Bestia is competing in the best animated short film category.
HAVANA TIMES – Bestia, by Chilean filmmaker Hugo Covarrubias, has been nominated for an Oscar in the best animated short film category. The awards ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on March 27th and it’s the second time a Chilean film is competing for an award by the US Academy.
In a country where a president was assassinated, the presidential palace was bombed, all kinds of people were killed and forcefully disappeared; where the country was turned into one big concentration camp; where rivers, the desert and sea became a mass grave for corpses, it’s still surprising that women also had their hand in this repression.
Ingrid Olderock – a descendant of Germans with Nazi ideals – was one of these women; perhaps the worst, the most well-known at least: the most prominent woman at the DINA (National Intelligence Directorate), who was accused of training dogs to rape political prisoners during the dictatorship, as well as training dozens of other women who actively took part in the repression.
There’s no doubt that Olderock became the most powerful woman at the National Intelligence Directorate (DINA), created by dictator Augusto Pinochet and former Army General Manuel Contreras to fight the “domestic enemy”.
DINA and torture
Olderock – who entered the DINA’s ranks as a captain and ascended to Major by the time of her retirement – repeatedly appears in testimonies from women who survived torture, as a trainer of dogs to rape prisoners in detention centers. Unlike other repressors who remained in the shadows for years, she came into the public eye after an attempt on her life in the 1980s. As a result of this attack, she had a bullet lodged in her brain.
When she left the hospital, the official said that it “wasn’t left-wing terrorists” that had shot at her, like they wanted people to think, but people who thought she “knew too much”. However, in reality, the attempt on her life was perpetrated by MIR members, but it’s believed that there was a high level of interest from former repressors to make her disappear, with manipulation or simple infiltration.
She was immediately declared “crazy” after the attack by her own institution and was retired.
Once the transition towards a democracy began in 1989, former Major Olderock voluntarily testified for the Rettig report. She denied having directly taken part in acts of torture, in her statement.
The road to disgrace
Olderock joined the DINA in October 1973, with the rank of captain. During the early years of the dictatorship, she taught at the institution’s Women’s School, where 70 women were trained in repressive acts and techniques used in the counterinsurgency war.
Her criminal record includes acts of espionage, kidnappings, torture, disappearances and her participation in the cross-border Operation Condor. Her torture exploits using animals (mostly her dog “Volodia”) to sexually abuse prioners at the selective torture center “La Venda Sexy”, located in the Macul community, also became known. She was also a prominent figure in the Puren brigade, which was responsible for murders and disappearances at DINA, before this task was given to the Lautaro Brigade.
The woman, who was never interrogated in a courtroom, also knew Contreras’ secrets, which linked him to the “Andrea project” to fabricate sarin gas, as well as his relationship with Colonia Dignidad.
Some time after the attempt on her life in 1981, she reported retired generals Contreras and Raul Iturriaga as those responsible for the attack against General Carlos Prats and his wife in Buenos Aires, in 1974. Olderock finally passed away in 2001.
“Olderock was the director of the DINA’s women’s school, and she trained seventy women to kill, follow, torture and disappear people. She trained women to carry out criminal acts with State resources and people still don’t know about this, to this day. I don’t think these women can remain immune to the country’s history,” journalist Nancy Guzman says, the author of “Ingrid Olderock, la mujer de los perros” (Ceibo Ediciones, in an interview with elmostrador on September 10, 2014.
“She was an extremely important part of DINA. She was a member of the worst brigade: Puren and she oversaw many agents because she was a captain. She took part in acts of torture, designed the worst form of torture which was to sexually abuse prisoners with a dog. She took part in Operation Condor, CIA trainings that were given to DINA women at Casa de Piedra, in Cajon del Maipo; she knew about sarin gas manufacture,” she says.
Olderock ended up making enemies with her institution and the DINA.
“She ended up hating Carabineros because that’s where the attempt on her life was planned,” she says. “She always insisted that the late General (Cesar) Mendoza gave the order for her assassination and that it was (Major Julio) Benimelli who was responsible for executing it,” Guzman adds.
The attack was finally carried out by MIR.
“Later, they realized that they had attacked an agent that was deserting the Carabineros and intelligence services. That’s very interesting, because the people who attacked her were later arrested and were never asked about the attempt on Olderock’s life in interrogations, which means that there was an infiltration in leftist parties at the time, especially in the MIR,” the journalist points out.