(Never Again) - Report of Conadep
Main secret detention centres within the jurisdiction
of the Buenos Aires provincial police headquarters
Sheraton (or The Funnel)
This was a secret detention centre operating in the Villa Insuperable Police Station, which is to be found on the corner of Calles Tapalqué and Quintana, in the La Matanza district. In terms of its repressive function, it derived from the 1st Army Corps via the Ciudadela Artillery Group.
A group of prisoners detained there were able to get in touch with their families, either by letter or personally.
Ana Maria Caruso de Carri and her husband Roberto Eugenio Carri (file Nos. 1761 and 1771) were seized at their home in Hurlingham. Their three daughters had to be retrieved by relatives from the Villa Tesei Police Station. This happened on 24 February 1977, and ten days later Ana Maria rang her parents' home for the first time. There were other phone calls, and on one occasion the two of them were able to meet their daughters in the Plaza San Juan. As of July in the same year correspond ence was established between the prisoners and their family. Both in the instance of the family reunion and that of delivering the letters, the intermediary was a man called 'Negro' or 'Raúl'.
This same person contacted the relatives of Adela Esther Candela de Lanzilloti (file No. 5003), interceding so that she (who had been detained at Ramos Mejia on 24 January 1977) could either visit her sister's house or telephone her. As in the case of the Carri couple, the last contact was made at the end of December 1977.
Pablo Bernardo Szir (file No. 3420) was also abducted in Ramos Mejia, on 30 October 1976. In November he called his 'family for the first time and kept ringing and writing until he met his daughters in June 1977. The man who arranged the reunion was someone calling himself 'Raúl' who said he was a member of the Buenos Aires Provincial Police. 'I met Daddy in a café in Ramos Mejia. He bore the marks of torture, his hands had been burned with cigarettes; he'd lost teeth and a lot of weight.'
In August and November Pablo Szir again met his daughters and told them that at first he had been held in Ramos Mejía Police Station, and was currently in Villa Insuperable where the Carri couple, Adela Candela and Héctor Germán Oesterheld were also detained. He then added that every so often they were all shipped to the Ciudadela Prison where they were forced to write something for them.
Ana Maria Caruso de Carri wrote in a letter to her daughters of how:
At the moment 'El Viejo' is with us: he's the author of 'El Eternauta and Sergeant Kird. Do you remember them? The poor old fellow spends his days writing comic strips which no one has any intention of publishing,
Juan Marcelo Soler and Graciela Moreno de Rial (file Nos. 3522 and 1756) were seized on 29 April 1977 at their home in Temperley. They lived as a couple with the two children from Graciela's former marriage and a son of their own, Their relations also received letters and phone calls from them until that December. Once again the letters mentioned the man they called 'Negro' or 'Raúl'.
Ana Maria Caruso de Carri refers to the couple when she says:
Several days ago we were joined by a boy who was a priest for ten years and then quit as a result of differences with his bishop, Afterwards he got married and has a little girl of three. His wife is also here.
By comparing files, photographs, letters and dates it was possible to determine that the ex-priest referred to by Ana Maria was Juan Marcelo Soler, and from the letters they both managed to get to their relatives and children, it is clear that they were held in the same place.
Luisa Fernanda Candela, Alicia Esther's sister (file No. 5003) relates:
When I went to the Ctudadela barracks I saw a car parked there, the one that 'Raúl' had brought my sister in. It was a grey Citron. I asked to speak to Lieutenant Colonel Fichero, who was in command at that time. I was met by someone identifying himself as his successor, Captain Caino, whom I asked about Adela. He told me he would go and attend to the matter. Despite various visits to the barracks he never again received me. One of the times I later saw my sister, she mentioned that she had been told my aunt and I had been asking after her at the barracks.
Whose idea was it that a group of illegally detained prisoners should be allowed contact with their relatives? We can find no answer to this nagging question.
Here are two paragraphs transcribed from letters sent by Ana María Caruso de Carri:
... we are set to work almost daily in this office. The other day six generals paid a visit (to the office), among them Vaquero, Sasiain, Jáuregui and Martínez ... not all of us were there, only four of us had been pulled out, including Daddy and me.
…all the same, we are worried about several things. in the first place, we don't know how things are going to turn out. At the end of the year, before they finally decided about our transfers, they were talking over what to do with us; I suppose the discussion took place at the Brigade headquarters. There were three positions: some said that since the war was almost over, we now served no useful function, and therefore ought to be killed. Others said that since we were of no further use we ought to be handed over to the National Executive. And yet others said we still served a purpose and would continue to do so for the foreseeable future and as such could continue like that indefinitely. As there was no agreement, discussion was postponed, which I think is in our favour, because as time passes and things get easier, it will be more difficult for them to kill us (file Nos. 1761 and 1771).
None of the above-mentioned disappeared prisoners resumed contact with their families after December 1977, In the end their captors had made their decision..