†† DR. OLGA WEISFEILER

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††

 

 

July 13, 2004

 

 

The Honorable George W. Bush

The United States President

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

 

VIA FAX

 

Mr. President:

 

In the light of your upcoming meeting with the President of Chile Ricardo Lagos, I am using the opportunity to ask you, Mr. President, for your vital help.

 

I write to ask you to lend your personal voice, and the weight of your prestigious office, to raise with President Lagos the issue of the fate of my brother, Professor Boris Weisfeiler, a distinguished US mathematician who disappeared in southern Chile while on winter vacation hiking trip in January 1985.

 

After many years of searching for him, I learned in June 2000 -- through declassified State Department documents -- that Boris was apprehended by a Chilean military patrol and taken to Colonia Dignidad, a 37,000 acre German pseudo-religious sect with links to Nazism. Colonia Dignidad, during the military dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, was one of the most notorious and secretive detention and torture center, from where dozens of political prisoners disappeared.

 

According to military sources, Boris was accused of being a Russian spy, then a CIA, and later a Jewish spy. His detention and delivery to Colonia Dignidad was due to the outstanding order of the Chilean Army to arrest and bring all strangers found in the area to Colonia for interrogations. Two and a half years after his disappearance, my brother was reportedly seen alive inside the settlement. Colonia Dignidad, now under the name of Villa Baviera, still exists and is fully operational today, in spite of the approximately 70 criminal lawsuits brought against its leaders, for charges ranging from tax evasion and falsification of documents, to child abuse, kidnappings and torture.

 

In the past few months, the investigators of my brotherís disappearance have received additional information: Boris was detained in Colonia Dignidad for some period of time, brutally tortured there and later on killed either by Colonia's leaders or by the members of Chilean military. It has become obvious to me, now more then ever, that the key answers to the mystery of Boris' disappearance are hidden behind the barbed wires fences of Colonia Dignidad.

 

Nevertheless, in spite of its long history of criminal activity and the virtual enslavement of 250 Colonia residents, who are to this day denied their fundamental human and civil rights, the government of Ricardo Lagos is very reluctant to take any official actions against the settlement.

 

During the past four years, I have traveled to Chile three times, meeting there with Minister of Defense Michelle Bachelet, Court of Appeals judges, high ranking officials of the Investigation Police force, Church leaders, and other representatives of the Chilean society. I have written to the commander in chief of the Army, Gen. Juan Emilio Cheyre, asking him for information. On four different occasions, I have written to President Lagos requesting him to take drastic actions against Colonia Dignidad: close the settlement down and clarify my brotherís disappearance. I have never received any satisfactory reply from the Presidentís office.

At a time when our government and the entire world are so concentrated on the war against terrorism, I am sure you, Mr. President, will find it morally unacceptable that the settlement which was and is still deeply involved in human rights abuses and in dozens of civilian disappearances, still operates freely in Chile, and that almost twenty years later, there is still no accounting on the fate of a missing American citizen.I am asking for your powerful help and support in the task of finding the only American among the over one thousand civilian disappearances during Pinochetís 17-year rule: my brother Boris Weisfeiler.

 

I need to know what happened to Boris.And if indeed my brother is dead, he, like the any other human being, deserves a proper burial.

 

If you raise the name of my brother with the President of Chile, it will no doubt focus the attention of the Lagosí government on resolving this crime once and for all.So I am asking you to offer all possible investigative support from the U.S. government, as well as to ask President Lagos to order all of his relevant cabinet ministers to help solve this case. Please also request from President Lagos immediate and drastic measures against Colonia Dignidad. Only far-reaching and decisive actions will help uncover the truth about Borisís fate and that of numerous other human rights victims at Colonia Dignidad.It is in President Lagosí power to shut down Colonia Dignidad and bring its leaders to justice. After all these years, I have concluded that this is the only way to learn the truth about the sole American who continues to be disappeared in Chile.

 

Mr. President, I appreciate your assistance.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Olga Weisfeiler