Repression against the MIR in Argentina

Even before the March 1976 military coup in Argentina a high level of collaboration existed between the Chilean and Argentinean security services. The large number of messages sent indicated that the contacts between the Exteral DINA in Buenos Aires and Santiago were intended not only for purposes of exchanging information, but for aiding in the seizure of Chilean activists. The documents the Commission was able to examine in connection with the cases of Jean Yves Claudet Fernández, Jorge Fuentes Alarcón, and others were very revealing.


On May 16, 1975, Jorge Isaac FUENTES ALARCON crossed the border between Argentina and Paraguay on a bus. Sitting next to him was Amílcar Santucho, brother of the top leader of the ERP (Revolutionary People's Army) in Argentina. The Paraguayan police arrested them both and took them to Asunción. The documents clearly indicate that the Chilean intelligence services were very interested in capturing Jorge Fuentes, a sociologist, because he was working as a MIR courier in the Southern Zone and was directly connected to Edgardo Enríquez and Jean Claudet in setting up the Revolutionary Coordinating Body. This was a kind of common effort involving various movements throughout the area that advocated armed insurgency. The Chilean agents were so interested in Jorge Fuentes that they had him transferred from Asunción to Villa Grimaldi in Santiago. Many witnesses have testified that Jorge Fuentes arrived with scabies all over his body, and was in poor condition from being tortured. The evidence indicates that various agencies were involved in capturing this MIR leader: the Argentinean intelligence services provided information on Jorge Fuentes' false passport, the U.S. embassy staff in Buenos Aires kept the investigative police in Chile advised of the results of his interrogation, and the Paraguayan police allowed him to be transferred secretly. Many witnesses have provided consistent testimony on the fact that Jorge Fuentes was held at Villa Grimaldi. He was treated for his scabies while being tortured and subjected to degrading treatment. The Commission is convinced that his disappearance was the work of government agents who thus violated his human rights.

From: Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation, Report of the Chilean National Commission on Truth and Reconciliation (1991)