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Manuel de la Cruz Vargas Leiva

                      Manuel de la Cruz Vargas Leiva, married, four children, retired, ex- Mayor of Til Til, militant of the Communist Party of Chile, was detained around noon of day 7 of August of 1976 by agents of the DINA, in the surroundings of the Central Station. Moments before he had been in that same place with his son Manuel Enrique, who related that his father commented him that by those days he was being looked by security agents. In addition, he indicated to him that he was going to met his wife to give her money for the expenses of the house. Manuel Enrique said good bye to his father and he only returned to hear about him when he was informed that he had not arrived to his wife´s house. She, Mrs. Irene Marín, related later that he “that day, he had to meet me in order to give me the monthly pension…he did not concur to our meeting, that morning he called me by telephone and asked me if I was going to leave home, I answered that no. He has to call me again later that afternoon, to agree the place where it would give me the money, but he doesn’t call me again".

After apprehending Manuel Vargas Leiva, agents of the DINA transferred him to Villa Grimaldi, located in Jose Arrieta in the commune of Peñalolén, as it said in the final report of la Comisión Nacional de Verdad y Reconciliación. In sworn declaration in December 4 of 1979, Juana del Carmen Vicencio Hidalgo, retained August 13 of 1976, relates that being detained in Villa Grimaldi, she was intensely interrogated by Manuel Vargas Leiva. She adds that in a occasion, in that same place, she saw and talk to Mario Juica Vega, person that always accompanied Manuel Vargas; the last time that she saw them together, was the July 30. Juica Vega was retained on August 9, and like the affected, he’s still missing. Later, by the end of the month of September 1976, 4 civilian subjects arrived at the affected home, located in Til-Til. There, they talked with the mother-in-law of Manuel Enrique Vargas, son of the affected one. Its interest was to establish the goods that were property of the victim. That was the last opportunity in which the agents were present.

Years before, on 1949, Manuel Vargas Leiva being Mayor of Til-Til, was retained and relegated to the island of Melinka. Years later, after the Military Coup of 1973, precisely on January 22 of 1975, at dawn, 5 civilian subjects arrived at the affected home, in Til-Til, mobilized in a light truck Station Wagon, FARGO brand, without patent. The subjects smoothed the house and they took “kidnapped”, his children Flavia and Manuel Enrique, since there was no competent order, they were transferred to the neighborhoods of a beach where they were locked up in small houses. At noon of the following day they were interrogated about the friendships of their father, the places that he visited, and if he had arms in the house. During the interrogation the agents struck both brothers permanently, even they were threatened of death. At night they were removed from the place and returned to their house.


In May 21 of 1976, civilians who mobilized themselves in a Peugeot taxi, near the 04:00 of afternoon, concurred to his residence. The subjects asked Manuel Enrique if Vargas lived there, and as he responded to them that he was the only Vargas who lived in the house, the agents retired surprised, according to his narration.

One week later, the 27 of May, 1976, the same subjects accompanied by other three, returned to his residence, mobilized in a sky-blue Peugeot car. The agents spoke with Mrs. Norma Cimino, mother-in-law of Manuel Enrique, and they asked for him, in addition they added that they were looking for the affected one and that he escaped them, but in Santiago they would locate it.

Once again, they returned in June 3 of 1976, in that opportunity they showed a photo card of Flavia Vargas, daughter of the victim, and they asked Mrs. Norma for the address of her in Santiago, in addition they asked for the age and physical description of Manuel Vargas Leiva. Finally the agents of the DINA retain the affected one, which remains to date in quality of missing prisoner.



In August 23 of 1976, Irma Marín presented in the Court of Appeals of Santiago a resource of shelter in favor of her spouse Manuel Vargas Leiva. The writing that denounced the halting of the affected one entered the Court on August 24 of 1976 with the roll Nº807-76. With date August 31 of 1976, the Minister of Interior informed to the Court that the affected one was not prisoner by order of the Secretariat of State.

The Headquarters of the Metropolitan Area of Investigations (La Jefatura del Área Metropolitana de Investigaciones) indicated that in no one of its dependent units, the victim remains. A similar answer gave, through Minister of the Interior, the Prefect of the Metropolitan Zone of Militaries Officers (Prefecto
de la Zona Metropolitana de Carabineros)
: in the same report it is indicated that in the Kardex of that state distribution, the halting of the mentioned citizen is not registered, as also there is no resolution or order that affected him.

In October 10 of 1976, based on the merit of the received antecedents and particularly in the affirmation given by the Department of the Interior, the Court it rejected the Shelter, ordering in addition to send the antecedents to 10º Court Crime of Santiago (10º Juzgado del Crimen de Santiago) . In October 7, the Supreme Court confirmed the appealed resolution.

In November 16 of 1976 the cause roll Nº3.628 by presumed misfortune of Manuel Vargas Leiva began in 10º Court Crime of Santiago.

In December 21 of 1976, the 11º Judicial Police station of Santiago (11ª Comisaría Judicial de Santiago) informed to the Court that the inquiries practiced in the Servicio Nacional de Detenidos (SENDET), welfare services, centers of imprisonment and Tres Alamos, did not contribute with antecedents respect to the affected one.

