SANTIAGO – Family and friends of Chileans executed during the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet gathered on Tuesday at Santiago’s Villa Grimaldi, one of the worst of the junta’s clandestine jails.
The tribute took place at the so-called Wall of Names, on which are listed 241 names of people put to death there.
“It’s an annual commemoration based on our understanding of the need to pass on to younger generations the story of all those who resisted the dictatorship and for that reason were made to suffer its cruelty,” Alvaro Ahumada, president of the Villa Grimaldi Peace Park Corporation, told EFE.
Also attending the commemoration were students from various schools, who had it explained to them what occurred on these grounds during the Pinochet dictatorship, so they become aware of the country’s recent past.
Ahumada said the place was first used as a secret center for abduction, torture and extermination in late 1973, a few months after the bloody Sept. 11 coup that toppled President Salvador Allende.
During the ceremony there was also the testimony of a woman who had twice been held at Villa Grimaldi but managed to survive.
Official data show that some 3,200 members of the opposition died at the hands of government agents under Pinochet, including 1,192 whose bodies were never found, while another 40,000 were jailed and tortured for political reasons.