(Never Again) - Report of Conadep
List of victims
The following list is not complete. It covers those cases of nuns and priests who disappeared and about whom the Commission obtained information, either from witnesses' accounts or from reliable sources.
1. Adur, Jorge Oscar: a Priest of the Order of the Assumption, of the parish of Our Lady of Unity (La Lucila), who left the country in 1976 and was kidnapped in Brazil in July 1980. His case was denounced by the Brazilian Bishops' Conference.
He came to interrogate me, the same person as the one in the Navy Mechanics School. I remember his voice very well. He asked me if I knew Father Jorge Adur, asking me if I knew who he lived with, and I told him that he lived with three students (seminarists) in a house in the neighbourhood of La Manuelita, which was a very poor neighbourhood. At this Point the interrogator let slip: 'We only found two of them,' he said. (Testimony of the priest Orlando Virgilio Yorio, file No. 6328.)
... another group was waiting for Jorge Adur (file No. 2204, the deposition of Gerardo C. Butrón.)
2. Baccini, Héctor Federico: a former seminarist and organist, he was captured in La Plata on 25 November 1976 (file No. 2328).
3. Bustos, Carlos Armando: a priest belonging to the Capuchin Franciscans (who was on the point of joining the Brotherhood of the Evangelist of Father Charles de Foucauld). Father Carlos Bustos worked as a taxi driver. He was kidnapped in the street by Policemen dressed in civilian clothes when he was going to hear Mass in the Pompeya Basilica on 9 April 1977. He had received death threats.
4. Boinchenko, Victor: a Protestant pastor, native of Cosquín, who was kidnapped in Córdoba on 3 April 1976. According to Luis Manzanelli, he was left in the secret detention centre, La Perla, and then 'transferred' (testimony of Teresa Celia Meschiati, file No. 21).
5. Corsiglia, Hugo Arnaldo: a Catholic priest kidnapped on 10 August 1977, in Buenos Aires province (file No. 3418).
6. Di Pietro, Carlos Antonio: a seminarist and member of the Order of the Assumption, he was kidnapped on 4 June 1976 in San Miguel (Buenos Aires). He lived in the community centre of the Order of the Assumption situated in the La Manuelita neighbourhood in San Miguel, where he was seized by civilians dressed in military uniforms, according to the testimony of neighbours. At the same time 'they were asking for Father Jorge' (Adur) (Testimony of Inés Rodríguez, file No. 2204, given to this Commission on 12 July 1984.)
I was warned by a nun, Filomena, who lived just round the corner from the victims' house (the other person kidnapped was the seminarist Raúl Eduardo Rodriguez). I left my house and walked a block and a half from where I could observe the military operation. (Testimony of Jesús Oscar Ahumada given to this Commission on 30 May 1984,flle No. 2204.)
They took Raúl Eduardo Rodriguez and Carlos Antonio Di Petro, while another group waited for Jorge Adur. The congregation made some inquiries, but the only thing they could discover was that the operation had been carried out by the Navy. The situation became worse when Jorge Adur left the country and made some declarations in Europe. (Deposition of Gerardo Carlos Brutrón, file Nos. 2204/2205.)
7. Domon, Alice: a French nun who belonged to the Paris Foreign Missionaries (a French order) was kidnapped in Buenos Aires (in the Church of Santa Cruz) on 8 December 1977. She was a prisoner of the Navy Mechanics School, was tortured and finally 'transferred'.
The same thing happened to the French nuns, Alice Domon and Léonie Renée Duquet, I had an opportunity to speak to Sister Alice in person as I was taken, together with Sister Renée, to the third floor of the officers' mess in the Navy Mechanics School, where I was being held prisoner. It happened on about 11 or 12 December.
