This is Ana’s story. Worth read.
From the page:
“I have been following with attention and curiosity the discussion about torture, if torture works, how it works, and why we are still using it, despite our declaration that we live in a civilized world. As one who has been tortured, I can say, yes, torture works, not because of the pain inflicted, or the feeling of loneliness and despair, but because torture acts at a level of consciousness we seldom have access to.
I was 19 years old when I was tortured, in Uruguay, at that time one of South America’s most ‘exemplary’ countries, with a long tradition of democracy and legality. Uruguay, a country with a small army and without any military conscription, demanded several CIA agents to train its military in torture and pressure. The agent who trained my countrymen in torture was the American Dan Mitrione. He was executed by guerrillas in 1971. Afterwards, a swarm of agents came to our country to ‘take the reins’, vindicate Mitrione, and dismantle the guerrilla force.
We were tortured by people we knew. I was raised in a family with several members in the military. I was beaten and tortured by friends of my uncles and my cousins.
Some years ago, I went to church in Spain and confessed (I am a freelance Catholic, I accept some aspects of the Church and its doctrine, but about others I am critical or skeptical). I didn’t know the priest was a member of Opus Dei, the Catholic right-wing sect who supported Franco and Pinochet. He asked me why I have not been in confession for so many years, so I told him briefly about my four years in jail, and my exile in Sweden. He asked me how I felt about the men who interrogated me. I was a bit struck by his question … up until that time, I had not given them much thought. Yet he insisted, and so I said “Today, I am not sure how I feel. I can accept that many of them believed they were right, and that torture or pressure were only methods to gather information, but …” He interrupted me and said: “But you should love the people who tortured you. They did it to save your immortal soul. If you died under torture, you should go directly to heaven. They were good Catholics, and only wanted to save you from the devil, and from Marxism.” Torture is still in my body as a memory and as a trace. It’s still a challenge for me to discover the reasons why friends of my uncles, and good Catholics, could torture and kill, and still go to church on Sundays. (1)”