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Osvaldo Romo

Osvaldo Romo Mena was an agent of the Chilean Direccion de Inteligencia Nacional (DINA) from 1973 to 1990, during the rule of Augusto Pinochet. Involved in the forced disappearance of more than a hundred persons (among which the Spanish priest Antonio Llido Mengual, member of Cristianos por el socialismo (Christians for Socialism) and MIR members Diana Aron Svigilsky, Manuel Cortez Joo and Ofelio Lazo), he was sentenced in total 92 years of prison, but several of these sentences were suspended by the Chilean Supreme Court Fallece Osvaldo Romo, uno de los mas crueles torturadores de la dictadura de Pinochet, El Pais (EFE cable), 5 July 2007 .


Osvaldo Romo made himself known in working classes' neighborhoods before Pinochet's coup in 1973 as a leftist activist, member of the Partido Socialista Popular and sympathizant of the MIR . Following the coup, he reappeared in these neighborhoods with a military uniform, arresting his friends and contacts. Left-wing circles still debate to know if he suddenly changed political orientation or if he always was a mole for the security services .

Known as Guaton Romo ("Fatso Romo") or Comandante Raul, he was one of DINA's most important torturers, operating among others centers in Villa Grimaldi . On April 11, 1995, in an interview televised by Univision, he commented in great detail, and evidently without remorse, on the techniques that had been used. These included the application of electricity to women's nipples and genitals, the use of dogs, and the insertion of rats into women's vaginas .

Life in Brazil and arrest

In 1977, Romo was sent to Brazil by his superiors, where he may have participated in death squads according to human rights NGO . During Chile's transition to democracy, Romo, as one of the most important figures of the Pinochet regime, was pursued by prosecutors and localized in Sao Paulo, living with his wife and his five children in June 1992 . Arrested by the Brazilian police, he was extradited to Chile in November 1992 . He was sentenced to ten years in prison for the kidnapping of MIR member Manuel Cortez Joo and five years and a day for the kidnapping of Ofelio Lazo, who was "disappeared" in July 1974.

Romo, suffering from diabetes and heart failure, was moved to the hospital of Santiago Penitentiary on July 3, 2007, and died the following day. His funeral, held on July 5 at the Cementerio General de Santiago, was completely unattended.Terra, 2/07/07, En rapida ceremonia, sepultan al "Guaton Romo" en Cementerio General

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Osvaldo Romo

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