(Never Again) - Report of Conadep
The case of the Bishop of La Rioja, Monsignor Enrique Angelelli, and of the priests of Chamical, Father Gabriel Longueville and Father Carlos de Dios Murias
On 18 July 1976, the priests P. Gabriel Longueville and Carlos de Dios Murias were brutally assassinated after being kidnapped by people who identified themselves as members of the Federal Police in the District of Charnical (La Rioja), where they were carrying out their work. The day after the crime, men wearing hoods went to look for the parish priest of Sanogasta, but he had already left on the recommendation of the Bishop, Monsignor Enrique Angelelli. When the layman who attended them said that the priest was not there, he was killed.
On 4 August, seventeen days after the murder of the priests, Monsignor Enrique Angelelli, Bishop of the Diocese of La Rioja, died, allegedly in a car accident. However, overwhelming evidence has been gathered which suggests that it was an assassination.
The Bishop had just left Chamical where he had celebrated Mass and given a sermon in which he denounced the previous murders. The Bishop was driving a van, and Father Arturo Pinto who was accompanying him, remembers how just as they left Chamical a car began to follow them. The Bishop accelerated, but then another car appeared and at the height of the Punta de los Llanos the cars blocked their path and forced the van to overturn.
The body of the Bishop was left on the ground for six hours, the van disappeared, and the only injury that the corpse of Monsignor Angelelli showed was a broken neck, as if it had been repeatedly struck. The briefcase that the Bishop was carrying was never found.
'I am not here to be served but to serve. I will serve everyone, without any distinction, whatever their social class, their way of thinking or believing; like Jesus, I want to be the servant of our brothers the poor.'
These were words spoken by Monsignor Angelelli on becoming Bishop of La Rioja in 1968.
He had carried out his clerical studies in Rome, specializing in canon law. He founded the Young Catholic Workers movement in Córdoba, and was an adviser to the Catholic University Youth Movement.
The witness would like to add that one or two days after the incident, the papers that Monsignor Angelelli was carrying at the time of his death arrived at Government House, addressed to Minister Harguindeguy, in a folder that came from the Military Garrison of Salta with a special note that the documents were confidential. This development struck him as odd, since the papers were not handed over to the courts or to those close to Monsignor Angelelli.
All of these circumstances led the deponent to decide to photocopy the documents, which included correspondence between the Bishop of La Rioja and the Archbishop of Santa Fe, Monsignor Vicente Zaspe, on the way in which certain sectors of the church were being persecuted for their social work, as well as a notebook and other papers. The documents were handed over to General Harguindeguy ... the deponent would like to emphasize that he was particularly struck by the way in which the existence of this folder was held to be strictly 'secret'. I do not know where the folder went after that, as General Harguindeguy managed all matters relating to the Church personally. (Testimony of Peregrino Fernández, given to the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances of Persons by the Commission on Human Rights of the United Nations.).
During one of the interrogations, Captain Marcó and Captain Goenaga told me that the Bishop of La Rioja, the psychiatrist Raúl Fuentes and Alipio Paoletti would be killed. ... Before a month was up Angelelli died in circumstances that are still being investigated, Fuentes has been 'disappeared' since the end of 1976 and Aliplo Paoletti has been searched for intensively. In August of the same year, because of my poor physical state as a result of tortures, I was transferred to the Presidente Plaza Hospital. While I was there, the body of Angelelli was brought in one night for a series of autopsies. The people who were guarding me, members of the Provincial Police, alluding to the death of the Bishop, said things like 'this had to happen to this communist priest, the son of a…(Testimony of Plutarco Antonio Schaller, file No.
The new judge in La Rioja has reopened the case and has discovered new witnesses.