miércoles, mayo 02, 2018

CHILE: la triste y horrible historia de Colonia Dignidad- Villa Baviera


Excavations at Chile torture site offer new hope for relatives of disappeared
Colonia Dignidad was a secretive enclave run by an ex-Nazi paedophile where victims of the Pinochet regime were tortured, killed and buried




 
The entrance stone to Villa Baviera/Colonia Dignidad. Colonia Dignidad was the seat of an ex-Nazi religious sect and served as one of General Pinochet’s secret police’s clandestine torture sites. Photograph: Marella Oppenheim

The road to Villa Baviera winds 380km south from Chile’s capital, Santiago, through forests and fields of newly harvested hay, to the foothills of the Andes.
At the resort’s hotel, tourists sip German beer and enjoy the scenery, but the tranquil setting belies a horrific past: until 1991, the sprawling compound was known as Colonia Dignidad, and was home to a religious sect led by a convicted paedophile and former Nazi.





Today, Villa Baviera is run by Anna Schnellenkamp, daughter of one of Paul Schäfer’s right-hand men, Kurt Schnellenkamp, who died in 2017 after serving a five-year prison sentence for enabling Schäfer’s abuse.
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The colony survives on income from a poultry farm, which produces 30,000 eggs a day, and tourism: there is a manmade-lake with pedal boats, a restaurant serving venison, sauerkraut and other German dishes, and a small museum that makes no mention of the disappeared.
Relatives of the disappeared say that the site of mass murder should not be a leisure centre; they have called for Villa Baviera to be closed and replaced with a memorial.
“It is not possible that a place where serious violations of human rights such as torture, murders and disappearances should function as a tourist destination,” said Margarita Romero, president of the Association of Memory and Human Rights.
“Imagine a hotel built in a concentration camp in Europe – it would never be permitted.”

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