Preview of Tuesday´s Hearing – July 10th, 2007
Witnesses Scheduled to Testify:
1.) Juan Ramon Nazar
Born in Saladillo in the Buenos Aires Province, Juan Ramon Nazar is a professional journalist who now resides in the city of Buenos Aires. Next week Nazar will turn 79 years old, and the following Saturday (July 21st) will mark the 30-year anniversary of the evening when a group of plain-clothed officials approached Nazar at 11:45 PM on the path between his garage and his house “to ask him the hour.” The director at the time of the publication “The Opinion,” printed in the Trenque Lauquen locality, Nazar was detained and taken to the COT-I (Center for Tactical Operations) in Martínez, then to “Puesto Vasco,” and lastly to Police Station No. 1 in Monte Grande. On Wednesday, October 11th 2000, Nazar stated in his testimony for Justicia por la Verdad (Trial for the Truth): “For them, I was a subversive intellectual.”
2.) Alberto Solomon Liberman
Born in La Plata, Alberto Solomon Liberman is an architect who turns 68 next month. Between 1974 and 1976 he served as the Minister of Public Works for the Buenos Aires Province, before being kidnapped from his home on May 14, 1977 by a group from the Buenos Aires Provicial Police. Liberman was held in at COT-I (Center for Tactical Operations) in Martínez until mid-July, before being transferred to another location along with a group of others detained there.
On September 27, 2000 he stated before Judge Reboredo in La Juisticia por la Verdad (Trial for the Truth) the following in reference to Christian Von Wernich:
“Yes, in Puesto Vaco he came once to the cell where we were … they were bringing a Priest down the corridor, [who was] taller then me, thin, with black hair brushed backward, I do not know his name, but he was trying to convince us that, for various reasons of religion and faith, we had to tell the truth, etc, etc …”
3.) Carlos Néstor Torbidoni
Carlos Néstor Torbidino was mentioned in the Cuerpo de Ejército I. A military official with the surname Flowers Jouvet first took a statement from him in early May, 1977. After waiting in the corridor he was arrested, handcuffed, and taken to Police Station No. 23 in Buenos Aires. After two or three days, an officer of the Buenos Aires Police came for him and transferred him to the clandestine detention center at COT-I Martinez.
At a later time he was transferred again, along with other detainees, all blindfolded, to another location. Some two and a half or 3 months after arrival he came to know that that the place was Puesto Vasco, and that the facility was headed by Darío Rojas.
He stated that in this place he saw Timerman, Perrotta, Papaleo and Juan Destéfano, among others. He also stated that he saw all the people here that he had previously seen at COT-I Martinez: Ballent, Diéguez, Liberman, Juan Destéfano, Paino, Juan Amadeo Gramano and Bujía, the Miralles brothers and the wife of Carlos Miralles, who´s name was Luisa, Ramón Miralles, Silvio Has (nicknamed “Churrinche”) and Jacobo Timerman, but not a Carlos Miralles or his wife.
He further stated that the first days everything went well until Captain Trimarco arrived again with a priest, who was saying to them that everything was going to be alright. He believes that when Trimarco and the priest came Ramon Miralles, Gramano, and Timerman were tortured again, and futher states that Puesto Vasco was a place to correct “problems” that had come to exist, and that the personnel here consisted primarily of police officers.
In his testimony Torbidoni names Norberto “Beto” Cozzani as one of the heads at Puesto Vasco. Torbidoni was later transferred to the clandestine center of Arana, where he spent some 20 days before being released in mid-October of 1977.
4.) Martín Antonio Aberg Cobo
Martín Antonio Aberg Cobo was kidnapped in late March of 1977 when a group who identified themselves as members of the Argentine Army arrived unexpectedly at his home, performed a search, and detained and transferred him to the La Plata Department of the Buenos Aires Provincial Police. He states that he was received by General Camps and in the late hours of the night he was driven to a place which he was unable to identify, where he was detained for a week. He was held in captivity with several others, including Timerman, whose physical abuse was evident. He indicated that he was questioned for his suspected links to the Gravier case, and further noted that at night the shouts of people being tortured could be heard.