That was when she told me she had been kidnapped in a church, together with relatives of people who had disappeared.Then I learnt that there were thirteen people in all. The nuns
had been beaten and were very weak, and when Sister Alice went to the bathroom she had to be carried by two guards. I asked her if she had been tortured, and she answered, yes. She had been tied down on a bed, completely naked, and the electric prod was applied to
all parts of her body. She said she was then forced to write a letter to the Mother Superior of her Congregation. She wrote it in French while being tortured all the time, and afterwards they took a photograph of both of them sitting side by side at a table. The photographs were taken in the same place as where they had been tortured: in the basement of the officers' mess. The nuns were in the Navy Mechanics School for about ten days, tortured and interrogated. Then they were 'transferred' along with eleven other
people. The rumours in the prison, which were based on the speed with which they took these people away, suggested that they were killed. (Testimony of Horacio Domingo Maggio, file No. 4450.)
About ten or twelve relatives of disappeared people were seized as well as the French nun, Sister Alice Domon. Later they took Sister Renée Duquet, of the same religious Congregation as Sister Alice, to the Navy Mechanics School. Sister Renée was put in 'La Capuchita'. Sisters Alice and Renée were savagely tortured, especially Sister Alice. Their conduct was admirable. Even in their worst moments of pain, Sister Alice, who was held in 'La Capucha', asked about the fate of her companions, and as a piece of extreme irony she particularly asked about 'the fair-haired boy', who was none other than the navy lieutenant Astiz (who had infiltrated the group pretending that he was a relative of someone who had disappeared). Sister Alice was forced to write a letter at gunpoint. And to crown the parody they took a photograph of both Sisters in the laboratory where the photographs of the Navy Mechanics School are developed. Both of them were sitting in front of a table with a poster of the Montoneros Party behind. Sister Alice and Sister Renée were 'transferred', and with them the relatives of the families who had been seized at the same time. (Testimony of Lisandro Raúl Cubas, file No. 6974.)
8. Duquet, Léonie Renée: a French nun belonging to the Paris Foreign Missionaries, aged sixty, who taught the catechism in Castelar, was kidnapped on 10 December 1977 in Ramos Mejia (Buenos Aires). She was a prisoner in the Navy Mechanics School, tortured and later 'transferred'. (Testimony of Horacio Domingo Maggio and of Lisandro Raúl Cubas.)
9. Fourcade: a priest kidnapped on 8 March 1976, He was in the secret detention centre, La Ribera. 'Transferred'. (Testimony of Teresa Celia Meschiati, file No. 4279.)
10. Gadea, Aníbal: a Catholic seminarist, kidnapped In 1977.
11. Galli, Jorge: a priest, kidnapped in 1976 in San Nicolás (Buenos Aires).
12. Gervan, Luis Oscar: a Catholic priest, kidnapped on 4 November 1976 in Tucumán.
13. Gazzarri, Pablo María: a priest. He worked in the parish of Our Lady of Carmen in Villa Urquiza (Buenos Aires) and was about to enter the order of the Brotherhood of the Evangelist (of Father Charles de Foucauld), which he had decided to do in order to dedicate more of his time to missionary work among the poor. Father Gazzarri was kidnapped on 27 November 1976. According to witnesses, he was stopped in the street near his parents' house by people who were wearing police uniforms. He had received death threats, particularly after the massacre of the Pallotine Fathers. As a seminarist he had had as his spiritual adviser the (now) Cardinal Eduardo Pironlo, who, after the kidnapping, tried in vain to obtain information from the Argentine authorities. He was seen being held a prisoner in the Navy Mechanics School and was 'transferred' in the first few days of January 1977.
Father pablo Gazzarri was kidnapped in November 1976 and brutally tortured. I heard because the guards talked about him. He was in the cell at the end of the 'L' of 'La Capucha'. Later they Put him on the floor next to me, and I told him about the Mass on the second floor, and I asked for his spiritual advice. But he could not give me this as he was 'transferred' during the first week of '77. (Testimony of Lisandro Raúl Cubas, file No. 6974)
14. Jalics, Francisco: a Jesuit priest, who was kidnapped on 23 May 1976 in the Rivadavia neighbourhood (on the border of the Bajo Flores neighbourhood). He was kept a prisoner in the Navy Mechanics School and later in a house in Don Torcuato. He was released on 23 October 1976 with Father Yorio, a priest belonging to the same Community. He left the country.
