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The Pisagua internment camp (Spanish: Campamento de Prisioneros de Pisagua) was a concentration camp in Pisagua, Chile.

Pisagua internment camp
Internment camp used many times in Chilean history
Memorial DDHH Chile - 01 Fosa de Pisagua.jpg
The Pisagua Memorial in 2007
Pisagua internment camp is located in Chile
Pisagua internment camp
Location of Pisagua internment camp within Chile
Coordinates19°35′48″S 70°12′44″W / 19.59667°S 70.21222°W / -19.59667; -70.21222Coordinates: 19°35′48″S 70°12′44″W / 19.59667°S 70.21222°W / -19.59667; -70.21222
Built byChilean government
Operated byChilean government
Number of inmates2500 people (during the 1973-1974 biennium)
Killed30 people (during the 1973-1974 biennium)



An isolated location in northern Chile, Pisagua was used as a detention site for male homosexuals under the military dictatorship of General Carlos Ibáñez del Campo in 1927-1931.[1]

From 1943 to 1945, Pisagua became the site of wartime internment for citizens of enemy nations when Chile entered World War II on the Allied side. The complex was turned into a concentration camp for Chilean socialists, communists and anarchists under President Gabriel González Videla in 1947-1948. Chilean Army Captain Augusto Pinochet was appointed to run the Pisagua camp in January 1948.

Pinochet's dictatorship to presentEdit

When General Pinochet himself seized power in September 1973, the site again became a political detention center.

In the 1990s, the Pisagua court case would draw further scrutiny to the prison camp when a claim of illegal burial was presented by the Chilean Vicariate of Solidarity on 31 May 1990.[2] A mass grave was discovered in June 1990 and was found to contain 20 bodies inside.[3] These would be later linked to prisoners and missing persons (desaparecidos) executed at the camp.

Identified persons from mass grave (June 6, 1990)Edit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Spooner 2011, p. 58
  2. ^ "El Hallazgo de la Fosa". Memoria Viva. Archived from the original on 16 June 2002. Retrieved 4 July 2012.(in Spanish)
  3. ^ a b c "Plano de la fosa común en el cementerio de Pisagua". Memoria Viva. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2013.(in Spanish)