SCHAEFER HAD HOTLINE TO CHILE’S PINOCHET-ERA SECRET
New Evidence Further Links Pedophile To
(March 23, 2005) A Chilean judge is studying
evidence given to him Tuesday by Sen. Nelson Avila that suggests
there was a hotline telephone link between the Pinochet-era secret
police (National Intelligence Center, CNI) and the German cult known
as Colonia Dignidad, located near the southern city of Parral,
Avila alleges that the network was set up in 1985
with technical support from the National Telecommunication Company
(now the privatized Entel), which confirms the strong links between
the German colony and Chile’s military, which took power in
Colonia Dignidad, now known as Villa Baviera, and its
charismatic cult leader Paul Schaefer, recently apprehended in
Buenos Aires (ST, March 11), face a growing number of criminal
charges. Schaefer allegedly abused as many as 10,000 young children
during the 40 years he led the German enclave and had a hand in
numerous human rights violations, including torture and forced
Avila’s new evidence was given to
investigating Judge Alejandro Solís, who is now the fourth Chilean
judge to bring charges against Schaefer and the colony he led.
Solís is in charge of investigating the disappearance of
physicist Boris Weisfeiler. The judge questioned Schaefer for two
hours Tuesday morning.
Weisfeiler, a Russian born U.S.
citizen, was last seen Jan. 4, 1985, camping near the boundaries of
the German colony. According to Avila, there is strong evidence
linking the CNI to his kidnapping.
Solís said he would not
yet issue an arrest order for Schaefer, since Chilean law would then
require that he formally file charges within five days. Instead the
judge returned to his office to continue studying the details of the
case, leaving the self-named “Permanent Uncle” under arrest because
of other charges brought against him.
investigations include Schaefer’s alleged involvement in the
kidnappings of Álvaros Vallejos Villagrán and three other leftist
opponents of the Pinochet regime, as well as some 26 cases of sexual
abuse against minors (ST, March 17).
It also comes in the
wake of the charges made Monday by Judge Jorge Zepeda, who asserted
that Schaefer, together with five members of the DINA, the
Pinochet-era secret police service that preceded the CNI, played a
role in the disappearances of three leftists. Included in this
indictment was Gen. Manuel Conteras, the former head of DINA, also
known as “Doctor Torment.”
The disappeared were Antonio
Elizondo and his four-months-pregnant partner Elizabeth Rekas, and
Juan Maino Canales, director of the MAPU, a splinter group of the
Communist Party during Pinochet’s dictatorship.
arrested from his home in the Santiago district of Ñuñoa by DINA
agents on May 26, 1976, and later taken to Villa Grimaldi, where all
trace of him was lost.
Witnesses testify to having seen a
Citroën AX330 used by members of the colony, which matches the
description of the car parked in front of Maino’s house on the day
of his arrest, as well as two other vehicles that belonged to the
Zepeda ruled that, based on this testimony, there
was sufficient evidence to maintain that the DINA kept contact with
the German enclave. He found that this implied that Schaefer knew of
the activities of the military and collaborated in these
Schaefer, who has had heart problems but who
is now reported to be healthy, denies all the accusations, claiming
he allowed Pinochet’s military to use certain buildings at his
compound for “intelligence” purposes but did not know any details of
The investigations are snowballing, and may
lead to many other criminal charges. The Court of Appeals of Talca
is now considering an appeal made by the National Service for the
Protection of Minors (SENAME) to broaden the charges against
Schaefer to include cases of sexual abuse against 27 minors and the
rape of two young boys.
SOURCE: EL MERCURIO, LA NACIÓN, LA
TERCERA, RADIO COOPERATIVA
By Heather Cashmore