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Part II
The Victims

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


Joint detentions

Another horrifying aspect of the repression against the family was to make families share imprisonment and even the blows and the torture, over varied lengths of time, and in different conditions. Several testimonies confirm that family groups were imprisoned and were kept in secret detention centres, forced to see or hear the torture of someone they loved.

They detained my son León on 19 October 1977 at 8 p.m. Three hours later a group of twelve people who identified themselves as 'legal forces' came to my house in Buenos Aires and took my husband and me away in two different cars. We were blindfolded, and after driving for an hour we came to a place where we were interrogated. There I could talk to my son, when I went to the bathroom. He was badly hurt by torture and wore no clothes except his pants. My husband was beaten. He was left in a bad state and we were separated. I was kept in this condition for eight days, during which, in spite of the deafening music, I heard the shouts of my son as he was tortured.

Later they told me that I would be released, and that my son was not involved in anything, but that I should do nothing, otherwise I would find two dead bodies at the door of my house. My husband appeared forty days later, and when they freed him they told us again that our son was innocent. Since that date, we have talked to our son on four occasions by telephone, the last of which was on 30 March 1978. Since then we have not heard anything of him. (Testimony concerning Le6n Gajnaj, file No. 1328.)

On 28 May 1976, at 6 a.m. people dressed in civilian clothes, carrying arms, who said they belonged to the Federal Police, came to our house in Villa Adelina, in Buenos Aires province. They came looking for our son, Francisco, but as he wasn't there they decided to take me and my wife. We were blindfolded, our hands were tied behind our backs, and we were taken away in different cars. My wife was freed after a few hours and I was held for four days in the Navy Mechanics School. My son was seized that same day, an hour and a half after our detention, at the place where he worked. On the first day I talked to him twice and for the next three I could hear his shouts while he was being tortured. (Francisco Juan Blaton, file No. 264, which includes a deposition on his disappearance registered by his father.).





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