Reclaiming Historical Memories
During the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, La Providencia, at that time part of the Catholic Church, leased part of their facilities to the secret police. There, hundreds of political opponents were illegally detained and tortured. I was jailed in the basement of La Providencia, but I could hear the world outside: children playing, trains passing, and even the bells of the church ringing. These sounds actually helped prisoners—blindfolded and disoriented— identify the location of their imprisonment. But surprisingly, even though the government never concealed its crimes at La Providencia, there are no public memorials to recognize it. La Providencia operated for eight years with total impunity.
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