On Wednesday, May 11, The Council of National Monuments (CMN) unanimously approved, in its plenary session, the request for declaration as a National Monument, in its category of Historical Monument, the Memory Site Former Clandestine Detention and Torture Center Nido 18.
The National Monuments Council (CMN) approved the request for the declaration of the Nido 18 clandestine detention center as a Historical Monument. The compound, located in the commune of La Florida, was used as an exclusive area for interrogations and torture by the Joint Command in 1975. In this place, 28 people disappeared, members of the MIR and the Communist Party, according to the Rettig Report.
This transitory area was used by the Joint Command, a parastatal intelligence and political repression group that operated between 1975 and 1976.made up of agents belonging to the Air Force Intelligence Directorate (DIFA), the Carabineros Intelligence Directorate (DICAR), the Naval Intelligence Service (SIN), members of the Army Intelligence Directorate (DINE), members of the Chilean Investigative Police and civilians from extreme right-wing nationalist groups (Patria y Libertad).
The request was made by María Inés Salgado, president of the Corporación Iguales, an entity that currently has the property on loan -of fiscal property-. This corporation is dedicated to programs aimed at children and adolescents (NNA), who experience violations of their rights.
The petition received the support of the Undersecretary for Human Rights, and different representatives of organized civil society.
The house, located on Avenida Perú 9053, at bus stop 18 in La Florida -hence its name-, belonged to the Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR) and was used as a safe house for one of its militants. It was raided in 1974 and occupied by the State, especially by the Joint Command, from April to November 1975. It is estimated that there were 35 men and women who passed through this area, of which only some foundations and the remains of a gate remain.
“This venue is part of the recent history of the country and of repression as a State policy and keeps the memory of the victims of human rights violations. It is important to recognize these places of memory, so that they allow the resignification of these painful events and the projection from the State of a culture of peace that grants guarantees of non-repetition”, said the Undersecretary of Cultural Heritage and President of the CMN, Paulina Soto Labbe.
detention and torture
In Nido 18, the agents dedicated themselves exclusively to torture, according to what former FACH corporal and CNI agent, Andrés Valenzuela, alias “Papudo” reported in court and to the press: “(…) The operational group assigned Nido 18 as a place of interrogations (…) Among the tortures, the application of electricity, various blows to different parts of the body, hangings and deprivation of food were used.”
The Rettig Report states that the accounts of the detainees in Nido 18 “reported that they were always blindfolded, deprived of food and water, held incommunicado, unable to sleep and subjected to constant interrogations; they reported, among other tortures, beatings with fists, feet and sticks; application of electricity, hangings, pau de arara. Obligation to remain in forced positions, threats; they were forced to listen and witness other detainees being tortured; and mock executions.
Although the original house no longer exists, it is through a sketch provided by the agent Andrés Valenzuela and survivors’ stories that its operation as a torture center can be established: a site of 1,000 meters, with the entrance on the east side and a wooden gate that had an iron grille along its entire length. It was covered with a coirón to prevent the view inside. There was a mechanical workshop with 4-leaf folding wooden doors and inside a mechanical shaft (today covered) with a ladder to go down inside. Behind, 2 small rooms -originally bedrooms-, which were used to hang detainees.
Among the values recognized by the directors of the CMN, Nido 18 constitutes a material historical testimony of the operation during 1975 of the Joint Command, as well as of the political resistance carried out against the civic-military dictatorship. It is one of the first clandestine detention and torture centers known in November 1984, due to the testimony of Andrés Valenzuela. In retaliation for this fact, and as an intimidation of the population, the dictatorship ordered the arrest, torture and execution of José Manuel Parada, Manuel Guerrero and Santiago Nattino, on March 29, 1985, known as the Degollados Case.
The testimony of “Papudo”, and his subsequent collaboration with the judiciary, has made possible the identification of the members of the Joint Command and the prosecution of the agents responsible for the execution and/or disappearance of 28 people, according to the Rettig Report.
“Its preservation over time is a contribution to the education and promotion of human rights for society as a whole, as an expression of the state obligation to guarantee the truth of the facts, symbolically repair the victims, their families, the society as a whole and generate effective guarantees of non-repetition in the field of culture and heritage”, is part of the values identified for its declaration.
The councilors agreed to request the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage to issue the respective decree with the associated boundary plan.