In 1978, another DINA agent working at Colonia Dignidad "broke under the strain" and defected. He gave the most thorough account yet of how La Colonia's chamber of horrors worked, and even identified a CIA operative who helped engineer the state-of-the-art torture facilities.

To prove his first-hand knowledge, the agent (his identity was protected in press reports) blithely rattled off the names of mutilated victims. "...the body of Andreas Silva appeared without a head; the body of Daniel Menendez had its arms torn off; ...that of Orlando Baprizer without hands and nose; that of Rosendo Rebolleda with one leg torn away at its root..." [52].

The agent said DINA "sent me to Colonia Dignidad" to learn his craft. "This is a training center for the national secret police," he said. "My teachers were Chilean, Brazilian and an American identified to me as a representative of the Central Intelligence Agency named 'Welch'." [53].

Michael Townley

Michael Townley (Welch), DINA and CIA assassin and electronics expert.
CIA agent "Welch" was actually Michael Townley Welch, who used the third name during his stay in Chile. Townley also supervised the fascist Chilean death squad Patria y Libertad, and would later be convicted of assassinating Orlando Letelier in 1976 in a car bomb blast on Washington, DC's Embassy Row itself. (Letelier had been Allende's Foreign Minister and was one of the only member's of that government to survive the coup. He had been working to expose Pinochet's ties to Nazis and the US' pivotal role in his regime. The US Federal court eventually ruled that Townley had worked on the instructions of DINA and with the direct aid of the CIA (led at the time by George Bush) [54].

The colony evidently also served as a major operations center for DINA's worldwide intelligence and terror operations, which were considerable. Colonia Dignidad's powerful radio station was "where all reports of DINA operations in foreign countries are received." According to the defector's testimony, fully 50 percent of DINA's agents worked abroad, mostly in Venezuela, Colombia, France, Sweden and Italy [55].


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