January 20, 2020 Codepu Team CODEPU, news, PUBLICATIONS

In an emotional ceremony at the Memorial Site 3 and 4 Alamos Corporation, human rights defenders were given recognition for their work over the past year, particularly for their work in the recent period, which has been characterized by a broad and extensive social and popular mobilization that has been accompanied by a widespread and systematic violation of human rights in our country.

The ex-prisoners of the detention center gathered at the Memorial Site 3 and 4 Alamos Corporation and presented the Medal of Honor for the Defense of Human Rights 2020 to the Memorial Site London 38 and to CODEPU.  Both of these organizations demand truth and justice, defend human rights and since October 18 have carried out multiple legal initiatives, provided assistance and support to victims and demonstrators who have suffered violations of their human rights.

The former political prisoners of the dictatorship also presented the medal to Hiram Villagra Castro, CODEPU lawyer, for his long career in the defense of human rights.

The context in which the awards were given was one of emotion and hope. «The threads of memory», said the invitation, «bring us together again to remember those who are absent, to remember the project that was cut short and, this year, to build a bridge between two generations who, in different historical moments, assumed a commitment alongside their people and for the unconditional defense of human rights and its advancement”.

Chile changed, until Dignity becomes a habit.  Human rights were a challenge yesterday in dictatorship and also in the present. These were the ideas that permeated the interventions of the organizers, the award winners, the artists who accompanied the evening and the attendees who arrived early at the Memorial Site located in the Comuna de San Joaquín.

A brief account of what is today the Memorial Site 3 and 4 Alamos Corporation reveals that in the middle of the last century its pavilions and the mansion were built with the purpose of housing seminarians. Later, the State acquired it to use as a group home for homeless children. But the Dictatorship transformed it into a concentration camp that served as a transit camp. On the one hand, 3 Alamos, was a camp for acknowledged prisoners, who had one or two visits a week. But, at the same time, 4 Alamos operated there and was under the jurisdiction of the DINA (Chilean National Intelligence Agency). Then the facilities were emptied. With the arrival of democracy, the facilities were reopened and handed over to the police, who transformed it into a detention center for minors, making a paradox into a reality, turning what was once a concentration camp into a prison for minors. An aberration.

Only in March 2011, a part of the building located on Canada Street was declared a «Historical Monument» by the National Council of Monuments. The rest of the buildings continue to be a minor’s incarceration center.  The main objective of the 3 and 4 Alamos Corporation Corporation is to make the facilities available to the community as a Memorial Site.