by Pascale Bonnefoy M. (Lea aquí el artículo original en español)
After their execution in mid-September of 1973, the bodies of Víctor Jara Martínez, Littré Quiroga Carvajal and three others were dumped outside the Santiago Metropolitan Cemetery. It is not clear who gave notice of the discovery of the bodies, nor how they were taken to the Forensic Medical Institute, but they were found together on the public road. However, according to the IML admission records, Jara and Quiroga appear to have arrived at the morgue on different days and by different routes.
According to the IML admission book, Quiroga arrived one day after Jara, coming from the Eighth Police Station. His date of death was determined to be the 15th, the same day that Jara was already in the morgue.
The identity of the other three victims has not been confirmed, but according to the IML registry, it can be presumed that they were Miguel Díaz León, 18 years old, Ángel Espinoza Valenzuela, 21 years old, and an as yet unidentified NN. The three entered the morgue as NN together with Víctor Jara on September 15 at 1:30 p.m., all from the First Police Station of Renca and sent by the Second Military Prosecutor’s Office. The death of three of them was determined to be on September 14 at 7:00 a.m. in the street. The unidentified person died on the same day, September 15.
Víctor Jara had also entered the morgue as a John Doe but his identity was later confirmed by the Civil Registry Service. It was Héctor Herrera, the Civil Registry official sent to the IML to reinforce the work of taking dactyloscopic samples, together with a colleague, who recognized him among the bodies.
“He was very dirty, very beaten, with wounds, dirt and blood. He looked like Victor Jara but we were not sure. We took his fingerprints. A friendly colleague in fingerprinting at the Civil Registry confirmed his identity the next day. I looked up Joan Turner’s personal data in the Service’s index file and went to her house to tell her the worst news,” Herrera said.
On the Sept. 18 holiday, Herrera helped Joan Turner make the arrangements to recover the body.
It was the only time she made similar arrangements. On several other occasions, when an identity was confirmed at the Identification Bureau, Herrera called family members from a pay phone to give them the terse message to search the morgue. And he hung up.
The same day that the singer was buried in the General Cemetery, Bolívar Quiroga entered the morgue in search of his brother Littré.
“Murdered by extremists”
The Director of the Prison Service, Littré Quiroga, a lawyer and communist militant, had shown up for work on the day of the coup; he instructed the officers to leave, and only one person remained with him, Colonel Alejandro Pozo Ormeño. The officer later told the family that when Quiroga heard the order for his surrender before 4:30 p.m. that day, he called the Ministry of Defense to report that he was in the Prison Service and that they were to pick him up there. He wrote two letters to his wife Silvia, one to his three children and one to his mother. In all of them he said goodbye; he knew he would probably not see them again. The military arrested him that night.
A Prison Service doctor at the IML recognized his body with difficulty. Littré Quiroga had been admitted as a John Doe. The doctor notified a lawyer from his institution, who in turn notified a friend of hers, who was a teacher at the Liceo Experimental Manuel de Salas, where the Quiroga children were studying. She called one of them, René.
René notified Bolívar, the eldest of the five brothers after Littré. They left for the IML, but Bolívar went in alone. René stayed outside.
In the midst of hundreds of bodies, Bolívar told a group of uniformed men that he was looking for his brother. The soldiers appeared to be drunk and said they had not slept or eaten in days; they were aggressive, violent. “That conchesumadre… I think he’s over there somewhere,” said one, pointing to a spot. “Hurry up, otherwise we’ll kill you too.”
The soldiers followed him as he made his way through the corpses. Finally, he found Littré’s body on the ground, naked.
“It’s a good thing you recognized him now, because tomorrow we’re going to take all of these huevones to the front, where we’ll throw them out,”  they told him.
Prison Service officials arrived at the morgue and arranged for the delivery of the body. Everything had to be quick.
“I never knew if an autopsy was performed. Disorder and fear reigned. It was full of corpses and therefore there were no rituals or procedures, so much so that the delivery of the body was done with the instruction to proceed immediately with the burial,” recalls René Quiroga.
The next day, Littré Quiroga’s body was delivered in a sealed urn. Family members were ordered to wait outside. They never saw his remains.
“We were always afraid it wasn’t him. They could perfectly well have put another body in the urn, because they delivered it sealed. We were lucky that someone recognized him and the family was able to find out and get him back. Not only that, but after more than 37 years, we were able to prove that those bones we exhumed were really his,” said Hugo Quiroga, his younger brother.
A few weeks later, the newspaper La Segunda reported that Quiroga had been “murdered by extremists” . This is how his death was explained: “He was riddled with bullets for his persistent refusal to accede to the demands of a commando that demanded freedom for Miristas and other terrorists held in the prison and penitentiary… Littré Quiroga was also accused of mistreating extremist left-wing prisoners.”
 Víctor Jara had been arrested on September 12 at the Universidad Técnica del Estado along with hundreds of students, academics and officials, and taken to the National Stadium. The National Director of the Prison Service, Littré Quiroga, who had surrendered to the new military authorities on the night of September 11, was also taken to the stadium.
 An official version given by the Chilean Foreign Ministry on March 27, 1974, quoted in the Rettig Report, stated: “This official of the deposed regime was killed by habitual criminals”.
 According to witnesses in the Rettig Report, Angel Espinoza and Miguel Diaz were arrested by Carabineros on September 12 in the Quinta Normal district and taken to the Radal population checkpoint. There is no trace of them from there until they arrived at the morgue three days later. It is possible that during that time they were at the National Stadium.
 The letters were provided to ArchivosChile by a brother of Littré Quiroga. The Quiroga family donated these same letters to the Museo de la Memoria.
 Bolívar Quiroga did not tell his family what happened inside the morgue until 2010, when Littré Quiroga’s remains were exhumed to confirm his identity. This account is based on what he told his brothers Hugo and René.
 They were referring to the General Cemetery, located half a block away.
 “Extremistas asesinaron a ex Director de Prisiones”, La Segunda, October 9, 1973, p. 24.
- Investigation Overview: The Bureaucracy of Death – Executions in Chile 1973
- Inside the Instituto Médico Legal (I): Bodies at dawn
- Inside the Instituto Médico Legal (II): “Cursory autopsies”
- Inside the Instituto Médico Legal (III): From the morgue to the cemetery
- Political Executions: 150 new cases?
- Crossed identities and bodies without names at the Registro Civil
- The black hole of the military prosecutors’ offices
- Military Courts: Execute first, judge second
- Wartime Tribunals: Absolute authority
- The silence of the cemetery
- The strange case of the two Luis Curivils
- Victor Jara and Littré Quiroga
- Bodies floating in the Mapocho River
- Allende suicide: Forensic reports July 19, 2011