5.) Roberto Deza
Rodolfo Antonio Deza (Cacho), incorrectly cited as Roberto Deza, is 82 years old and was detained on September 12, 1977, when a group of fourteen men, armed with machine guns, searched his home and forced him into a van where he was blindfolded and driven to a garage. There, they tied him down to a wooden board and submitted him to electric shocks, questioning him on his links with the Hotel Liberty and the ERP (People’s Revolutionary Army of Argentina). In testimony he stated:
” … I would rather be killed than kill another man with a lie …. I am never going to say it again, it almost kills me [just to say it]. I cannot stop … they gave me so much in my veins… all of it … and in the mouth … later they threw me to the ground, I spent six days on the ground, handcuffed … blindfolded … without water … without anything … six days.”
Deza concluded that he was held at Quilmes after spotting chimneys that looked like those of the Quilmes Brewery. He explained that he ramined handcuffed and blindfolded throughut the duration of his kidnapping. He shared his captivity with Mr. Taub and his son, among other people. He was later moved to another clandestine detention center at Pozo de Banfield, where he remained captive until October 1977. From there, he was taken to Brigada de Lanús. After staying there for three or four days, he was led to Coti Martínez. Regarding this last clandestine center, he said:
“Right from the start … they destroyed me. After that they made me wash the car, they treated my wounds … because both the heels of my feet were very infected, Mr Benjamin Taub was paralytic, they needed me to carry him because he was very heavy. They would throw us in a courtyard where we would see each other.”
He stated that Mr. Taub and his son were among those torteçured at Coti Martínez, along with other prisoners including Saracho, ” the Spider “, “the German” and “Moustache.” He states that:
“Every time we heard a key jingle it meant that they were going to take us back again. Later, they would scare us, since we were blindfolded, they would take us to a different room and set newspapers on fire … and say ‘ we are going to burn you alive…and Benjamin Taub, in one of these sessions, was paralyzed for life.”
6.)Ignacio Jorge Mazzola
Ignacio Jorge Mazzola was apprehended at his home in the early morning on April 13, 1977, when six persons arrived dressed in plain-clothes and heavily armed. They identified themselves as personnel of the Argentine Army and then went to Jacobo Timerman’s house, who they also detained. He stated that in the car he met Ado Núñez, and that later he was taken, with a hood placed over his head, to a clandestine detention center which he identified as “Puesto Vasco,” where the hood was removed and he was questioned for his links with with Mr. Graiver, who was his client. He remained in Puesto Vasco for twenty-four hours.
Clandestine Detention Centers Mentioned:
**The criteria adopted by this court corresponds with the operation of the Clandestine Detention Centers (CCD´s). The first testimonies to be given thus come from persons who passed through Puesto Vasco and COT-I Martínez, followed by Arana, Brigada de Investigaciones de La Plata, Police Station No. 5, and lastly Pozo de Quilmes.
Refers to the former police station of the Don Bosco locality, located on Pilcomayo Nº 59, next to the Don Bosco station on the General Roca railway line in Quilmes, Buenos Aires Province. The premises later came to become the Brigada de Investigationes XIV of Quilmes (14th Detective Squad).
Puesto Vasco had vehicle access by way of a small metal gate that concealed the courtyard. The building was one floor, contained offices and jails, and was small and very humid. The kitchen was converted to a torture room.
Though known as “Coti Martínez”, in reality it was called COT-I, or the “First Center of Tactical Operations.” The facility was located on Avenida of the Liberator at 14.237, in the Martínez locality of San Isidro, in the Province of Buenos Aires.
The facility had pedestrian access into a central courtyard with flagstones. By the main entrance, on Avenida Liberator, there was a building of two rooms, one of them for torture and interrogation sessions. At the back of the courtyard, there was a building constructed between dividing walls, which contained three individual cells and a larger one, a living-room, a staff dormitory, and bathrooms. There was also a raised sentry box, and between the described buildings and the dividing one of the back – which was covered in corrugated iron – there is a narrow courtyard of brick and mud from which there could be seen the enormous pine tree of an adjoining yard.
