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General Bari Shooting Range

Linares: Region VII

     Hardly had the military dictatorship begun when many military operations were realized consisting of searches of districts, industries and urban institutions and rural sectors - practically all the "comunas" of Region VII. The principal places of detention were the police headquarters and local jails, but also some barracks of Police Investigations. Moreover, various military precincts were converted into centers of detention - especially the Artillery School of Linares, the General Bari Shooting Range, the Reinforced Regiment No. 16 of Talca and "Colonia Dignidad." The General Bari Shooting Range, a military compound belonging to the Army Artillery School, is located close to the southern town of Linares. According to the sworn testimonies of survivors, during the dictatorship at least 100 bodies of "disappeared" prisoners were buried illegally within the precincts of this Military Range. The case of Miguel Rojas and his son, Gilberto Rojas Vásquez, is one of the most recognized in the zone. The record points to the day of October 13, 1973 at approximately 5:00 AM. A police force from the Catillo squad, a dependency of the Parral police station, arrived at the "Fundo El Palomar" in Parral. Among the members of the patrol was Diógenes Toledo Pérez. The police entered the house and declared they were taking Miguel Rojas under arrest. This, according to the wife (now deceased) without giving any reasons or exhibiting proper orders. They headed immediately to the house of Juan Llanos and proceeded to arrest Gilberto Rojas Vásquez, Miguel's son. In both instances, witnesses report violence. The understanding was that after taking some statements father and son would be set free. Yet they were never again seen after that day.

According to members of families of "disappeared" prisoners from the region, the bodies of many victims were interred illegally in an eight foot deep grave dug at the side of the river that cuts through the General Bari Shooting Range. There would be found the bodies of inhabitants who had been arrested in the "comunas" of Parral and Linares and in places in "Las Toscas" and "Fundo el Palomar" among others. Up to the present, all the investigations carried out to find the whereabouts of the victims, including those instigated by the minister in charge of these cases, Alejandro Solis, have been fruitless.


Criminals and Accomplices: Héctor Torres Guajardo, Gabriel del Río Espinoza, Juan Carlos Romero, and Diógenes Toledo Pérez (policemen) andNelson Mery (Police Investigations)

Sources of information: Informe Rettig; Books: "Labradores de la Esperanza;" Newspapers: "La Tercera" and "La Cuarta," primerlinea.cl: Memoriaviva archives.

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