Father Jalics was also with me, another member of the community …I began to talk to Father Jalics, who told me that during the operation in which both of them were detained, he saw that one of the participants had an anchor on his belt. Once in prison, when it came to celebrating 25 May a military parade was going on outside and he could hear a speech that began with the words 'from the Navy Mechanics School'. Both Father Jalics and I came to the conclusion that we had been detained by members of the school.
I realized I was in an open field [he had been freed] and then plucked up courage and took off my blindfold. I saw the stars. Father Jalics was at my side (we were left by a helicopter). (Testimony of Father Orlando Virgilio Yorio, file No.6328.)
15. Isla Casares, Juan Ignacio: a worker priest in the Parish of Our Lady of Unity (Olivos) which was the parish of Father Jorge Adur. He was kidnapped (and possibly assassinated) on 4 June 1976 in Boulogne, District of San Isidro, Buenos Aires. The younger brother of the victim, who was held prisoner in the car, witnessed the shooting and saw them putting a body into the boot of the car.
They told me to keep quiet or they would shoot me. They were carrying fire-arms (sub-machine guns). I heard a burst of machine-gun fire and a man's voice shouting ... through the rear mirror I spied them opening the boot and putting a body in ... I was in the car with someone to whom everyone referred as 'Major'. The man accompanying the 'Major', who was also travelling in the car, cleaned blood off his hands with a rag before getting in ...'(Testimony of Marcelo Isla Casares, file No. 2203.)
16. López, Mauricio Amilcar: a Protestant pastor, who was Rector of the University of San Luis and was an executive member of the World Council of Churches. He was kidnapped in Mendoza on 1 January 1977, dragged from his house in full view of his family (his mother and brothers, who were tied up) by a group of heavily armed men. In addition, they took money, valuables and the victim's personal documents. The World Council of Churches urged President Videla to find out where the pastor was.
17. Rodriguez, Raúl Eduardo: a member of the Order of the Assumption, and seminarist at the Congregation of the Holy Family (in the Diocese of San Isidro), was kidnapped on 4 June 1976 together with the seminarist Carlos Di Pietro in the community centre of the Order of the Assumption in the La Manuelita neighbourhood, San Miguel, Buenos Aires. He was engaged in pastoral work in slum areas and was studying theology.
18. Rougier, Nelio: a priest in the Brotherhood of the Evangelist, who was kidnapped in September 1975 in Tucumán, while he was travelling from Córdoba.
19. Rice, Patrick: a Catholic priest of Irish nationality who was kidnapped on 12 October 1976 in Buenos Aires. He was freed on 3 December 1976 and left the country, being guarded right up to the time that the plane took off. He was on the 'imprisoned-disappeared' list, and then was 'legalized'. He suffered brutal tortures.
You always had to go about there with your eyes blindfolded. Then someone interrogated me, and he asked me how I had got the wounds I had. I told him what had happened and he said from now on I had fallen down some stairs, and if I didn't say this I would end up in the bottom of a river with a block of concrete. Afterwards they produced a declaration which I signed. (Testimony of Patrick Rice, file No. 6976.)
20. Silva Iribarnegaray, Mauricio Kleber: a Uruguayan Salesian priest who came to Argentina in 1970 to join the Brotherhood of the Evangelist (of Father Charles de Foucauld). He worked for the Municipality of Buenos Aires as a street cleaner, in accordance with the philosophy of the Brotherhood that its members should carry out the same tasks as those people they are trying to convert. On 14 June 1977 Father Silva was sweeping the street when a group of civilians in a white Ford Falcon, who identified themselves as belonging to the police, asked other sweepers where he was working. A witness saw how they put him into a similar car. On the afternoon after the kidnapping, four men who said they were members of the Armed Forces, and one who said he was the military judge handling Silva's case, questioned neighbours and the Brothers about him.
According to Father Cara it was obvious that the men had already talked to the victim as they knew everything about the Brotherhood and they had brought a French interpreter with them. They were particularly interested in Mauricio Silva's political ideas. The next day a habeas corpus writ was presented, but it had no effect. At the end of July it was learnt in Church circles that Silva was in the Campo de Mayo centre and that he had been brutally tortured. Weeks later he was transferred to a place in La Plata. From that moment there has been no more news of him and the worst is presumed. ('Repression of a religious community in Argentina', published by the Brotherhood of the Evangelist (of Father Charles de Foucauld) and written by the Fraternity of the Gospel, New York, April 1978.)
