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Part I
The Repression

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



In a large number of detention centres the word ’transfer’ was associated with the idea of death, ’Transfers’ were experienced by prisoners with simultaneous reactions of horror and hope. They would be told that they were to be taken to other centres or ’rehabilitation’ farms, so that they would put up no resistance. They did not know where they would be taken, whether to another centre or to their deaths, which caused a constant and deep-rooted fear. For the ’transfers’, prisoners were usually stripped of their clothes and meagre belongings, which were then incinerated. Sometimes they were given injections to make them drowsy. Their guards would try to calm them down by giving them a remote hope of living, a feeling which gained strength from the very fact that they were surrounded by death and horror.

Numerous testimonies have been collected concerning the special treatment received by those who were later to be ’killed in gun battles’. Days before they were to be shot, these prisoners would be given better food, and were made to wash and have a bath, since it would have been difficult to explain to the public the appearance of ’extremists killed in shoot-outs’ with skinny, tortured, bearded and ragged corpses.

This constituted an indescribable cruelty, since it raised a person’s hopes that he would live, whereas his real fate was death.



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