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Centres of Detention and Torture: Chile 1973-1990


"...all I knew about evil until then was only caricature, only literature. Now evil has lost all moral reference..."  
(Hernan Valdes 1974; survivor of the Concentration Camp "Tejas Verdes")

"..they either shot you, or they tried to kill you slowly. They tried to kill me slowly, by beatings, torture and madness in solitary confinement. Ten of my ribs were broken and didn't set properly. My kidneys do not work well because of the beatings. They made me eat shit with a spoon... People say that this has made me wise. Well, I would rather be stupid, and not have had that lesson. I learnt things, but they were all dark things..."  
(Santiago Bell 1986; survivor of the Torture Centres and Concentration Camps: "Isla Quiriquina" and "Regimiento de Chillán")

During the 17 years of military dictatorship, the Centre of Detention and Torture played a pivotal role in the systematic violation of human rights. These places were established with the sole purpose of carrying out, in a systematic manner and in total impunity, the acts of State terrorism against the Chilean population, political and religious persecution, kidnapping, torture, murder and disappearance. For this purpose they utilised Army Barracks, Police Stations, Air-force Hangar, Churches, country houses, Schools, public buildings, Navy and merchant ships, private homes, Clinics and Hospitals.

Each one of these places was used by the secret police, the local police, and the Armed forces y civilians to systematically torture, rape, murder and made to disappear men, women and children. Throughout Chile the military dictatorship established “public”  (Estadio Nacional, Isla Dawson, Pisagua, Chacabuco, Isla Quiriquina, Cuatro Alamos etc..) y “secret” (Villa Grimaldi, AGA, La Firma, Colonia Dignidad, Venda Sexy, Londres 38, José Domingo Cañas, etc...), places dedicated to the arrest, processing, interrogation, torture and murder of opponents of the dictatorship.

The repression reached such magnitude that during its horrific history, thousands upon thousands of members of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force), Police, Detectives, Firemen and civilians (including medics, nurses, secretaries, drivers, pilots, car mechanics, informants and accomplices etc..) actively participated in what soon became a true “industry of torture and disappearance” ("industria de la tortura y la desaparición forzada").

It is estimated that in the first months after the coup d’etat alone, 45,000 people were detained by the security forces. These pages are an attempt to compile, from different sources (testimonies from survivors, books, newspaper, films/videos, government publications, court cases and confessions from former torturers) a list and a history of the Centre of Detention and Torture that existed during the military dictatorship and where hundred of thousands of men, women and children were torture, over 2000 were murdered and 1197 made to disappear.

Complete list of the Centres of Detention and Torture utilized during the Military Dictatorship 


- To download please click here (PDF file) -


Over 1200 centre of detention and torture have been identified so far, some of them are listed here:

Isla Quiriquina

Regimiento "Copiapo"

Regimiento "Arica"

Batallon Logistico No 6

Regimiento "Tucapel"

Academia de Guerra Aerea (AGA)

Buque Escuela Esmeralda

Poligono Grl Bari

Regimiento "Colchagua"

Campo de Concentracion "Chacabuco"

Fundo Chihuio

Hospital Naval

Casa en Obispo Michelatto

Fuerte Borgoño

Estadio Regional de Concepción

  Estas paginas han sido preparadas y son mantenidas por: Proyecto Internacional de Derechos Humanos - Londres © 1996 - 2015