Until recently the right continued defending Schäfer

Judge Zepeda interrogated prisoners of dictatorship

The most relevant testimony corresponds to a foreigner who was held prisoner inside the German enclave during almost a year. The man declared that he was always in isolation because he was considered dangerous by Colonia officials.



La Nación

During two days that minister Jorge Zepeda was in the ex-Colony Dignidad, he took statements of several people who were held prisoner inside the German enclave. According to sources related to the case, the most relevant testimony corresponds to a foreigner - whose name is kept confidential - who was imprisoned for nearly a year in solitary confinement. In his declaration, the man said that he was always isolated from the other prisoners and that his guards maintained him bound and gagged.  

The judge located this person because his data was found among the intelligence cards found last June in Colonia Dignidad, and because colonia’s residents remembered him being held there, his physical description, and his last name presumably of Croatian origin.

With this data, the team working under Zepeda began searching for him until they managed to find man’s whereabouts. The man declared that after being held prisoner for almost a year, the colonos handed him over to the military unit, claiming that he had been found carrying weapons. He was then imprisoned in jail and later released.

Zepeda’s next step will be to interrogate prisoners who were taken there in the bus owned by Colonia Dignidad that the judge confiscated in the enclave months ago. LN


The right and Colonia Dignidad

In 1991 when ex- President Patricio Aylwin ordered the cancellation of the legal status of Colonia Dignidad, 17 parliamentarians of UDI and RN resorted to the Constitutional Court to annul the decree of the Ministry of Justice that dissolved the legal status of the Beneficient and Educational Society Dignidad.

Then, although in 1996 the courts ordered Paul Schäfer’s arrest to investigate the accusations of sexual abuse against minors and from which multiple information about illegal activity inside the German enclave arose, a series of right-wingers continued defending Dignidad.

In the 2000, the ex- deputy (UDI) Enrique Van Rysselberghe criticized the report of the Investigating Commission of the Dissolution of Colonia Dignidad, saying that "whenever the Government has some problem, it brings up the subject of Mr. Schäfer and Colonia Dignidad. This issue has been used politically".

In the 2001, deputy (UDI) Jorge Ulloa assured that "innocent people - in reference to the ex- Colonia Dignidad –are being blamed" in the disappearance of the American Boris Weisfeiler in January 1985.

In his testimony in 2004, the former colonia resident Jose Efraín Vedder Veuhoff maintained that senator (UDI) Hernán Larrain helped Paul Schäfer and was part of the network to protect him from being arrested.

Last year, when senator (PS) Jaime Naranjo asked for the dissolution of the Perquilauquén Society, (owned by Dignidad leaders), deputy UDI Ignacio Urrutia appeared as partner Nº 279 of the organization.