The Inferno: A Story of Terror and Survival in Chile

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Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 381 pages
2 Reviews

As a member of Salvador Allende’s Personal Guards (GAP), Luz Arce worked with leaders of the Socialist Party during the Popular Unity Government from 1971 to1973. In the months following the coup, Arce served as a militant with others from the Left who opposed the military junta led by Augusto Pinochet, which controlled the country from 1973 to1990. Along with thousands of others in Chile, Arce was detained and tortured by Chile’s military intelligence service, the DINA, in their attempt to eliminate alternative voices and ideologies in the country. Arce’s testimonial offers the harrowing story of the abuse she suffered and witnessed as a survivor of detention camps, such as the infamous Villa Grimaldi.
But when faced with threats made to her family, including her young son, and with the possibility that she could be murdered as thousands of others had been, Arce began to collaborate with the Chilean military in their repression of national resistance groups and outlawed political parties. Her testimonial thus also offers a unique perspective from within the repressive structures as she tells of her work as a DINA agent whose identifications even lead to the capture of some of her former friends and compaņeros.
During Chile’s return to democracy in the early 1990s, Arce experienced two fundamental changes in her life that led to the writing of her story. The first was a deep spiritual renewal through her contacts with the Catholic Church whose Vicariate of Solidarity had fought for human rights in the country during the dictatorship. The second was her decision to participate within the legal system to identify and bring to justice those members of the military who were responsible for the crimes committed from 1973 to1990. Luz Arce’s book invites readers to rethink the definition of testimonial narrative in Latin America through the unique perspective of a survivor-witness-confessor.


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User Review - Flag as inappropriate

There are plenty of good books and films that tell stories of Chileans who gave their life to protect others. Luz Arce is a traitor and hundred of good people were killed because of her. Now she wants to make some money. DONT BUY THIS BOOK !!

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

It is a shame that the need for money drive the people to lie, This lady is blaming the members of the armed forces, but guess who betrayed their "companeros".
People like Luz arce are trying to
keep alive a lie because their own cowardice.
Do not waste your money in a cheap fantasy book, if only the 10% of his lies are true, I have no doubt that she gave up a lot of his "companeros" and that it is the only reason why she is still alive, the betrayal of their fellow party memebers.


Socialist Militant 8 GEA Special Support Groups
The CNI Investigates the DINA 277 Another Meeting with
Clandestine Life 24 A Personal Choice 25 Contact on Italia
Military Hospital Hosmil 47 Other Prisoners at the Hosmil 52
Freedom under Surveillance
Second Detention 73 My Grandfather 76 Private Rodolfo
Back to the Yucatan Detention Center 89 Ricardo Lawrence
Another Detention Center 117 You Are Luz I Will Be Sombra 119
My Son and Family Court 185 Creating the Vampiro Group 186
Joel 195 Bill Beausire Alonso 196 Hugo
The Cigarette Case 212 Leonardo Schneider Alias El Barba
Christmas at Terranova 229 Patricio 230 Hasbiin and Contreras
Colonel Contreras
In the CNIs Computer Unit 287 Peace and Instability 289 Letter
Meeting Juan Manuel 316 In Hiding Again 319 Pain
In Europe 336 Above All a Christian 337 On Hatred

Ollagiie Detention Center
Traitor and Whore 142 Palmira Almuna Guzman Pepa 146
Lumi Videla Moya 158 Sergio Perez Molina
Miguel Krassnoff Martchenko 354 FacetoFace with Marcelo
The Iron Fist

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About the author (2004)

Luz Arce is a freelance writer living in Santiago, Chile.

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