Roberto Kozak, in the airport, helps a break the rules frontrunner hook an airplane for the for the exile. Photograph: Museum of Thoughts and you can Person Liberties, Chile
Under Standard Pinochet’s rule out-of scary from inside the Chile, one man conserved many people regarding the dictator’s raw wonders police. How performed Roberto Kozak take action – and you will eliminate dying?
J ust just before 10am with the Brand new Year’s Eve 1986, armed boys reach the office away from a little organization to have the latest resettlement from migrants, in Santiago, https://datingmentor.org/nl/dating-nl/ Chile. It instantly first started rounding up teams. “It put all of us regarding the conference room, on the floor, face off. They cut computers cables and you can fastened you upwards, arm to help you hand,” appreciated Eliana Infante, among the teams. “When they tied up all of us right up, it asked, ‘Which of you ‘s the communist kid away from an effective bitch Roberto Kozak?’”
Kozak is marched down a journey out of stairways. Which have a machine gun so you’re able to his head, he was forced to rest near the top of a conference dining table while he are interrogated because of the paramilitaries.
Brand new gunmen had been people in a beneficial rightwing demise team super-dedicated for the Chilean dictator Standard Augusto Pinochet. They certainly were seeking weapons and money that they thought was indeed stashed inside Kozak’s work environment: the newest Santiago branch of your own Geneva-centered Intergovernmental Committee to possess Eu Migration (ICEM). These people were together with selecting evidence that Kozak is actually implicated in the a murder try towards the Pinochet two months earlier, which in fact had left four of dictator’s bodyguards dead.
On days up coming ambush, Pinochet’s coverage services got kidnapped numerous higher-profile leftwing activists during the Santiago and you can slit their throats.
Shortly after one hour, Kozak was launched, actually unharmed, and you may rushed upstairs so you’re able to untie his personnel. “He had been environmentally friendly. It had been a color ranging from yellow, light and green,” told you Infante. “But poker-confronted, he ran downstairs, calmly titled Geneva to share with him or her of the raid then continued together with functions.”
In the event the paramilitaries burst into the ICEM workplace, Infante together with remaining employees feared you to Kozak is going to be murdered – and this after destroying your, the brand new armed boys manage put flame on their workplace, leaving them, tied on to the floor, to lose to death
Roberto Kozak’s is among the great untold tales of your own twentieth millennium. Diplomatic acquaintances which understand complete details of exactly what he did during the Pinochet time regarded him given that “Latin America’s Schindler”. Such Oskar Schindler, the brand new German entrepreneur exactly who aided to store 1,2 hundred Jews in Poland for the 2nd community combat, Kozak’s story is that away from one just who courageously put his reputation to keep lives. He might without difficulty has kept their lead down when you’re plenty had been pulled prisoner, punished or “disappeared” by Chile’s intense military and you may magic cops, but he chose never to. Throughout the ages adopting the 1973 armed forces coup, Kozak and you can diplomats off their regions aided a projected 25,000-thirty five,000 Chilean governmental prisoners escape from captivity and find secure retreat abroad.
Not as much as interrogation, Kozak insisted that Santiago workplace was only involved in enabling refugees, and this there were neither firearms neither large volumes of cash into the site
Over ten years till the raid with the his office, Kozak got has worked their way to the internal circles of Pinochet routine, courting senior armed forces figures, political leaders, officials and people in the key police. Deploying a mix of diplomatic attraction, perseverance and you may crates out-of brought in whisky, he set about painstakingly negotiating the discharge out-of detainees, the majority of whom was indeed regarding Chilean remaining. The guy actually hid a few of them inside the home. Kozak brokered his product sales inside batches, sometimes results or hundreds of prisoners immediately, both only one or two.