The so-named "Caravan of Death" refers to an operation carried out by a group of Army officers in October of 1973 during which were executed at least 72 political prisoners, according to judicial findings. Nevertheless, the prosecuting lawyers say that this number should actually be higher.

General Sergio Arellano Stark, acting as an "official delegate" for the current Chief of the Military Junta and army commander-in-chief Augusto Pinochet, traveled throughout the country with a group of 14 officers with the mission to review the judicial processes of the War Tribunals against prisoners being held in concentration camps and detention centers in the north and south of Chile. This mission was undertaken with the express intention of

"eliminating" opposition to the military dictatorship, many of whom had held important government positions in these regions, or were known members of the political parties in Popular Unity alliance during the government of Socialist president Salvador Allende.

In some cases, the prisoners were arrested upon voluntarily turning themselves in to the authorities in these cities, after having received the order to do so from the military decrees.

The whereabouts of the prisoners, many of whose names appear in the Rettig Commission’s list of detained-disappeared, are still unknown.


September 30, 1973: The retinue boards the helicopter "Puma" at the Tobalaba airfield in Santiago and flies south. On board are general Arellano, lieutenant coronel Sergio Arredondo, major Marcelo Moren, coronel Pedro Espinoza, and captains Armando Fernández and Juan Chiminelli. The airship makes stops in the cities of Rancagua, Curicó, Talca, Linares, Valdivia, and Puerto Montt.

October 4: The officers arrive at Cauquenes, where they take four prisoners from Infantry Regiment "Andalien" and transfer them to "El Oriente" Estate to be executed. That same day, the officers travel to Valdivia where 12 prisoners are executed, the majority of whom are members of rural labor unions. According to the declarations of retired general Hector Bravo Muñoz, commander of the IV Army Division of the zone, Arellano probably signed the orders to execute the 12 prisoners.

October 16: The caravan arrives to the city of La Serena. They pull 15 prisoners out of jail and take them to the "Arica" Regiment, where they are executed.

That same night the retinue travels to Copiapó, specifically to "Atacama" Engineering Regiment #1. 13 prisoners are taken from this city’s jail and carried in a truck, driven by captain Patricio Díaz, to the sector of Cuesta Cardones to be executed. According to reports given by the military courts and published in the local press, the prisoners "were executed while trying to escape."

October 18: The caravan travels to the "Esmeralda" Regiment in the city of Antofagasta. Early on the next day, they pull a group of 14 prisoners from city jail and other detention centers and take them to a place called Quebrada El Way, where they are executed.

October 19: The retinue arrives finally to Calama, to the Infantry Regiment #15, where a War Tribunal is carried out against prisoners suspected of participating in subversive activities. Afterwards, 26 prisoners are pulled from public jail and taken to the mountains in the sector called Topater. There, they are interrogated and shot. Only 13 of the 26 prisoners’ bodies have been found.


1. SERGIO VICTOR ARELLANO STARK: Army General who was named as Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s "official delegate" to direct the 14 officers in the retinue


3. SERGIO CARLOS ARRENDONDO GONALEZ: Army Coronel. He was Arellano Stark’s right-hand man and one of the officers who directly participated in the executions.




    2. JUAN ZANZANI TAPIA: Captain.
    1. Claudio Arturo Manuel Lavín Loyola
    2. Miguel Enrique Muñoz Flores
    3. Manuel Benito Plaza Arellano
    4. Pablo Renán Vera Torres
    1. René Barrientos Warner
    2. Pedro Barría Ordoñez
    3. Sergio Bravo Aguilera
    4. Santiago García Morales
    5. Enrique Guzmán Soto
    6. Fernando Krauss Iturra
    7. José Liendo Vera
    8. Luis Pezo Jara
    9. Victor Rudolph Reyes
    10. Rudemir Saavedra Bahamondes
    11. Victor Saavedra Muñoz
    12. Luis Valenzuela Ferrada
    1. Oscar Aedo Herrera
    2. Carlos Alcayaga Varela
    3. José Eduardo Araya González
    4. Marcos Enrique Barrantes Alcayaga
    5. Jorge Abel Contreras Godoy
    6. Hipólito Cortés Alvarez
    7. Oscar Armando Cortés Cortés
    8. Victor Fernando Escobar Astudillo
    9. Roberto Guzmán Santa Cruz
    10. Jorge Mario Jordán Domic
    11. Manuel Jachadur Marcarian Jamett
    12. Jorge Osorio Zamora
    13. Jorge Washington Peña Hen
    14. Mario Alberto Ramírez Sepúlveda
    15. Gabriel Gonzalo Vergara Muñoz
    1. Winston Cabello Bravo
    2. Fernando del Carmen Carvajal González
    3. Agapito Carvajal González
    4. Maguindo Antonio Castillo Andrade
    5. Manuel Cortazar Hernández
    6. Alfonso Gamboa Farías
    7. Ricardo Hugo García Posada
    8. Raúl del Carmen Guardia Olivares
    9. Raúl Leopoldo Larravide López
    10. Ricardo Mancilla Hess
    11. Adolfo Mario Palleras Norambuena
    12. Pedro Emilio Pérez Flores
    13. Jaime Ivan Sierra Castillo
    14. Benito de los Santos Tapia Tapia
    15. Atilio Ernesto Ugarte Castillo
    16. Leonelo Nestor Vincentti Cartagena
    1. Luis Eduardo Alaniz Alvarez
    2. Mario del Carmen Arqueros Silva
    3. Dinator Segundo Avila Rocco
    4. Nelson Guillermo Cuello Alvarez
    5. Marcos Felipe de la Vega Rivera
    6. Segundo Norton Flores Antivilo
    7. José Roselindo García Berríos
    8. Darío Armando Godoy Mancilla
    9. Miguel Hernán Manríquez Díaz
    10. Danilo Alberto Moreno Acevedo
    11. Washington Rodamil Muñoz Donoso
    12. Eugenio Ruiz-Tagle Orrego
    13. Héctor Mario Silva Iriarte
    14. Alexis Alberto Valenzuela Flores
    1. Mario Arguellez Toro
    2. Carlos Berger Guralnik
    3. Haroldo Cabrera Abarzua
    4. Jerónimo Carpauchay Choque
    5. Bernardino Cayo Cayo
    6. Carlos Alfredo Escobedo Cariz
    7. Luis Alberto Gahona Ochoa
    8. Daniel Garrido Muñoz
    9. Luis Alberto Hernández Neira
    10. Manuel Segundo Hidalgo Rivas
    11. Rolando Jorge Hoyos Salazar
    12. Domingo Mamani López
    13. David Ernesto Miranda Luna
    14. Luis Alfonso Moreno Villarroel
    15. Hernán Elizardo Moreno Villarroel
    16. Rosario Aguid Muñoz Castillo
    17. Milton Alfredo Muñoz Muñoz
    18. Victor Alfredo Ortega Cuevas
    19. Rafael Enrique Pineda
    20. Carlos Alfonso Pinero Lucero
    21. Sergio Moises Ramirez Espinoza
    22. Fernando Roberto Ramirez Sanchez
    23. Alejandro Rodríguez Rodríguez
    24. Roberto Segundo Rojas Alcayaga
    25. José Gregorio Saavedra González
    26. José Ruben Yueng Rojas