Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Villa Grimaldi

Chileans are ambivalent about their past. I visited Villa Grimaldi, the most infamous of detention centers--Bachelet herself was tortured there, 4,500 other Chileans were taken there, and 226 were never seen again. A Chilean friend had told me that it was visited mostly by tourists, and my impression did not contradict that. It almost seemed intentionally hidden—the address on the website has the wrong number, there are no signs, and there is almost no parking, so we drove back and forth several times to make sure we were in the right place. Once inside the grounds, there is no museum. The military destroyed most of the buildings, so it is primarily a memorial park. To my knowledge, it is the only detention center that has been made into an official memorial, but it receives relatively little attention. It is powerful to stand there and think about all the people who passed through, but it deserves more.


Anonymous,  6:37 PM  

What exactly IS the address - and if you do not have a car - what metro or bus is it - I asked at least a dozen times and people just looked at me and seemed indifferent or did not want to answer..I never found the place - it seemed I had been walking in the wrong direction but the ones that answered just told me to keep walking - an i do speak Spanish...give me an explanation to this please!

Greg Weeks 11:07 AM  

Go to the website (the link is in the blog post) and directions can be found in the FAQs--there's also a map. The directions say:

Public transportation: Buses 242,337,411,433,809 and 810.

If you're coming from Tobalaba or one of those other bigger streets, you'll turn left on Jose Arrieta. On your left you'll see a big Home Depot-type store (I can't remember the name off hand) and it is just a bit past that on the right. You'll see a wall that ends in a gate, which is where you enter.

Just now I noticed that the website actually provides two different addresses...

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP