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Part I
The Repression

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



Conditions during the period of detention were deplorable. Prisoners were left lying on mattresses filthy with blood, urine, vomit and sweat. In some cases, they had to relieve themselves in pots, which were later removed. In others, they weren’t even given containers and had to relieve themselves on the spot. Daniel Osvaldo Pina (file No. 5186), abducted in Mendoza, says:

At one point when I was asleep they awoke me with a kick. I should explain that we slept on the floor, lying in urine.

Lack of hygiene would worsen in the over-populated premises improvised as SDCs. Again, Héctor Mariano Ballent reminds us that in COT I Martinez those who had been ’picked up’ had to clean out the shed they were in, by shaking out the rags they had and the only (single) mattress there was for eight of them to sleep on, four with their heads on it and four with their feet on it.

The prisoners had to ask permission of the guard, who waited until a lot of them had raised their hand so they did not have to go to the bathroom more than twice a day. They would be led in ’a train’ holding the one in front by the waist or shoulders, as they couldn’t take the hoods off. This was repeated in nearly all the camps and was one of the occasions the guards took advantage of to satisfy their sadistic impulses, hitting the prisoners indiscriminately. Both men and women had to shower or see to their bodily needs in the presence of their gaolers. In some camps the prisoners were hosed down in a group, always with their hoods on.

Hygiene in the toilets and cells depended on the good or bad disposition  of whoever was on guard duty. There were cases where the women were made to clean by hand the urinals in the men’s toilets. The extreme lack of hygiene would lead to infestation  with lice and the prisoners would sometimes be sprayed with insecticide like cattle.



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