21. Solan, Henri de: a priest in the Brotherhood of the Evangelist (of Father Charles de Foucauld), who had been working for some time in Corrientes province. He was detained in September 1976 and deported to France in February 1978. After being in prison for twelve months he was finally accused of allowing his typewriter to be used by a group' that was opposed to the government. ('Repression of a religious community in Argentina', published by the Fraternity of the Gospel, New York, April, 1978.)
22. Weeks, James: an American priest who was kidnapped on 3 August 1976, together with five other seminarists in Córdoba. On being released he left the country.
The five seminarists and Father Weeks were all interrogated by Colonel Fierro and a retired officer nicknamed 'Cura' or 'Magaldi' possibly in the secret detention centre, La Ribera. When I was arrested on 25 September 1976 the first person who came to see me was Colonel Fierro, who wanted to know if Father Weeks had any connection with the Montoneros organization. He told me it was the 141st Unit of the Intelligence Forces which had taken the five serninarists and Weeks, and that they were thinking of killing them, but when the American Ambassador intervened on Weeks' behalf, they had let him leave the country. (Testimony of Teresa Celia Meschiati, file No. 21.)
23. Yorio, Orlando Virgilio: a Jesuit priest who was kidnapped on 23 May 1976 in his house in the Rivadavia neighbourhood, Buenos Aires and freed on 23 October of the same year. During this time he was a disappeared prisoner together with Father Víctor Jalics. Both were prisoners in the Navy Mechanics School and later they were held in the district of Don Torcuato.
At a certain point in the interrogation they began arguing among themselves. I could hear them discussing whether or not to raid a house, so I suppose they were planning it, From the way they were talking I thought they were either navy or air force officers ... I could sense that I was in a basement on the floor with a hood over my head, there were a lot of people in the place and there was someone who was watching over us ... then they came and tied my hands behind my back ... and they put chains on my feet which were padlocked to a cannon ball, and they left me closed up in a place that was very small. I asked to go to the bathroom and they paid no attention ... I stayed there like that for two or three days without any water, without food. Sometimes they came to insult me, and threatened me with death. They said I was not a priest ... I started to think that I might be in the Navy Mechanics School because of the noises that I heard, the noise of trains going by and of planes flying very low. ... After 25 May they came to give me an injection in my bottom. I heard a noise that sounded like a tape-recorder and I went to sleep at once ... they took me up two or three floors by lift, to a large room where there were many people lying on the floor. You could hear the noise of chains and of water tanks being filled up ... I could hear people moaning ... they took me out and put me in a car ... at that moment I deduced that the gates were those of the Navy Mechanics School ... they communicated by radio, and to one question the answer was 'astern'. Another day a man came, the same one who had asked me about Mónica Quinteiro ... he asked us if we were aware who had taken us, and Father Jalics replied: 'The Navy Mechanics School'. The interrogator nodded, saying, '... you know this is a war and in war sometimes the just have to pay for the sinners ... you know that there are problems amongst us, there are people who simply want to kill like that person in the raincoat who participated in the operation when we captured you ...'
After five months, at about 5 p.m. on 3 October we were given an injection ... I noticed that I went a bit dizzy. They put us in a truck and we drove, I don't know for how long. They gave us another injection, and later, another ... and I cannot remember any more, we tried to stand up, we fell ... we woke up when it began to be light ... we walked for more than a kilometre until we came to a farm. We beat on the door. A poor farm worker opened it. 'Yes,' he said, 'the day before yesterday I saw a helicopter that came down in the afternoon.' We asked him where we were, and he said in Cañuelas.
On 25 October the Bishops' Conference was to hold a meeting ... (Testimony of Father Orlando Virgilio Yorio, file No. 6328.)
24. San Cristóbal, Julio: a Lasallian Brother, he was kidnapped on 5 February 1976 (Tiempo Latinoamericano, No. 4, Córdoba).