What started off as a TMI-filled drunken phone call to Chacotero Sentimental – a Chilean radio station – ended in a confession from a man who disappeared at least 18 bodies for Augusto Pinochet. The Daily Beast reports that the caller, who said his name was Alberto, called in to the show last week to talk about his love life, but soon was matter of factly discussing both the atrocities he witnessed and committed during the Pinochet regime, which ran from 1973 to 1990. “We shot them, and then we dynamited them,” Alberto said. “The bodies disintegrated. There was nothing left.”
Even though Pinochet stepped down in 1990 and died in 2006, the effects of his violent military dictatorship are still being felt. In 1973, General Pinochet – backed by the United States – overthrew President Salvador Allende. During his 17-year rule, 903 were reported as disappeared and 1,759 were executed, according to teleSUR.
On Thursday, President Michelle Bachelet signed into law a special state department that will commit to “seek truth and justice for victims of the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.” Bachelet said that Chile did not previously have an agency that was equipped to handle human rights abuses. The new department has also put educating the public at the forefront. On top of training government officials on human rights issues, the department also wants students to learn about the dark period in Chile’s history.
As for “Alberto”, shortly after the radio call, Chile’s police traced his phone to the city of Valparaíso, where he’s a bus driver now. According to The Daily Beast, his real name Rodrigo Guillermo Reyes Ramssy, and he is now under arrest.