her to tell anybody
what happened. After that he took her to a bathroom to get
a result of the above, her feverish state worsened and she
became delirious, begging not to be raped. When they heard
her, ’The Guaraní’ and others of higher rank, ’The
Frenchman’ and ’The Basque’, appeared in her cell,
questioned her and began a supposed investigation since, so
they said, ’rape was forbidden’ in that place.
recovered, she was transferred to another ’house’.
to her transfer, her handcuffs and hood were exchanged for a
blindfold and her hands were tied. She was led, together with
the youths C.N., S.Z. and G.D., to a car in which they set
off, stonoing hortiv
afterwards. They were warned not to move or a
bomb would explode.
afterwards, uniformed army personnel approached the car,
made the four prisoners get out, untied them and transferred
them to the 10th Ordnance Battalion in Villa Martelli.
records that when the above occurred she was seventeen years
old, as were her three companions. They were all students at
the Carlos Pellegrini Commercial High School. In the battalion
barracks they were examined by a doctor and put in adjacent
cells in a ramshackle building. They were guarded by
conscripts, a corporal and a sergeant. After they had been
there a few days, Colonel Hernán Teetzlaff came to her cell,
bringing with him a statement which she had to sign under
duress. This was during her captivity in the SDC which she now
recognizes as El Vesubio.
30 or 31 August 1978, she was transferred to Villa Devoto
Prison together with her companions, to be tried by the
October, this Tribunal declared itself incompetent to judge
the case. They were passed to the civil court presided over by
Dr Giletta, being released for lack of evidence on or about 30
October, first going through Federal Police Headquarters.
testimony we present next shows the state to which M. de M. was
reduced by the ordeal she suffered (file No. 2356).
in Buenos Aires she was taken for a long distance in a pick-up
truck. judging by the sound of crickets and other details,
they took her somewhere in the country. It was like a camp, a
provisional set-up, with canvas sheeting and tents everywhere.
They left her in a sort of room where she felt terrified and
started to scream. Thus alerted, her captors put her into a
tank full of water, Her breasts were hurting a lot, as she was
breast-feeding at the time ...
they bound her hands and feet with wires and passed electric
current through them. She began to have convulsions. They said
that was the breaking in she needed in order to confess. Then
they stripped and raped her.
asked to go to the toilet. They took her naked along an open
gallery full of soldiers. She remembers that they all laughed.
She also recalls them taking a group of people and putting
them into a helicopter: they were thrown out at the end of a
rope, and each time they were raised again they were
asked them to send her to prison. She said she would sign
anything; she couldn’t stand any more because she had a
ruptured stomach and her ears hurt, so much that she was
continually fainting. When they took her back to the foot of
the metal bed where they had apphed the electric prod to her,
the would make her touch the wires, passing an electric
current through when she did so, which brought on more
convulsions. Current was passed through her whole body by the
same wires which bound her hands and feet.
she had those convulsions and her body writhed about, they
would get more annoyed, The doctor would come and examine her,
but time went by, until she lost all track of it. It was
always the same, the same screams. Later they told her
they’d brought her
little boy, they made her listen to a recording, but she had
become very obstinate, in a state of oblivion, and she
didn’t care any more.
would tell her that the recording was her son crying. As she
was being given pills, apparently for the convulsions, which
made her sleepy, she can’t remember everything. What she can
remember is that at some stage she was given an injection, but
she knew that after that the doctor would come, he was always
there while she was being tortured.
also remembers very clearly that they would parade her naked
along the gallery and that she was raped several times. She
doesn’t remember whether they were conscripts or police. She
recalls that at the time she bled a lot and by then didn’t
care if she died, nothing mattered to her any more, she no
longer even cried. Sometimes she felt that they were rewarding
her by giving her cigarettes, later on even that was stopped.
Afterwards she was put in with a girl who told her her name
and surname, but she doesn’t remember them, she can’t
day she was summoned to make a statement; they sat her at a
desk and took a written statement from her, asking the names
of her parents, brothers and sisters, what they did, where
they were born, etc.
couldn’t see properly when they were taking her statement
because, having been blindfolded for so long, the light
bothered her eyes. She knows they made her sign three or four
documents; they took off her blindfold to sign but told her
not to look up. That night they put a lot of people into a
lorry, which was continually stopping and dropping people off.
She thought then that they were being killed, she had no idea
what was going on. She knows she was last, but didn’t want
to get down because she thought they were going to kill her,
so a man with swarthy features and wearing what looked like a
brown leather jacket said to her, ’Get down or I’ll kill
you.’ She was convinced he was about to do so, and managed
to tug her blindfold off. When she saw his face, she became
even more frightened. He got her down from the lorry and,
putting his gun to her head, said, ’Don’t turn round.’
