The judiciary during the Repression
(Never Again) - Report of Conadep
Disappearance of Dr. Santiago Augusto Díaz - File N° 1252
Dr Díaz was kidnapped by security forces as he left his house in Santiago del Estero on 15 September 1976, as witnessed by many neighbours.
His father immediately informed all the authorities, including the Governor of the province, who was a friend of the family, but learned nothing of his son's whereabouts. Despite all these measures and depositions, including one to the Chief of Police, legal proceedings did not begin until 28 September.
Through an ex-police officer Dr Díaz's father learned that for the first few days his son had been detained in the basement of the Police Information Service in Santiago del Estero.
The writ of habeas corpus presented to the Santiago del Estero Federal and Provincial Courts produced a negative result. Steps taken with the Ministry of the Interior resulted in dossier No. 212.524/76 being issued, but this Commission was informed that this was destroyed in August 1982. No reason was given.
Two witnesses maintain that they saw Dr Díaz in La Escuelita secret detention centre in Famaillá, Tucumán province. This corresponds to the declaration of ex-policeman Juan Carlos Ortiz:
At the end of 1976 or beginning of 1977, while I was carrying out duties in the so-called Escuelita, I heard one of the detainees talking and from his accent guessed he was from Santiago del Estero. I went over to him and made certain inquiries, and found out he was Santiago Díaz. (File No. 1252.)
And the declaration of a freed detainee, Dr Teresita H. de Martínez, also confirms this. In her testimony, she says:
While I was illegally detained in the detention centre called La Escuelifa in Tucumán province in December 1976, I saw Santiago Díaz from Santiago del Estero (as is the author of this declaration) since at night when the local Gendarmería was on duty they let us take our blindfolds off and talk to each other. I was with Santiago Díaz for about a week. (File No. 1127.).