On Monday, San Miguel Province's Appeal Court increased by eight years the penalties against five former Chilean Intelligence Directorate (DINA) agents, who kidnapped, tortured, and raped Socialist Party militant Luz Ayress during Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship (1973-1990).
Chile: Lower House Approves Political Trial Against Piñera
"Former Army General Cesar Manriquez, the Military Police Colonel Ciro Torre, and Army Colonels Klaudio Kosiel, Raul Quintana, and Vittorio Tiplitzky committed gender-based violence against Ayress. Therefore, we consider revising the case and adjusting their sentences,” the Court pointed out.
"Until recently, the Chilean agents who commit crimes against women, girls, or LGBTI people were not prosecuted with a gender-based approach, whose application is essential to establish proper sentences for these crimes," lawyer Francisco Ugas warned and welcomed this Court's decision.
On Jan. 30, 1974, the DINA officers took the then 23-year-old citizen Ayress to the clandestine detention center "London 38", where she was subjected to physical and psychological torture.
"They electrocuted my anus, breasts, and vagina, raped me repeatedly in the station's bathrooms, placed rats inside my vagina, and forced me to perform sexual acts with a dog that they specially prepared for this type of abuse," Ayress said in tears.
After being tortured in several prisons for two years, the young activist was expelled from Chile along with 17 other political prisoners in 1976 under the condition that she would not return to her country. However, she managed to do so years after the Pinochet dictatorship was overthrown.
"Although it is impossible to forget what that the military men did to me, I am happy to have survived and received so many solidarity expressions, one of which was from the Cuban doctors who treated the torture sequels," Ayress said and pointed out that the Chilean justice is fighting so that the Pinochet era crimes do not go unpunished.