In January 13 of 1977 the Judge of 10º Court Crime of Santiago had at sight and accumulated the cause roll Nº103.107 of 5º Court of the Crime to investigate such facts. Also the mentioned cause had its origin in a denunciation by presumed misfortune, presented to 5º Court of Crime on October 25 of 1976.

International Police informed to 10º Court Crime that the affected one did not register country leavings. Also the Civil Registry Service and Identification, informed that the halting of Manuel Vargas Leiva was not registered.

After diverse information of different public organizations that indicated not to have antecedents of the affected one, in July 7 of 1977, the Judge determined to close the summary and to suspend the cause temporarily since “it has not establish the presumed misfortune” of the affected one.

This resolution was appealed by the denouncer and, on October 27 of 1977 the 10º Court Crime of Santiago confirmed it.

In January 5 of 1978 it was presented in 10º Court Crime of Santiago, a criminal complaint by the crimes of kidnapping and illegal arrest of Manuel Vargas Leiva. In January 10 of 1978, the complaint was accumulated to the cause roll Nº3.628 of same Court.

Again, the public organizations consulted, such as Civil Registry, International Police, etc., informed that the answer always was that there weren’t antecedents on the victim.

Between April and March of 1978 diverse hospitals, like the ones of Armed Forces and Police Officers, informed that the affected one had not entered to its establishments.

In June 27 of 1978, the II Military Tribunal of Santiago, informed to the Court that a review of income books, does not show any process against the victim. Equally the Military Office (Fiscalías Militares) of the public prosecutor, depending to the mentioned Military Tribunal, informed like the Court of Aviation.

In June 30 of 1978 the Minister of Justice, Mónica Madariaga, informed to the Court that there is no constancy in this Secretariat of State that a medical examination was practiced to the victim. The Judge declared closed the summary, for being exhausted the investigation on July 31 of 1978. On August 7 of the same year, since “from the given investigation it has not been managed to establish the presumed misfortune of Manuel de la Cruz Vargas Leiva”, it suspended temporarily the cause. The Appealing Court approved the ruling in December 13 of 1978.

In March 12 of 1980, the Minister in Extraordinary Visit, Servando Jordán Lopez, named by the Appealing Court (Corte de Apelaciones) to investigate the cases of disappeared prisoners in Santiago, solved to replace the cause to the summary state. During that month, tie witnesses linked to the victim, declared in the Minister.

In April 25, after having at sight process 553-78 transacted in 2ª Military Office (2ª Fiscalía Militar) of the public prosecutor and initiated in the 10 Court Crime, where figures Manuel Vargas Leiva - known process as “Complaint against Manuel Contreras Sepúlveda and others” - Minister Jordán declared incompetent to investigate the facts of the cause, ordering to send them to the competent Military Court, that already investigated the facts. Appealed, it was not given rise to the request.

In September 3 of 1980, the Militar Judge accepted the competition and sent the antecedents to 3ª Military Office of the public prosecutor, cause with the roll Nº654-80. The 8th of September, III Military Office of the public prosecutor, solved to elevate the antecedents to the Second Military Tribunal, in order to solve on accumulation to cause roll Nº553-78. On September 23 of 1980, Militar Judge solved to accumulate the cause to the roll Nº553-78. The mentioned cause begins when August 1º of 1978, families of 70 disappear people, on which they was those of Manuel de la Cruz Vargas Leiva, interposed a complaint in 10° Judged Crime of Santiago, by the agravated crime of kidnapping against General (R) Manuel Contreras Sepúlveda, of Colonel of Army Marcelo Luis Moren Brito and of the Lieutenant Colonel of Army Rolf Gonzalo Wenderoth Well. In addition, it was given to the Court the identities of other agents of the Direction of National Intelligence (DINA), the antecedents of secret enclosures of halting of the mentioned organism and other data relative to their structure and means that the organism count on.

Without making any diligence, the 10 of May of that year the Judge of 10° Court declared itself incompetent and sent the antecedents to the Military Justice; after several appeals, in May of 1979 the cause reside in 2a. Military Office of the public prosecutor of Santiago, under the roll N°553-78.

In 1983 the Court had at sight the four notebooks of installation of Extraordinary Visita by cases of disappeared prisoners of the Metropolitan Region that extracted Minister Servando Jordán, in them there was important information respect to DINA acts and to the responsibility of that organism of security of hundreds of missing prisoners.

Without diligences made during four years, in November 20 of 1989, the Lieutenant Colonel of Army Enrique Ibarra Chamorro, General Militar Prosecutor, dictated for this cause the application of the Decree Law of Amnesty (D.L. 2.191), because the process had had the final purpose, the investigation of presumed crimes happened during the period between the September 11 of 1973 and the March 10 of 1978, and because, during the 10 years of transaction, it had not been managed “to determine any person responsibility”. In November 30 of 1989, the request was received by 2° Military Tribunal, the one that suspended total and definitively the cause - the one that still was in summary stage, for “being extinguished the criminal responsibility of the people presumably accused in the denounced facts”. The complaining parts appealed to this resolution to the Martial Court, who confirmed the ruling in January of 1992. A Resource of Complaint was then interposed in the Supreme Court of Justice, however, to the month of December 1992, it has not yet pronounced a resolution.

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