MONTEVIDEO – Uruguayan President Jose Mujica on Tuesday along with Interior Minister Eduardo Bonomi inaugurated a clinic in the prison where both were held and tortured during the 1973-1985 dictatorship.
“It’s a changed Uruguay, but ... I was a prisoner here,” said an emotional Mujica after opening the health center, according to the president’s Web page.
The Libertad prison clinic was established in an area known as “the island” that was used as a place to torture political prisoners during military rule and where, once democracy was reestablished, violent or threatened prisoners were held.
“Here, for example, the guards provoked the prisoners so they would kill themselves, putting them in flooded cells for a month with a rope near at hand,” said Bonomi during the inauguration ceremony.
The minister added that each time the prisoners went out into the yard “they had an hour-and-a-half of mistreatment by the guards,” and they could not speak among themselves, although “at least” they were able to get a little sun.
“Sometimes we asked ourselves rhetorically at that time what was going to be done with Libertad Prison when things changed and the two majority opinions were that it would be converted into an agricultural school or that it would be made to disappear from the map,” he said.