Located on street 640 between 131 and 132, Arana – which was under the jurisdiction of sub-zone 11 in Area 113- operated between 1976 and 1977. During the investigation carried out by CONADEP in 1984, the witnesses perfectly described the physical environment, the nearby railway routes, as well as every the detail of the buildings, now occupied by the Arana Police Detachment, a sub-unit of Police Station No. 5 of La Plata. This connection also existed while the facility was operating as a Clandestine Detention Center (CCD), at is evidenced in several testimonies.
Due to its location in the center of a waste ground, Arana also appears to have been used frequently to carry out executions. There are testimonies that mention the frequent sound of gunshots, and a survivor given the opportunity to return to the site pointed out the presence of bullet holes in certain walls. The facility was headed by Miguel “The Englishman” between 1977 y 1979.
La Plata Investigation Brigade
Located at calle 55 Nº 930 in the city of La Plata, the Investigation Brigade operate as a clandestine detention center.
The catholic priest Von Wernich, according to his testimony, claims to know and have seen Liliana Galarza, María Magdalena Mainer, Pablo Joaquín Mainer, Nilda Susana Salamone de Guevara, María del Carmen Morettini, Cecilia Luján Idiart and Domingo Héctor Moncalvillo at the said detention center. As chaplain of the Province of Buenos Aires Police Department, he claims to have assisted them spiritually, and also states that they were montoneros (members of a subversive group).
Additional proof of the aforementioned is the birth certificate of María Mercedes Galarza, daughter of Liliana Galarza, born on September 13, 1977 at calle 55 and 155 in La Plata—the address corresponding to that of the detention center. The document was certified by doctor María Magdalena Mainer, who, as mentioned earlier, was also detained at the facility. Rubén Oscar Páez was in charge of the center at the time.
Police Station No. 5, La Plata
Located in La Plata on Diagonal 74 between streets 23 and 24, a direct entrance to this facility existed through a metal gate facing Diagonal 74.
Toward the back of the premises was the prisoner’s section, composed of a gallery with a guardroom to the right. Next there was a metal door with bars that opened into a corridor with a sink, four small cells, and a bathroom. Attached to the same gallery there was a large cell, another of the same length but much wider, and a barred area with a sink, a toilet, and another cell attached. The cells were dark, cold, and damp.
Pozo de Quilmes
This clandestine detention center was located in calle Allison Bell at the corner of Quilmes, in the locality bearing the same name. Alberto Derman, Alfredo Waldo Forti Sosa, Alberto Felipe Maly, Rubén Fernando Schell, Alcides Antonio Chiesa, Norma Esther Leanza de Chiesa, María Kubik Marcoff de Lefteroff, Ana María Caracoche de Gatica, Alberto Cruz Lucero, Jorge Alleaga, Néstor Busso and Mario César Villani all testified to the existence of a clandestine detention center at this location. The written testimonials of Guillermo Luis Taub, Guillermo José Forti Sosa and Mario Manuel Forti Sosa also coincide to confirm that they were detained there.
One must also consider the evidence yielded by the examinations carried out at the site and in the presence of members of the CONADEP (National Commission on the Disappeared) in the case of the aforementioned Alcides Antonio Chiesa, Rubén Schell, Norma Esther Leanza de Chiesa, Alberto Felipe Maly, Alberto Cruz Lucero, Néstor Busso, Alberto Osvaldo Derman, y María Kubik Marcoff de Lefteroff y además por Ramón Raúl Romero, Oscar Luis Viegas, Beatriz Lilian Bermúdez Calvar de Viegas and María Concepción Espinosa de Robles. Three maps and 95 pictures of the place were taken in this investigation and photocopies were later presented to the court in Annex Nº 8, fs. 4800/4806 of the public prosecutor’s list of evidence.
The Commisioner General Miguel Osvaldo Etchecolatz expressed in pages 341-343 of his testimony, collected under the proceedings of Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in compliance with decree 280 of the National Executive, that the Buenos Aires Provincial Police had facilities for the accommodation of POWs, and that these facilities changed frequently for strategic reasons and to avoid discovery by the enemy, as in the cases of Arana and Quilmes.