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Part I
The Repression

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


Testimony of Matilde Artes Company, mother and grandmother of the disappeared Graciela Antonia Rutilo Artes and Carla Graciela Rutilo Artes - Files N° 6333 and 7243

On 2 April 1976 my daughter Graciela Antonia Rutilo Artes together with my granddaughter Carla Graciela Rutilo Artes were arrested by the Security Forces in the town of Oruro [Bolivia].

They were transferred to the city of La Paz where mother and daughter were separated. Graciela was taken to different establishments of the Ministry of the Interior of Bolivia where she was tortured ... Carlita was put in the 'Hogar Carlos Villegas Orphanage' where she was kept under the false name of Norah Nentala and with instructions to be closely guarded. Carlita was taken several times to sessions where her mother was tortured, and the little one was ill-treated (she was kept naked, hanging head down from her feet) in order to break her mother. As a result of depositions I made to the International Red Cross, my daughter, whose whereabouts were unknown to me, was located in her place of detention, where she was visited by Señor Isler, a Red Cross delegate. He made representations to the appropriate authorities to obtain the reunion of little Carla with her mother ...

The girl was transferred to the orphanage of Villa Fátima (La Paz) where we were able to register her in her real name. She remained there until 13.20 hours, 25 August 1976 when because social workers refused to hand her over she was forcibly taken away by four agents of the Bolivian Ministry of the Interior who, acting under the orders of Colonel Ernesto Cadina Valdivia, claimed that the girl should travel immediately with her mother. The mother, for her part, was forced to sign a document saying that she 'had received the girl in perfect health'. This event occurred on 25 August 1976 at 15.00 hours. I also heard through reliable sources that my daughter was horribly tortured by a unit of the Argentine Federal Police that appeared on the scene in the middle of August 1976.

Finally, my daughter Graciela and my grand-daughter Carlita were handed over to the Argentine authorities on 29 August 1976 at 10.15 hours on the frontier at Villazón - La Quiaca. I enclose the official telegram (a photocopy is enclosed). It is worth mentioning that my daughter Graciela lived in Blivia from the age of nine years when I took up residence there, with my family, and apart from several short visits to Argentina, she never lived in this country. Therefore, beyond a flagrantly illegal transfer, it is clear that the Argentine government had no reason at all for claiming her.

From the time of the communication, the International Red Cross is the only organization to have 1) seen my daughter alive; 2) received official communication from the Bolivian Government of the handing over of both of them to Argentina and 3) carried out negotiations with the Argentinian government to produce two citizens who in some way were under its jurisdiction, in spite of the Military junta insisting that 'there is no evidence of their whereabouts and they are not under arrest'.




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