Colonia Dignidad was a cult colony in Chile, hosting prisoners after the 9/11 coup d'etat Chile in 1973, organized by Henry Kissinger where Augusto Pinochet took power and Salvador Allende was "murdered". The colony gained the attention because of the activities by Paul Schäfer, an Austrian emigrant, who sexually abused and tortured children.
|• Villa Baviera (English: Bavaria Village) is the current organization occupying the location of the infamous and disgraced Colonia Dignidad (English: Dignity Colony), in Parral Commune, Linares Province, in the Maule Region of central Chile. Located in an isolated area, Colonia Dignidad was ~35 km southeast of the city of Parral, on the north bank of the Perquilauquén River. Colonia Dignidad was founded by German émigrés in the mid-1950s. Its most notorious leader, Paul Schäfer, arrived in the colony in 1961. The full name of the colony from the 1950s was Sociedad Benefactora y Educacional Dignidad (English: Dignity Charitable and Educational Society). At its largest, Colonia Dignidad was home to some 300 German and Chilean residents, and covered 137 square kilometers (53 sq mi). The main legal economic activity of the colony was agriculture; at various periods it also was home to a school, a hospital, two airstrips, a restaurant, and a power station.|
• Colonia Dignidad's longest continuous leader, Schäfer, was a fugitive, accused of child molestation in the former West Germany. The organization he led in Chile was described, alternately, as a cult or as a group of "harmless eccentrics". The organization was secretive, and the Colonia was surrounded by barbed wire fences, and featured a watchtower and searchlights, and was later reported to contain secret weapon caches. In recent decades, external investigations, including efforts by the Chilean government, uncovered a history of criminal activity in the enclave, including child sexual abuse. As well, the findings include that its legal activities were supplemented by income related to weapons sales and money laundering. Bruce Falconer, writing in a piece entitled "The Torture Colony" (in The American Scholar), and referencing Chile’s National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation, has reported that a small set of the individuals taken by Pinochet's Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional during his rule were held as prisoners at Colonia Dignidad, some of whom were subjected to torture, and that some Colonia residents of the time were participants in the atrocities.
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