Dealing with the Past online photo exhibit


Chile: people, demonstrations, special memories and memorials of the missing ones.
(Photos from the personal archive of Roberta Bacic, acquired over the last 12 years)


(All from the 9th and 10th regions.)

1. Jovita Ruiz Huichacán, a peasant woman from the south. She is the sister of the detained disappeared / Luis Aros Huichacán. Pictured in front of her humble home.

2. Jovita Ruiz, her children and grandson in front of their rural home in Entre Lagos.

3. Blanca Valderas, Mayor of Entre Lagos at the time of the coups. Worker and wife of the detained disappeared / Joel Fierro, she survived the execution where her husband and three other men lost their lives. Pictured in her present home in Temuco.

4. Isabel Lobos with her adopted daughter Viviana Matamala in her rural home in Río Negro. She is the wife of the detained disappeared Mario Sandoval,.

5. Isabel Lobos in front of a flowering bush behind which is her vegetable garden.

6. Lastenia Licandeo, surviving witness of the detention, imprisonment and shooting of four local dwellers and the Mayor of Entre Lagos, in her humble home.

7. Elvecia Bassay and her husband, parents of the detained disappeared / brothers Guido and Ricardo Barría Bassay, in their present home in the city of Osorno.

8. Elvecia Bassay in her home.

9. Gloria Olivares, related by marriage to José Panguinamún Ailef, peasant trade unionist. He was detained and disappeared somewhere near Osorno.

10. Sara Igor Sporman at home. She sews and alters clothing to earn a living. She is the sister of Jorge Igor, a university student who, after disappearing, was found a couple of months later in the waters of

Pilmaiquén river

11. Sabina Igor Sporman, librarian at the Regional Hospital of the city of Osorno, another sister of Jorge Igor.

12. A peasant of the region of Lautaro giving his testimony to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission when they visited his region to investigate the disappearances. His fingerprint is his signature.

13. Demonstration of the Movement Against Torture / Sebastián Acevedo in Santiago de Chile with posters saying NO to torture.

14. Demonstration of the Movement Against Torture / Sebastián Acevedo, with a banner referring to the secret police (CNI). It took place just in front of one of Santiago's torture centres.

15. Demonstration of the Committee Against Impunity in the O'Higgins park, Santiago de Chile. The protesters carry a banner reading Committee Against Impunity.

16. Relatives of the Association of Detained Disappeared of Temuco demonstrating in front of the local cemetery on the 1st of November 1996. They are holding up posters with photos of the disappeared.

17. Four women dressed in black and carrying a red carnation demonstrate silently in front of the burial place of members of the Chilean Military on the 1st of November. Symbolically, the women are asking the dead militarists for the names of the missing ones they took to their grave.

18. Relatives of detained disappeared and executed people participate in the launching ceremony of a remembrance stone for their lost ones. It took place despite the rain in the city of Chillán.

19. A lone relative of a victim stays behind at the remembrance stone to honour his loved one.

20. Launching ceremony of a carved wooden cross memorializing agricultural workers who were executed in Liquiñe. It was a rainy spring day high in a rural mountain area.

21. A rustic stone used as a memorial to commemorate the 17 wood workers executed in Chihuio in October 1973.

22. A local singer performs the day a sculpture of the Chilean artist Roberto Arroyo is unveiled in Valdivia. The large hand is at a bus stop in a poor district of the city. Behind it is the house of a political activist who was shot by police in his home.

23. Graffiti on the trunk of a tree placed close to the tomb of Víctor Jara, the popular singer who was executed. He is buried in the General Cemetery.

24. Memorial for the detained disappeared and executed erected in the General Cemetery of Santiago.

25. Memorial for the detained disappeared and executed in the 'Park for Peace'. During the military dictatorship this was a Torture Centre in Santiago, known as 'Villa Grimaldi'.

26. Commemorative plaque named 'women's cell', at the exact spot where women were tortured in the notorious Villa Grimaldi. This plaque has been made with coloured mosaics in Gaudi style. It was done with remains of ceramic and tiles found after the fire that was deliberately set by the military before handing over the place.

27. General overview of the 'Park for Peace' replacing the former torture centre. It is located at the base of the Andean mountains in the area called Peñalolén in Santiago de Chile. The picture was taken in March 2001 midst blooming roses.

Pilmaiquén memorial

28. General overview of the present Pilmaiquén bridge leading to Osorno city. In the old hanging bridge, closeby, four workers were executed. Others were thrown into the water: some have been found, others are still missing.

29. Memorial built in 1992 by the relatives of disappeared and executed people and the Association of Disappeared and Executed of the Osorno province.

30. Close up of the Pilmaiquén memorial.

31. Detail of the colourful graffiti board painted by relatives of the disappeared, reading: FOR JUSTICE. It was made in 1992 and renewed on several occasions. It will be knocked down once the new highway linking Valdivia to Osorno is built.

Indigenous funeral

32. The remains of two indigenous peasants leave Lautaro Tribunal in a funeral carriage after having been identified by forensic anthropologists. Two tombs marked NN for unknown people in Lautaro cemetery contained the bodies of these two people, who had been detained by police in October 1973.

33. A vigil for José Beltrán, one of the disappeared, in his humble house in an indigenous community located near Lautaro. The coffin has been placed in front of the house where relatives and friends gather around it.

34. An ox cart carries José's coffin from his home to the indigenous cemetery. Only the relatives walk beside the remains on this stage of the journey.

35. Relatives and friends of José are joined by government officials and NGO members on the slow march to the place where his remains will rest for ever.

36. José's closest relatives lower the coffin into the grave.

37. A cross with José Beltrán's name, plus a plastic flower crown, placed on his tomb after filling the grave with earth.

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