Those “broken pencils” are tormented with electric shocks

the students They were kidnapped and then tortured disappear. was a result pencil night Argentina, which owes its name to the title of the document signed by the Chief Commissioner of the Buenos Aires Police, which described the actions to be taken against certain high school pupils, knew ‘Members in the event of a potentially disruptive outbreak“Those students who disappeared from the Argentine city of La Plata beginning on the night of September 16, 1976, were tortured and captured for years, many of them were killed, and others disappeared forever.


In July 1974 the Argentine president Juan Domingo Peron He died, leaving a governmental vacuum in a society that, for several years before him, was led by military dictatorships or completely illegitimate civilian governments. Perón succeeded Vice President Maria Estella Martinez de Perón, who ruled the country for two years, until coup on March 24, 1976.

That night, the helicopter in which the President and Maria Estella Martinez She was captured and taken captive. She was released only five years later. At about 3 in the morning of March 24, 1976, the first announcement of the supporters of the coup was broadcast by the now-captured television and radio stations.

Residents have been informed that Argentina has passed “Under the operational control of the military council“recommended for residents”Strictly comply with the provisions and directives issued bymilitary powersecurity or police, as well as the utmost care in avoiding individual or group actions and situations that might require the radical intervention of the operating staffThis was the first advertisement for Civil Military Dictatorship which came to power in 1976, under the name Operation National Reorganization (PNR).

The new government implemented a state of siege and martial law and established military patrols whose mission was to control individual cities. On top of the PNR there was Jorge Rafael Videlaa soldier who ruled in the first phase of the dictatorship from March 24, 1976 to December 10, 1983.

The plan of the new government was immediately clear: the implementation of a systematic plan of state terror that included acts of violent repression of opponents, resulting in the killing and vanishement Thousands of people across the country. Among these were many students, who in recent years have become participants in political life. The Night of the Pencils in La Plata is part of this panorama, in which dozens of teens aged 16-18 were taken from their homes, detained and tortured. Only four of them survived. The others disappeared.

kidnapped students

The victims of the Night of the Pens are boys belonging toHigh school student union (Ues) and some of them, in 1975, fought to reintroduce the ticket to use the bus at a low price. On the night of September 16-17, 1976, eight students were kidnapped. Among them, only two managed to return home, and the others went to feed the list of the disappeared.

Daniel Alberto Racero, better known as “Calibro”, was 18 years old and was kidnapped while in his home, while Maria Claudia Falcone, only 16, was taken from her maternal grandmother’s home, along with 18-year-old Maria Clara Cecchini, who was his guest at the time. That same night, police also showed up at the home of Francisco Lopez Montaner, 16, Claudio de Acha and Oracio Ungaro, both 17. Everything has been seen in secret detention centers by Arana and Pozo de Banfield. Then their tracks were lost. Many students participated in the struggle for a high school student ticket, which gave them a discount on a bus ticket.

To say the torture the lost boys suffered were some gods survivors. On the same night, two 17-year-old students were also kidnapped: Patricia Miranda, who did not file a complaint, and Emils Muller, who told what happened that night and during her imprisonment.

It was three or four in the morning on September 17 – He said in an interview – A large gang of heavily armed men came to my house and pointed their guns at my parents“.They were looking for it, and as soon as they spotted it, they loaded it into the car.”They took me to a place that I discovered much later was the underground center of Arana’,” added Emilce, who spoke of the horrible to torture She suffered from her and the cries of her tormented comrades.

According to what was later reconstructed, to force the prisoners to speak, the warders used “truth machine‘, a device consisting of electrodes placed on the lips, gums and genitals of boys, which, once activated, caused violent electric shocks.

A few weeks before tonight between September 16-17, 18-year-old Gustavo Calotti, a police student and former UES member, was also kidnapped, and on September 21, Pablo Diaz, also 18, was taken away. Both returned home alive, having been held in various torture camps and having been at the disposal of the executive branch. On February 8, 1977, Pablo hugged his family, the only witness to his kidnapping and alteration health conditions, but for another three years the boy was kept in La Plata prison, without any legal action whatsoever. In November 1980, Pablo was released.

The name “Night of the Pens” comes from the title of the document describing the actions the police should have taken against the students. It was specifically explained that Pablo DiazIn the context of the testimony:There is a document – It is to explain – Where the Commissioner-General Alfredo Fernandez was the coordinator of the Directorate of Intelligence of the Province of Buenos Airesannounces a planHe suppressed the high school students’ movement, because he believed that some of the teens who rebelled were potential saboteurs and a danger to the Argentine army. He himself in this document proposes the operation “Night of the Pencils”, which could have consisted systematic fit of teens in high schoolAnd the”.

The reason for the kidnappings is often related to the battle fought by the students to reintroduce the discounted bus ticket. But not only. What really disturbed the system was the political activity of the students, who were considered a danger to the system. “we had political project – Emilce admitted – I don’t think they stopped me for the high school ticket, at those demonstrations I was in the last row. That battle was in the year 75 and they did not kidnap the thousands of students who participated in it. They arrested a group that was active in the political circle. All the missing children belong to the UES, which means that there was a political project“.

Pencils are still writing

A pencil, even if it breaks, does not stop writing. Thus, despite pressure, terror and isolation, the surviving students did not stop moving on with their lives battles He denounced the torture and violence he was subjected to. Thanks to their testimonies, the fate of the students who were kidnapped during the civil and military dictatorship at the turn of the 70s and 80s was reconstructed. After the military dictatorship, the new Argentine president Raoul Alfonsin Creation of the National Commission on Disappearances of Persons, with the aim of investigating human rights violations and disappearances of persons, during the course of the national reorganization process.

The commission collected numerous testimonies of violence perpetrated by the Argentine army and police during that period and verified the existence of hundreds of secret places of detention throughout the country. Here, people are caught in the street or taken from their homes, spent months or years as prisoners, forced to remain in the dark, crowded together, untreated, and suffer the most horrific forms of torture. In 1984, the commission produced a file final report From the survey titled nonka mas (Never again), which was also used as evidence in the trial in which many soldiers and dictators who served during the years of the civil-military regime were sentenced.

At the time of reporting, they were registered 8,961 missing, a number that was estimated on the basis of complaints received by the commission and found to be consistent with the lists prepared by national and international human rights organizations. Most reports of disappearance or kidnapping were recorded between 1976 and 1977, as evidenced by one of the charts attached to the document. The investigation also revealed the presence of 340 secret detainees, in which prisoners were held. The commission’s investigation concluded that:The kidnapped youths were killed after being subjected to the worst forms of torture in several secret prisons“.

Some of the boys who disappeared into the Pencil Night were last seen in some of these centers. It was in order to make it known Pablo Diazwho claimed to have seenFor the last time Maria Claudia Falcone, after spending several months with her in the same prison, on December 28, 1976 in Pozzo de Banfield“Pablo, Commission Report,”He also saw Claudio de Acha in Banfield, and a boy named “Colorado”, all high school students, who knew each other, as well as several other people, including three pregnant women born in prison..

in I remember From those “pencils” broken by the Argentine police, the Day of High School Student Rights in the Province of Buenos Aires and the use of the means to provide “Information on the events of September 16, 1976, emphasizing the importance of democratic values ​​in relation to the arbitrariness of dictatorial regimes.. There are also many sites and monuments dedicated to memorializing students who lost their lives. So thanks to memory, even those broken pencils will keep writing forever.

Leave a Comment