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Administration House of Chihuio Ranch

Valdivia; Region X

I    n the days following the coup d'estat, the Administration House for "Chihuio" Ranch, a property of Américo González, was converted into a center of extermination for 18 local country people. Located in the pre-Andes, some 300 kilometers from Valdivia, the "Chihuio" ranch administration house served as a center of detention and torture for the forces of repression of that region. Rurals from Futrono, Llifen, Curriño, Arquilhue and Chabranco were taken from their homes or places of work to this place after being arrested by soldiers belonging to the Fourth Division of the Army at the command of General Héctor Bravo Muñoz. Local citizens, including Américo González, approved and supported this action. The soldiers had arrived at the different localities with list in hand.

According to eye-witnesses, the detainees were severely beaten during their detention and then taken in army trucks to the administration house of "Chihuio," where they were savagely tortured and then assassinated. It is believed that all died slowly from the tortures.

A young man from the vicinity who knew many of the victims saw their bodies before they were buried. He declared before a jury that the bodies displayed terrible marks of torture and mutilation: ..."there was Daniel Méndez missing both arms. They had cut the ears off Rubén Vargas, and half of Rubén Duran's face had been cut in pieces. Juan González had received a blow to the chest and a bullet pierced his lungs. Segundo Pedreros was missing an arm, and Orlando Barriga had his hands cut up. And Rodendo Rebolledo was missing a leg....and....all 18 bodies were horribly mutilated...."

The 18 rurals remained missing for more than 17 years. It is known that their bodies were illegally exhumed in 1979 (probably by members of the army or the CNI). Which means that in 1990 (and after a long effort by human rights groups, only some of their remains were found).

Victims of Chihuio: Carlos Acuna Inostroza; Orlando Barriga Soto; José Cortez Díaz; Rubén Duran Zúñiga; Luis Ferrada Sandoval; Eliécer Freire Caamaño; Narciso García Cancino; Juan González Delgado; Daniel Méndez Méndez; Fernando Mora Gutiérrez; Sebastián Mora Osses; Segundo Pedreros Ferreira; Rosendo Rebolledo Méndez; Ricardo Ruiz Rodríguez; Carlos Salinas Flores; Manuel Sepúlveda Rebolledo; Rubén Vargas Quezada; Andrés Silva Silva.

Criminals and Accomplices: Army: General Héctor Bravo Muñoz (Army Fourth Division); Civilians: Américo González.

Sources of information: Book, "Las Tumbas de Cristal" ("The Glass Tombs") (1991); Archives of Memoriaviva.com

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