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Witnessing Torture - Survivor

This

is

an

abstract

from

the

book-

Witnessing

Torture

[Perspectives

of

torture

survivors

and

human

rights

workers]

edited

by

Alexander

S.

Moore

&

Elizabeth

Swanson

who

described

clearly

about manipulators.

The logic of creating a climate of fear, through persecutions, detentions, torture, exile, and even death itself is to seek the destruction of the entire social network that has given rise to trust and solidarity between people. Stroessner created this situation as a strategy to maintain his power, creating in addition an operation in which it was necessary to present a facade of democracy and the legality of his government. To do this, he first permanently suspended constitutional guarantees, created a division in the principal opposition party with the necessary bribes, created a “democratic” parliament with one of those new splinter parties. Later, and with the promise of democratizing the country, he seduced other opposition parties which permitted the dictator to perpetuate his power and lead in an authoritative fashion. This abuse of human dignity was perpetuated through a system in which a few—those who displayed power and were guaranteed total impunity-abused, persecuted, captured, banished, or assassinated others. In addition, this impunity allowed them to make use of the state’s resources to enrich themselves. The social response in this situation was characterized by a collective fear that restrained or paralysed the expression of ideas, thoughts, or critiques that could have been in dissent from the acts of the government, ended in terrible massacres. Many people, little by little, accepted the situation with expressions of general distrust. They distrusted their family, friends, and neighbours due to their fear of delación [denunciation or betrayal]. These were the politicians and generals who blindly submitted themselves to tyranny. These people were those who made themselves rich consuming and conquering the other. These people were those who were exempt from the rigours of the law, with substantial bribes, scorning those who did not integrate into their group. All of this determined the loss of moral values in our country; created social fear; impeded the establishment of alliances or social bonds that were part of people’s psychological security; generated distrust, isolation factors which separate the individual from all that is social. The torturer is a common, mediocre person who has not achieved or had great goals in life, and who, through this “work,” seeks to be an object of the leader’s libidinal deposit. He obtains in this way a privileged life. In this way, the torturer triumphs, through his egotistical efforts, over the “social subject.” Future torturers endure suffering and humiliation in their preparations in order to internalize their lessons. Another aspect of their training consists of making sure that the torturer does not feel guilty or sensitive when faced with this horrific act. To achieve this, the torturer is persuaded and convinced that he is protecting the community from a miserable being that wishes to destroy the system; the enemy is seen as an inhuman being that does not deserve compassion. A final element that favours the role of the torturer is the great impunity that he enjoys, which permits him to feel both invulnerable and omnipotent, knowing that he is feared and that he himself is the producer of that fear .
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