It was then that she thought she had died. She remained still
for quite a while, so long that she didn’t even notice the
man had gone, she was in a state of shock, she thought she had
her parents died, her husband came out of prison. He had also been tortured, but
they never talked about it, she in particular never told
everything that had happened, as she felt embarrassed about
it. He gradually got to know about it because she would become
delirious and was scared of going to see a psychiatrist. Now
though, she has begun treatment and is prepared to cooperate,
should her testimony be of any use.
a similar nature because of the sadism displayed is the
testimony of Mirtha Gladys Rosales (file No. 7186). It
transpires that she was arrested on 10 March 1976 at her
workplace in the General Office of Penal Institutions. She was
taken to the Federal Police station:
I arrived at the station I found my father, a lad called
Mamondez and his sister, and a youth, Ramos, who, like my
father, was from Quines; the Mamondez were from Candelaria.
Later I learnt that they had all been savagely beaten up in
Quines and subsequently at the station as well. just then an
officer called Borsalino appeared and, dragging me by the hair
and kicking me, took me to the back of the building and beat
me up in the kitchen, telling me, ’You’re the one to blame
for my having beat the shit out of those wretches.’ After
that he took me to the Chief Inspector’s office: the Chief
Inspector, Deputy-Chief Inspector Cerisola, Lieutenant-Colonel
Lualdi, Inspector Visconti of the Provincial Police and
Borsalino were present. They blindfolded me and, with insults
and death threats, gave me electric shocks while I was
handcuffed to a chair, all the time interrogating me about
this session I was beaten up on several occasions, as they
kept me at the station for almost four months, It was always
Borsalino who did it, in the presence
of Inspector de Maria.
mid-June I was transferred to the Women’s Prison, where I
stayed until 9 September, when I was taken away by
Intelligence personnel from the Provincial Police and brought
to Police Headquarters.
a while they got everybody out and the Assistant Chief of
Police, Captain Pla, appeared with the Head of Intelligence,
Inspector Becerra. The two of them started to interrogate me
in between punches and kicks. Soon Captain Pla said to me that
he’d ’try another kind of treatment since I don’t want
to talk’ and they took me to a police station on Calle justo
Durant, a block away from Avenida España. They took me in
through a car entrance on the right and Becerra put me into a
room where Domingo Ildegardo Chacón was tied up, obviously
having been tortured. Later on, I saw Raúl Lima who was being
beaten up, and Domingo Silva and a Señor Moyano, from
Candelaria. Later they took me into the back, where I saw Hugo
Velázquez, a driver, Rubén Lucero, and a policeman by the
name of Olguin, who subsequently committed suicide, during a
trial in the provincial courts. There I was savagely beaten up
for about an hour. This was done completely sadistically and
cruelly, since they weren’t even questioning me; they would
only roar with laughter and insult me. After that I was taken
back to the headquarters and left in the office, with Captain
Rossi and a Lieutenant Marcelo Eduardo González. As he left,
Officer Lucero, who had brought me along, said to them,
’She’s already been softened up.’ Punishment began once
again, this time carried out by Rossi and González, who
started to hit and insult me, each putting their gun to my
temple and, cocking it, asking me ’who had the weapons’,
pressing me to sign some statements which had already been
drawn up. Meanwhile Pla, Becerra, Velázquez and Luis Mario Calderón, another
officer, turned up, and one of the worst torture
sessions I had to bear began. I was put in the middle of them
and they started to hit me all over, putting my hair, giving
me the ’telephone’, which meant clapping both hands over
my ears at once, maltreating me, twisting my breasts and other
such atrocities. By the time they had finished with me or had
had enough, I was disfigured from the blows. That night they
gave me some ice to reduce the swelling on my face and neck in
order to be able to return me to prison, which they only did
two days later ...
12 or 13 November they again fetched me and brought me to
Intelligence where I was beaten up again, with Franco, Pla,
Becerra, Chavero, Ricarte, Luis Alberto Orozco and another
individual called Benitez taking part in the punishment. They
all beat me up, they gave me the ’telephone’ and kicked
me. At one point Ricarte showed me a photo saying. ’Tell us
what you know, otherwise you’ll end up like Ledesma, look
what happened to him.’ In the photograph Ledesma was sort of
lying face-down on a table or on the floor, with his chin up
so that his face could be seen, arms spread out in a cross and
blood pouring from his mouth; he appeared to be dead.
took me somewhere we had to cross railway lines and a barrier
to get to. There were some steps at the entrance to the
building or enclosure where they tortured me. They tied me up
and laid me down on something made of metal, they hit me and
put me head-flrst in a container of water until I was
drowning. Soon I began to bleed (I was having my period), so
they took me back to Intelligence. The same men who had beaten
me up hours before at Headquarters were present at that
session. In the early hours of the morning they decided to
send me to prison, which they did mid-morning. When I arrived,
as I was in such a pitiful condition, disfigured by bruises
and swelling, and my old work colleagues had seen me, there
was an argument between those who were taking me (Inspector
Juan Carlos Pérez, Carlos Garro and Rubén Lucero, the
driver) and prison staff.