Adriana Rivas: 'They had to break the people' Interview Transcript

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A woman at the centre of allegations of torture and murder during Chile's 1973-1990 military dictatorship has told SBS she is innocent of the charges, but says the use of torture at the time was necessary. In an interview last year, Adriana Rivas insisted she was innocent of the charges.


<p>A woman at the centre of allegations of torture and murder during Chile's 1973-1990 military dictatorship has told SBS she is innocent of the charges.</p> <p>In an interview last year with SBS, Adrianna Rivas says the use of torture at the time was necessary.</p> <p>Interviewer: How did you come to work for the DINA (Direccin de Inteligencia Nacional)?</p> <p>Adriana Rivas: Im the daughter of six siblings. My father, of the middle class, was the only one who worked. My mum was a housewife. </p> <p>We were all students. My siblings were young when they got married. Yet the only thing I was able to study was to become a bilingual secretary.</p> <p>When I arrived to the DINA, it was another world for me. Clothing, we were dressed from head to toe, four times a year a complete outfit in the best fashion houses of the country. We were walking "dressed to the nines". We were dressed when we had a gala, for example. </p> <p>A brat like me, middle class, with an average education, do you think I would have had the opportunity to go to dinner at embassies in Chile? Or ride on a limo? Or stay in the best hotels in Chile? Stay a week in Portillo, all expenses paid, in the best hotels? Travel free without paying a single one? In the best hotels all of those things</p> <p>Interviewer: Were those trips inside Chile?</p> <p>Adriana Rivas: Inside and outside Chile. Outside Chile I was in Spain, but I was in one of the best hotels. [I was] with presidents of other countries. See the crowning of a king!</p> <p>I was studying to be a bilingual executive secretary...this was in 1973. Somebody from the ministry of Defense went to seek for secretaries, and they chose the best secretaries of all courses. And then I returned because I was specially requested to work with Don Alejandro Burgos.</p> <p>With Burgos I worked well. I was given the microfilms found in the raids. They were little things like this. I had a magnifying glass like this. I put them there and I had to translate or just transcribe them because some of them were in Spanish, of course.</p> <p>Interviewer: So you never received documents or people from the CIA in the DINA?</p> <p>Adriana Rivas: Ehhhh I dont know</p> <p>Well, that was the international section of the DINA. I dont know if they received letter or not. I never worked with that group. </p> <p>Interviewer: However, Contreras had liaison with the CIA, did he ever mention that?</p> <p>Adriana Rivas: No. no, no, no. He was a very private person. In that sense, at work, he was an example of a military. And the military are like a box.</p> <p>Interviewer: How do you remember Contreras?</p> <p>Adriana Rivas: I have very good memories of him. He helped me many times, in difficult things. But for me he was an excellent person. He was an excellent boss. And no one can say otherwise. Nobody. Because he helped everybody he could.</p> <p>You see, these things leave a mark on you. And you cannot forget the people who have given you a hand throughout your life. </p> <p>My dad was a salesman, a merchant. He put money here and there and things went wrong. He signed checksI went and he (Contreras) gave me the money to take my father out of prison and to pay the check. And I said: but how will I pay it back? And who is saying that you have to pay? That's what friends are for, he answered. Go go go go go he said.</p> <p>There is also a question of loyalty from working togetherOf friendship, of loyalty, yes. Of loving, of learning to love another human being. </p> <p>Interviewer: Do you think his (Contreras) sentence is unfair?</p> <p>Adriana Rivas: Of course it's unfair. All sentences have been unfair. You know why I think it's unfair? Because if the balance had been even, as it should, for the two parts, I would not say it was unfair. </p> <p>But it was unfair. Because all the people who participated in the MIR, who killed, because they also killed many people, before and after 04.44 - Well, in Chile torture existed from as long as I can remember. It always existed.</p> <p>Everyone knew they had to do that to somehow break peoples silence. Because communists are close minded. They have a much better military training than the military. Lets talk about the things the way they were. It was necessary.</p> <p>I mean the same as what the Nazis used, do you understand? It was necessary. And do you think that the U.S. does not do the same? The whole world does it. </p> <p>Silent, underground, but they do it. This is the only way to break the people. Because psychologically, there is no method. There isnt an injection like in the movies- to make you tell the truth. It doesnt exist. </p> <p>So the only way to break people is this way. Because nobody is going to sit down and ask: what did you do today? Nobody will say I killed this one and that one and the other one</p> <p>Interviewer: When was the last time you travelled (to Chile)?</p> <p>Adriana Rivas: Now in 2006. They arrested me because I had participated in the detention and possible murder of ...ay! What is his name? I forgot the name, I'm bad with names. The one who was secretary of the Socialist Party.</p> <p>I came out (of prison) but I could not leave the country becausehow can I sayBecause the court case was still going</p> <p>Because it was still the process in court, the investigation It wasnt a court process, it was just the investigation, the investigation, nothing else.</p> <p>Interviewer: So you stayed like 2 or 3 years trying to live there?</p> <p>Adriana Rivas: 4 years. I lived with the pension of my mother and of what my siblings could give me.</p> <p>Interviewer: And you could not hold it any longer? </p> <p>Adriana Rivas: No</p> <p>Interviewer: How did you arrive here?</p> <p>That hurts. It hurts me because I cannot see my mother. It hurts being here because of this reason. </p> <p>Ehh ... I was in his house, waiting for them to call me to travel. It was overnight. In two hours I was told I had to be ready because they were going to pick me up.</p> <p>They picked me up and we went to Mendoza. I had never been to Mendoza, Argentina. Ive passed by, while I was travelling, but I had never been to Mendoza. </p> <p>I went to Mendoza, from Mendoza I went to Buenos Aires. In Buenos Aires I bought the ticket. The same day, everything on the same day. In Buenos Aires I bought the ticket and embarked the same day to return here.</p> <p>Interviewer: How did you travel (from Chile to Buenos Aires)? On a bus? On a private car? How do they do it?</p> <p>Adriana Rivas: On the buses. In the buses, of course, because by plane it would be more restrictive</p> <p>Interviewer: And tell me something. What happened with the book that you had to sign every month after you came out of jail?</p> <p>Adriana Rivas: I have no idea. Until today nobody ever came for me to my house or asked for me anywhere.</p>