Friday, May 3, 2013

Four DINA agents sentenced for the disappearance of María Cecilia Labrín Saso

On April 30, 2013 Judge Leopoldo Lanos sentenced former DINA agents Manuel Contreras Sepulveda, Miguel Krassnoff Martchenko, Marcelo Moren Brito and Basclay Zapata Reyes to ten years imprisonment for the detention and disappearace of MIR militant María Cecilia Labrín Saso.

Labrín, aged 25, was detained on August 12, 1974 in the presence of her family by DINA agents, while resting due to a difficult pregnancy. The supposedly brief interrogation evolved into disappearance as the family sought information about Labrin's whereabouts in vain. Testimony by former MIR militant and torture survivor Erika Hennings place Labrin at Londres 38 and tortured by Contreras, Krassnoff, Brito and Reyes. Other detainees, such as Oscar Armando Alfaro Cordova (detained in July 1974) and Raul Alberto Iturra Munoz (detained in January1974) testify to her presence in Londres 38 and Cuatro Alamos respectively. According to evidence provided in court, it is documented that Labrin was transferred and held in Cuatro Alamos on August 17, 1974, accused of participation in MIR related activities.

Labrin's presence at Londres 38 was also witnessed by former MIR militant turned DINA collaborator Luz Arce Sandoval. Arce's testimony before the Rettig Commission provided a wealth of information about the intricacies of DINA and 'justification' for the betrayal of MIR militants and comrades, which she insists only damaged the 'peripheral' structure of the leftist organisation(Lazzara, 2011).

Questioned about DINA's operations in Londres 38, Contreras stated that he 'knew of its existence' but was not knowledgeable about the objectives. despite the lack of collaboration in behalf of Contreras, the court was able to provide evidence of collaboration in the detention, torture and disappearance of Labrin through testimony by other DINA agents including co-accused Reyes, as well as information and evidence garnered from the Truth and Reconciliation Report, which identified Contreras as in command of all operations pertaining to structure, organisation and detention centres.

Krassnoff sought to reinvent his role as torturer into that of an analyst undertaking intelligence studies with regard to 'terrorist groups like MIR' - a statement contradicted by numerous witnesses, including Erika Hennings as well as co-accused Reyes who gave evidence about the structure of Brigada Halcon and Krassnoff's role in persecuting MIR militants.

Denials by the accused reeked of the impunity and secrecy which DINA availed itself of. To this day, there is no information as to how the disappearance of Labrin was carried out.

1 comment:

  1. Ramona
    Thought would sent this to you of all US Aid to Chile since 2006.Includes economic which has strings attached, training and military sales.
    The arms under direct commercial sales is very interesting.

    Bolivia's is even more interesting!