5 May 2023

What is DINA in the Pinochet police? – Learn about the role of the National Intelligence Directorate

By Donald

The DINA represented one of the most violent oppressive military bodies in Latin America, so its popularity comes from its dirty work. This article explains what is the DINA in Chile and the group’s relationship with the Pinochet government. In the same way, the difference of this name with the physical measurement unit registered in the Spanish dictionary as a force is clarified.

What does DINA mean in the Pinochet police?

When talking about the DINA, in most cases reference is made to the unit of measurement of the Cegesimal System of Units. However, this word is also related to a secret police agency that worked in favor of a dictatorship, so it has many similarities with what the Nazi Gestapo represented. So, you have to know how to differentiate the context to identify if it is the physical unit or this armed force.

The DINA receives the name of National Intelligence Directorate in Spanish and represents the denomination of the secret police in Chile. It is a security body that had various functions within the government of Augusto Pinochet in that country. The group was born in 1973 and worked officially until 1977, however, the organization changed its name to the CNI National Information Center and remained active until 1990.

During the Pinochet military dictatorship, the DINA had the jurisdiction to repress the people in different ways. So, this group committed acts in which the human rights of Chileans were violated. Well, the DINA commandos executed murder, rape, torture and kidnappings of people contrary to the president.

What was the function of the DINA?

DINA’s objective was to seek information on possible movements against the Pinochet government. So, this organization had the ability to capture anyone and confine them in their operational centers. Once there, they could deploy all kinds of intelligence techniques in order to extract information from the detainee.

In this sense, torture was a habitual practice of the members of the DINA. The justification for this display of tyrannical force against the people was the existence of ‘a Inside war’ against rebel groups inside the country. Since, at this time there were political groups with leftist ideology that promulgated Marxist ideas. Therefore, the secret objective was to find the leaders opposed to the Pinochet dictatorship and eliminate them. Well, any means to defeat them was allowed, whether illegal or legal.

The main focus was the Personal Friends Group or GAP, which was a socialist security body of President Allende. Likewise, they tortured members of the Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionario (MIR), others from the communist party and more from the socialist party.

With the collaboration of the CIA, the members of the DINA deployed the Operation Condor in Chile. So they sought to eradicate any political leader who promoted the socialist or communist agenda. Similarly, they imposed a state of censorship on the country’s media. Well, they pressured and restricted the programming of television, radio and newspaper channels that expressed support for Popular Unity.

In 2012 the identity of at least 1500 agents who worked for DINA. In addition, it was reported that one of their most frequent tactics was the use of electricity on parts of the detainee’s body. They also broke some parts of people’s bodies, so if you look for what this police is like, you talk about the Latin Gestapo.

What is the story of DINA in the Pinochet police?

The history of the DINA military force arose in 1973 secretly and began to function as a secret security body. However, it was not until June 1974 that this body received the official decree, in which it was imposed on Manuel Contreras Sepulveda as the head of the organization. This character was a close friend of the dictator Pinochet and had the same ideological thoughts as the president, which is why he supported the government of tyranny or repression.

The Chilean intelligence community approved the creation of the institution, except for the head cabineros who expressed that there could not be a body directly linked to Pinochet. Thus, the DINA depended on and formally responded to the government board. The DINA was added to the dictionary as a police force in honor of physical strength which is a unit of measure in the cegesimal system of units.

In principle, the high command of the organization were people related to the military force of the country, that is, former members of the army. However, some party members operated secretly far-right politicians. In subsequent investigations, it was discovered that the DINA organization had connections with other important groups worldwide.

In this sense, the closest involved were the anti-Marxist circles in Chile, since they did not want to allow leftist ideology to spread throughout the country’s territory. Likewise, DINA collaborated with the anti-castro movement of Cuba, since Castro was the main promoter of said thought in Latin America. In the same way, the neo-fascist groups in Italy and the CIA in the United States were related to this military group.

The military of this organization received physical preparation and training in the School of the Americas, a military institution in the United States. Well, in the search for the eradication of Marxist ideology, the institution opened its doors to any Latin American organization. In this sense, the USA used the excuse of training military corps in order for them to deactivate movements that represented a danger to the interests of the nation.