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Samuel Altamiro Lazo Quinteros, 49, married with seven children, agricultural worker and member of the Socialist Party
Carlos Enrique Lazo Quinteros, 41, married with six children, agricultural worker, no political affiliation
Samuel del Tránsito Lazo Maldonado, 24, married with one child, student, member of the Socialist Party
Luis Rodolfo Lazo Maldonado, 20, agricultural worker, member of the Socialist Party

The four men were arrested on 16th October 1973 by soldiers from the Infantry School of San Bernardo. At about 4 o'clock in the morning, Samuel Lazo Quinteros and his sons Samuel del Tránsito and Luis Rodolfo were awoken by soldiers who entered their home without any search or arrest warrants. The men were told to get dressed and to take their identity cards. About 15 minutes later, Carlos Enrique Lazo Quinteros was arrested by the same group of soldiers.

During the night of 16th October, soldiers carried out a wide sweep of the area and arrested 23 people from their homes at the rural settlements known as Campo Lindo, 24 de Abril and Nuevo Sendero in the Paine commune . At no time did the soldiers show any search or arrest warrants. Some of them had their faces blackened, some were wearing balaclavas. They were all heavily armed. Most of those arrested were agricultural workers who had participated in the agrarian reforms led by the government of Salvador Allende. The families were not allowed to get out of their beds and were told that their husbands and sons would return later in the day. The men were first taken to the Paine substation, (Sub Comisaria) where some were seen by their relatives, and then transferred to the San Bernardo Infantry Regiment. After that all trace of of the men was lost.(47)

The detentions took place in the context of widespread repressive action directed primarily at agricultural workers in the Paine area between September and November 1973 in which numerous people were executed or ''disappeared'' following their arrest by police or army personnel.

On 24 March 1974, a recurso de amparo was submitted on behalf of 131 people arrested in the Paine area. The authorities responded negatively to requests for information and the appeal was rejected on 28 November 1974. A special investigating judge was appointed to look into the case in January 1975 but closed the case nine months later. In March 1975, a criminal complaint for presumed misadventure was submitted on behalf of 23 people from Paine. Once again, the authorities refused to disclose any information and the case was suspended. In 1977 relatives of the victims asked for the case to be reopened on the grounds that in its 1975 report to the United Nations, the Chilean Government had alleged that the bodies of 63 people listed as ''disappeared'', were in fact registered in the Medical Legal Institute (Instituto Médico Legal). Among the list were 10 people from Paine. This conflicted with information previously supplied by the Medical Legal Institute. Other legal suits followed with a complaint for the illegal arrest of the Lazo Quinteros and Lazo Maldonado brothers in May 1977 and a complaint in March 1978 against the officer in charge of the San Bernardo Infantry School.

In May 1979, the judge in charge of the case visited the Forensic Medical Institute to check their records. In August, the judge declared himself without jurisdiction to continue with the case, confirming that the ''disappeared'' inhabitants of Paine had been detained and that the list of 63 people that the Chilean authorities had presented to the United Nations was false. Another civilian judge took over the case. The military refused to hand over the names of those who had been involved in the operations. The court was told that one of the accused was a military attaché at the embassy in Uruguay. In December 1979 nine criminal complaints were added to the case.

On two occasions the judge in charge declared himself without jurisdiction. Both times, the Pedro Aguirre Cerda Court of Appeals revoked the decision and ordered the judge to continue with the investigations. However, in October 1980 the case was handed to the Second Military Court and in 1982 the case was suspended. This decision was overturned by the Military Appeals Court in March 1984 who ordered more investigations to be carried out. In 1985 at least 26 military officers who were on active service at the time testified. All of them denied any participation in the operations in the Paine area. The military prosecutor requested the application of the 1978 Amnesty Law and the case was suspended again.

In 1979, the Vicaría de la Solidaridad, the Catholic Church sponsored human rights organization denounced the existence of 200 unmarked graves in Plot 29 (Patio 29) of the General Cemetery (Cementerio General) of Santiago thought to contain the bodies of some of the ''disappeared''. From the investigation it was thought that at least six of the graves could provide information regarding some of the ''disappeared'' involved in this case. Between 1981 and 1987 requests were made on five separate occasions for the graves to be exhumed without result.

In February 1992, the Military Appeals Court revoked the 1985 decision to apply the Amnesty Law and sent it back to the investigative phase (sumario) ordering the exhumation of bodies from six unmarked graves in Patio 29 of the General Cemetery in Santiago. The previous year, forensic experts had exhumed 127 unidentified bodies from this area of the cemetery as part of an investigation by the 22nd Criminal Court of Santiago into their illegal burial. Between 1993 and 2000 the remains of several men from Paine who ''disappeared'' following their arrest by the army were identified. Their names are: José Ignacio Castro Maldonado, Patricio Duque Orellana, Luis Gaete Balmaceda, Mario Muñoz Peñaloza and Roberto Serrano Galaz.


(47) The names of the other detainees are as follows: Andrés Pereira Salsberg, René del Rosario Maureira Gajardo, Patricio Loreto Duque Orellana, Ramiro Antonio Muñoz Peñaloza, Silvestre René Muñoz Peñaloza, Jorge Hernán Muñoz Peñaloza, Mario Enrique Muñoz Peñaloza, Basilio Antonio Valenzuela Alvarez, Jorge Fredes García, Carlos Enrique Gaete López, Luis Alberto Gaete Balmaceda, Carlos Alberto Nieto Duarte, Laureano Quiroz Pezoa, Rosalindo Delfín Hernán Muñoz, Luis Ramón Silva Carreño, Pedro Antonio Cabezas Villegas, Roberto Esteban Serrano Galaz, José Domingo Adasme Núñez, and José Ignacio Castro Maldonado.


Source; Amnesty International – Document: AI Index: AMR 22/014/2001 dated 10 December 2001 – Titled ; CHILE - Testament to suffering and courage: the long quest for justice and truth


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