(Never Again) - Report of Conadep
Conclusions on the links in international repression
The case of the American delinquent Michael Townley is one which must be considered. He made detailed declarations before courts in the United States of the crimes he had committed against well-known people from Chile and Bolivia.
He confessed to his key role in the assassination of the former Chilean Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Orlando Letelier and his secretary, under the orders of the notorious DINA, the Chilean political police. As a result of this, US justice requested the extradition of one of the DINA's senior officers for his prosecution in the US.
He also confessed, as disclosed in the press, that he was the perpetrator of the assassinations on Argentine territory of the Chilean General Carlos Prats, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and of his wife; and of the Bolivian General Juan José Torres (ex-President of Bolivia), also in Buenos Aires. As a result of those declarations, the Argentine judiciary requested Townley's extradition for prosecution in Argentina.
Given all these clear links and the secret detention centres for the torture, interrogation, detention and transfer of political detainees in the province of Buenos Aires, the Commission included the following declaration in its deposition lodged before Penal Court No. 1 in La Plata:
Finally, the statements made by different witnesses regarding an extremely serious matter of constitutional importance, namely the presence of Uruguayan officials exercising illegal repression on Argentinian territory,'must be highlighted. The first aspect to be pointed out is that a number of Uruguayan nationals of both sexes were seen in captivity in Pozo de Quilmes.
In this context, the declarations made by Illarzen that a detainee called Sobrino recognized Ariel Pretel or Prete, the highest-ranking Uruguayan repressive officer in Quilmes, as one of the prison officers in a penal establishment in Montevideo whom he knew personally, having been held there as a prisoner, acquires considerable credibility.
The Argentinian constitutional authorities should examine this evidence with the utmost care to guarantee the exercise of the nation's full sovereignty through complete control over potential unlawful links between officials of our country and others.