Per a video conference call from Neuquen, Argentina Tuesday, Nelson Ramon Gonzalez retold the stories of dozens of kidnappings, incidents of torture, and forced disappearances between 1979 and 1980 conducted during the nation’s bloody dictatorship.
The Calvary corporal confirmed that the Campo de Mayo military base was used as a clandestine detention center for people involved in the "counter-offensive" resisting the dictatorship, and which during the conflict, he recounted, were boarded onto planes by the thousands only to plunge into the sea.
"About four thousand people passed through (Campo de Mayo) and then were thrown into the sea alive,” said Gonzalez. “It was known throughout Campo de Mayo. There were the Fiat planes and the flights left there. It was common knowledge," he said.
In regards to the assassinations of Federico Frias and Marcos “Pato” Zucker (Actor Marcos Zucker’s son), he confirmed they were killed at the base’s shooting range by some army leaders. The bodies with those of two other, still unidentified individuals were then burned.
“Gonzalez's testimony is very important because it puts on the judicial scene something that has not been judicialized so far and, at the same time, contributes to understanding the central nerve of repression throughout Argentina," said Pablo Llonto, lawyer plaintiff in the trial.
Gonzalez was one of eight stationed officers posted to a two-month rotation at the base under the watchful eye of intelligence agencies like the 601 Intelligence Battalion.
"We know that the list of imputed is quite small, but this cause will illustrate more the organizational chart to understand that intelligence was not only there to obtain information under torture, but also to organize counterintelligence, generate simulated news and circulate them in the media and conduct infiltration plans, among others,” Llonto said.
The corporal’s testimony will serve to “remove all the bad stories about the counter-offensive and start thinking of the movement in a much broader sense in relation to resistance to the dictatorship … This giant web of disinformation that covered the country for so long is beginning to be discovered," he said.