Bailey83221 (bailey83221) wrote,


Carrigan, Ana (1993). The Palace of Justice: A Colombian Tragedy, Four Walls Eight Windows. 0941423824. p. 271-275:

Ana Carrigan, an investigative reporter and author of "The Palace of Justice: A Colombian Tragedy" was given a cassette tape in May 1991 from the Bogota Attorney Generals office. The cassette tape was from dissident B-2 agents, dropped of anonymously in the Attorney General's Office a week after the Palace of Justice siege. The authors identify themselves as a group of noncommissioned officers in the B-2 army intelligence service. The B-2 agents state:

:"The object of this audio cassette is to make known to the general public, that on the seventh day of this current month, several hostages from the Palace of Justice were arrested. They were taken to the cells in the Cavalry School in the North of Bogotá. Up until last Saturday evening [November 9] these people, who would seem to have 'disappeared' as a result of the Palace of Justice affair, were in the cells of the Calvary School. There are no 'disappeared.' We saw them there. We know they were there. We escorted them there."

:"Some of these people [the hostages], were unable to explain or justify their presence in the Palace of Justice. And for this reason, and especially if their documents did not justify their presence in the court, these twelve or thirteen people were brought immediately to the barracks located in the Calvary School, at the Brigada de Instituto Militares in the north of Bogotá.."

The B-2 agents only name four people:
:*Jaime Beltrán,
:*David Celis,
:* Carlos Rodríguez, and
:*"Fernando Fernández" which probably is a mispronunciation of "Bernardo Fernández"

According to the B-2 agents, an arrested gurrellia led the police to the M-19's safe house on the Calle 6 South, where they found a copy of Luis Otero's plan of attack. The military then knew that an unarmed group of seven people had penetrated the Palace of Justice almost ninety minutes before the main attack in the underground garage. The military wondered: How did this group suddenly appear fully armed inside the building? The suspicisions fall immediately on the cafeteria staff. According to the tape, the army believes that in the days immediately leading up to the attack at least two of the cafeteria workers smuggled arms into the Palace with food deliveries.

The B-2 agents feel that all, or most, of the people the arrested were actively involved in some phase or other of the seizure of the Palace.

Over a period of three days the young intelligence officers are forced to watch the prisoners being tortured to death under the supervision of their caommander. The units from the Battallion Charry Solano (Intellegence and Counter Intellegence Battalion) conduct "the physical torture".

:"In one of the interrogations of one of the terrorists where, by direct order of my Colonel Plazas Vega, we were present, they wanted to make the subversive [the prisoner] sign a statement, in which it was written that they [the M-19] had received three million pesos from the narco-trafficers for the purchase of war materials which the subversives had used to finance the operation…The subversive, who had refused to give his name, or any other information, responded to the Captain interrogating him with an obscenity—in spite of the fact that he was tied down to a chair. As a result, he was dragged out and since he was half-dead already, because of the tortures he had been submitted to, they drowned him in the water troughs that we use for the animals, for the horses, right there in the middle of the stable yard…The individual went on moving for only a few seconds. With the beatings they had given him on his kidneys, he gave out. They just threw him on the ground then, and he lay there. We think he was the first of these seven who died."

On Saturday, November 9, when they left the barracks to go home, the group of B-2 agents decided to contact the families of the "disappeared" to attempt to stop the torture. They made the phone calls anonymously, and they tell the families they must go to the Calvary school, and demand to see the prisoners. The families are unable to gain admittance to the barracks and the families being to start making phone calls which alert the military commanders. On Saturday night the prisoners were removed from the Calvary School. The B-2 agents say perhaps the prisoners were already dead, since that was the order. On Sunday the dissidents returned and the cells were empty. The soldiers are then threatened.

Between Sunday morning, November 10, and Tuesday night when the B-2 agents return home, the dissidents claim to have found out from comments of some of their colleges that three more members of the cafeteria staff are under arrest in another barracks:

:"We have not seen them, physically, ourselves, but we know from colleagues that they are in another military barracks where they are being subject to terrible interrogations. The names they heard mentioned are:
::*Luz Mary or Luz Maria Puerta
::*Nora Esguerra
::*Rosa or Margarita Castilblanco

:"If they are dead [the prisoners] possibly there bodies may have been brought back to the Palace of Justice, to make it look as if they died in battle. Or they may have been dumped in a bath with sulphuric acid, so that not the least shred of anything remains of their bodies. We apologize. It is hair-raising to even talk about it, but it happens senores, it does happen. Here in Colombia that is how 'disappeared' people are disposed of."
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