Lumi VIDELA MOYA
On the 21st and 22nd of Sept 1974 in Santiago, agents of the DINA detained Lumi VIDELA MOYA and her husband Sergio PEREZ MOLINA, leaders of the MIR.
Lumi Videla was detained in a Street. She was then taken to a DINA Torture centre located in Jose Domingo Cañas Avenue, where she was salvagely tortured and killed in Nov 1974. Her body was then thrown over the wall of the Italian Embassy compound. The intention of the DINA was to shown as a crime committed inside the embassy, this was later disregarded by a judicial investigation. The autopsy report of Lumi say that her precise cause of death was asphyxiation due to obstructions of nose and mouth while the victim was face down.
The detention of Lumi, the day before to the detention of her husband Sergio Perez, was known by a number of detainees at the secret torture centre of Jose Domingo Cañas avenue. An ex-detainee said: “her arrest was on the 21st of September of this year. Lumi Videla lived with her husband. Lumi and Sergio had an agreement that if they were arrested, they will keep the information about the address of the house for 24 hours, after that they will asume that the other person had abandonned the house. Lumi told her that she resisted the torture for this period, so Sergio will have the time to leave the home, warned by the meetings she would have missed while being detained. However, I went to her house around 20.00 Hrs. and Sergio told me that he was very worried because Lumi should have to return home by 13.00 hrs. Sergio was detained and taken away from that same house the following day: 22nd of Sept at around 09.30 hrs.
Lumi and Sergio were brutally tortured at this centre. The secret police wanted to know the whereabouts of the most wanted Secretary General of the MIR.
It is also known through a witness’s affidavit that Lumi and Sergio were confronted to each other. Between the 24th and 25th of September, the centre’s officers in charge met with Lumi, Sergio, the witness and tow agents of DINA with the purpose of getting to know the name of the contact person between the Secretary General and other leaders of MIR.
The perception at that time was that DINA was quite close to the Secretary General and they were sure that the arrest of Sergio was a serious setback for this organisation. Sergio was in poor conditions due to torture at this meeting. The other people at that meeting were told that: it was their duty to save the life of Sergio who was ‘dying’. In exchange for the contact name, they would provide immediate medical attention to Sergio, thus saving him from death. Moreover, the DINA’s agents pointed out that there was no need for them to reply there and then and that they would grant them some deliberation time.
After the meeting finished, the detainees were taken back to their cells. The witness was deeply moved by the poor condition of Sergio –who was gravely ill as was indicated by the DINA’s agents and she was even more troubled by the call for help from Sergio Pérez.
The following day, Sergio was thrown into the room; he was still, groaning from his multiples injuries. He also had an unattended bullet wound in a leg. He was vomiting blood continuously. He was kept in this room together with Lumi and the ‘witness’ for about one hour. It was undoubtedly an act of pressure against the other so they could rush their decision on the name of the contact.
The affidavit continues: Sergio Perez was again tortured. His screams could be heard al over the centre. An important detail: one afternoon Sergio’s screams could be heard and then people running through the house calling: a doctor… a doctor… indicating that Sergio was dying and that hospital attention was needed. Lumi ask for permission to see him and say her ‘good byes’; she was taken to him for a few seconds and taken back to the room. Then a fast running and the sound of a stretcher were the last sounds heard. That was the last day that Sergio was heard and seen… Today he is a ‘disappeared’.
On the 4th of November 1974, the body of Sergio Pérez’s wife -Lumi Videla was thrown to the Italian Embassy garden and the authorities issued a communiqué stating: that the homicide of Lumi occurred at the interior of the embassy and during the course of an asylum seekers’ orgy.
This version of the event was disregarded and thrown away from the case’s file by the Judge Juan Araya, due to that it was possible to establish without a doubt that the deceased never was in that place as an asylum seeker. This case was filed at a later date due to: ‘the impossibility to locate the perpetrators of the crime’.
My daughter Lumi
She showed leadership characteristic from a very young age and possess a great empathy with everybody. She was happy, full of life and very precocious. At the age of one she begun talking not using single words but full sentences, that left me astonished. When Lumi was born, I was
very young and I did not know anything about babies, I was just an undergraduate from the State Technical University.
When ‘Little Lumi’ was a bit older she also surprised me with her opinions, for example when I made a remark to her she would reply to me: “Let me live my life and breathe my air”. She was a very independent, studious and responsible girl. She always was worried about others, even more if they were disadvantaged and/or dispossessed.
She studies her secondary education at the renewed Lyceum: Dario Enrique Salas, this establishment -at difference to the other traditional lyceums- was more open, permissive, tolerant and a discipline less rigid compare to the others; this influence in Lumita was decisive in her formation as an adolescent because it reaffirmed in her the values from home imparted by both her grandparents -teachers and young both- and I.
All this formed a young girl supportive, humane, generous, truthful, responsible, who alternated her studies with weekly dancing.
She entered university at the age of 16 to read Philosophy, completing her degree she entered again to the University of Chile to read Sociology. She was at the 3rd year on the 11th of September 1973.
The relationship granddad - granddaughter (the first granddaughter) was very important in the formation of Lumita during her secondary education as well as at University. He was who imparted the discipline and organisation of the studies. He was like a father to her. I did not live with Lumi’s father. They locked themselves in his study; he listened to her questions and gave a reply to them. She invited him to go shopping… and the only thing they bought were books. At the age of 13 – 14 she was reading Simone de Beauvoir. I read her at the age of… 30.
During her studies of Philosophy she begun expressing a definite interest for politics and this would become with time her most important objective in life: to fight for a better and just society, more humane. Without abuses, discriminations and people being exploited. In other words… she became a Revolutionary.
Parallel to her struggles for Freedom, Equality and Justice; Lumita became a mother herself at the age of 22 and enjoyed her son’s company for 3 years until that fateful day: The military coup… 1973
Psyquiatry has affirm that always the most painful loss is that of one’s child. When I asked the Psyquiatrist who was treating me for a severe depression why I could not overcome the lost, grief for Lumi, she replied: that pain, grief is never overcome and that I would have to learn to live with my pain.
A tree was planted on his memory, as part of our ecomemoria program : www.ecomemoria.com