The Minister of National Assets, Javiera Bulldelivered this Sunday the concession for 20 years of the Alberto Bachelet House of Memory -located in the Cisterna commune-, ex-Nido 20, a place that was a center of extermination and torture during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.
The building was a safe house for MIR militants and, after a raid in 1974, was confiscated and converted into a transitory interrogation and torture center for the Intelligence Directorate of the Chilean Air Force (DIFA), between the years 1974 and 1978. Dozens of detainees passed through it, several of whom are still missing.
In the place, which was declared a Historical Monument in 2005, Minister Toro highlighted the work and struggle for years of the Human Rights Committee ex-Nido 20, whose members built this space to remember the victims and as an open memory site to the community.
“We are happy to finalize this concession and make this contribution, because we know the work that has been going on for years and what they do is not only for the victims and their families, but for the whole of society. Everyone should know the story of what happened here, so I hope that this installment will give you more stability in your administration. One of the guarantees of non-repetition has to do with knowing our history, no matter how hard it may be,” said Minister Toro.
“A country without memory is not a country,” said the survivor and president of the ex-Nido 20 Human Rights Committee, Juan Thorn.
The daughter of a political execution and vice president of the Committee, Alexandra Parra, explained that it was a long procedure to achieve the delivery of the concession. “During the previous government they gave us short permits, so it was a very distressing process. As soon as the government changed we began to insist on reactivating this process and fortunately there was political will which is appreciated”.
“We are left with the peace of mind to work on the lines that we want to develop. We would like to restore the house, and for this we have to do archaeological work, collect information, that is our first mission so that the house lasts. And then work on museography”, she detailed.
The House of Memory is named after the former Air Force General Alberto Bacheletwho was not detained in this compound, but who was assassinated after the military coup.
Present at the award ceremony was Francisca Davalos, granddaughter of Alberto Bachelet, who commented on her family’s connection to this space of memory. “My grandmother (Angela Jeria) was collaborating here and it has been a family challenge to keep the memory, she greatly appreciated that the Committee had this work with the community, she came to some ceremonies and I started coming with her”, she detailed.
“When my grandmother died, we brought some books to donate to the library they have at the House and I have also become quite involved. That it bears the name of my grandfather Alberto is a gesture of symbolic reparation and of putting the focus on these people who were from the Armed Forces. and that they were not in favor of an authoritarian path, because they existed and some are still alive”, he added.