Weird Wednesday: Santiago’s Casa de Tortura

   Santiago, Chile – August, 2015

Hidden among the houses in a quiet Santiago neighborhood is a dark secret. Some call it Casa Memoria (Memorial House), others call it Casa de Tortura (House of Torture), but most locals don’t even know it exists.

IMG_3055The house was used as a secret prison by the Chile’s Pinochet regime, where political dissidents could disappear without a trace. While the neighborhood has slightly grown to include a couple of restaurants and a textile shop, the majority of the area is still tranquil streets and middle class families. Casa Memoria was formerly one of these houses, unlabeled, undecorated, and unknown.

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A new monument memorializing those who died in Casa de Tortura

The house has now been torn down, but its columns remain to ensure it is not forgotten.

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The names of the deceased are written into the ground and the walls inside the property are covered in murals, ranging from political statements, to explanations of the torture, to celebrations of Pinochet’s overthrow.

Many Chileans are still unaware of its existence, and many who are aware refuse to talk about it.

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