1-What did Relegation Mean.
2-In Which Context Initiated my Relegation.
3-How was the Detention Produced.
4-The Days of Detention (Anecdotario).
5-The Trip to the South.
6-Reception in the Village.
7-Life in the Village.
8-The News from Santiago.
9-Solidarity from abroad.
10-The Plebiscite of 1980 in the Village (The Act of Caupolicán and the Desinformation).
11-Relatives Visiting.
12-The Return.
13-Reality at the University: Sanctions.
14- Final Comments


1-Relegation was a measure adopted by the military regime in order to sanction those people provoking “disturbs”, which means that they dared to protest because of abuse and injustice being daily commited. It was discretionally applied to those persons detained in non authorized protests. (Actually, no public reunion for protest was allowed). The measure was dictated by the Minister of the Interior by order from the President of the Republi via an Exceptional Decree, which could be requested without major complications.

Once the decree came into force, members of the Investigations Police of Chile were in charge of chasing up the detainees at the police stations and transferring them to determined places. They were normally from towns away from the far north (almost at the border) or from the south. We were taken to different villages in Chiloé.

The relegated would be left in the village under custody of the police officers, who would take the information from every person and who would set the physical and not trespassable limits. The limits of the village were some blocks away, which means: the end of the places where semi-detached houses prevailed. Open spaces were a forbidden terrain. This geographical display had in many cases some sort of relative character, due to the fact that in some of them (say: in some places) the displaced were authorised by the police to circulate in wider spaces. They were obviously aware that they could move away but that they could not run away.

Besides, the police determined hours for the relegated to sign and thus control their presence in the area. They had to sign two, three or four times a day at the police station. As we’ve seen before, this measure was applied according to the political events being experienced nationwide.

The reception by the carabineros took place afterwards. It was sometimes cold, sometimes kind, sometimes aggressive. Let’s do not forget that these police officers would be permanently indoctrinated. The relegated were for them DANGEROUS TERRORISTS FOR THE SOCIETY AND THE STATE, though they mostly were college students. The relegated were left free under surveillance and they had to look by their own for a place to sleep and what to eat. This meant that they had to look for a plce to live for the time of the relegation.

Besides, the most urgent issue for everyone was trying to communicate with their families. The families normally didn’t know where the detainees had been taken. Fortunately, in many cases, the inhabitants of the different villages cooperated and helped the relegated (which was like this in my case and certainly in many others). There were also many inhabitants avoiding contact with the relegated. This was because of fear against the reprisals, because of different forms of pressure or for just believing that these persons were terrorists.

It’s important to notice that when “Democracy” arrived, I went to the Ministry of the Interior in order to get a copy of the government decree by which my relegation had been decided. I was surprised when I found out that the officers at the place (they were all very young, they were maximal 10 years old when I was relegated. I don’t know how did they come to these positions). THEY DID NOT EVEN KNOW WHAT A RELEGATION WAS. I was transferred to the National Archive, where copies of all laws and decrees should be available, emited by every past government in the country. Consulting the archives, I could notice that there wasn’t any copy at all of the decree I was looking for. I checked out as much as I could, until an officer few days afterwards explained me that the military would leave the power, and that a few civile gentlemen would have gone there in order to “retire papers from the archives”. They did not have any written authorization with them.