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Part I
The Repression

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



The infrequency and inferiority of meals constituted another form of torment. Prisoners were fed - depending on the centre - once or twice a day, but on many occasions several days went by when they were given no food at all. At other times they were given water with flour or raw offal. In general, rations were barely enough, and anybody who tried to give some to another person in a worse state than themselves was severely punished. Solidarity was forbidden.

In spite of all this, mealtimes were eagerly awaited since it meant not only eating but also the chance to lift one’s hood and possibly to establish contact with another person, although conversation between prisoners was brutally punished.

In file No. 1277, the testimony of Señor Héctor Mariano Ballent, we read:

Treatment in COT I Martinez was brutal, not only physically but also psychologically. If someone asked the time, he would be asked if he had to go out: if they served soup it was in a flat plate with a fork. One day there was stew; made with corn-cobs from which the grains had already been eaten by the guards. Generally the food was boiled cornflour, a boiled mate drink and a piece of bread ...

All those released coincide in mentioning the appalling food, which, it should be borne in mind, remained unchanged throughout their confinement, causing the physical deterioration of the prisoners.

In the recollections of Antonio Horacio Miño Retamozo (file No.3721):

Punishment was never-ending. Everything was scientifically arranged, from punishments to meals. in the morning they would bring boiled mate without sugar, and from time to time, a little piece of stale bread, which they threw at us and which we groped for desperately. There was no meat and the food had no flavour at all; sometimes it might be very salty, other times without any salt. One day they would bring polenta, another noodles, and the next chickpeas in a plastic bowl. Each prisoner had to take a mouthful and pass it on to the next and so on to the end. If there was some left over, it went round again...




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