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Biographical Summary

Alexei Jaccard Siegler was born in 1952 in Concepción, southern Chile to a middle-class family of Swiss descent. Siegler's family was attached to the Communist Party, and he too became a member at a young age. Alexei loved nature, and he lived in the beautiful surroundings of Chiguayante (Concepción Province), close to the Bío Bío river.

He studied at the Enrique Molina Fiscal Lyceum in Concepción. During the years of the left-wing Unidad Popular (Popular Unity) coalition, Alexei enrolled in an economics course at the University of Concepción, combining his studies with political and student leadership with the initiative of a small agricultural business.

He was an attractive man: six feet tall, intelligent, well-read, and able to quickly evoke sympathy for others. He was adept at forming friendships and had a strong sense of empathy and respect toward others. He had a strong personality and was sure of himself.

Following the coup d'état, Alexei was kidnapped by state agents and detained from October to December 1973 in Concepción Stadium. Once he was released, Alexei continued to be pursued by the repressive services of the dictatorship. He travelled to Argentina to seek safety and file for a Swiss passport. Alexei returned to Chile at the end of 1974 before seeking exile in Geneva.

Alexei had met his partner, Paulina Veloso, in Concepción and the couple married on 8th January 1976 in the Swiss city of Lausanne. Alexei was reading economics and Paulina was studying mathematics at the University of Geneva.

Alexei continued to be politically engaged in supporting the Communist Party during his exile. Aged 25, the Communist Party sent him on a mission to Santiago via Buenos Aires. The mission unfolded between 16th and 26th May 1977 and had the objective of establishing a financial system for the party comprised of bank transfers between Buenos Aires and Santiago.

Alexei assumed the role of delivering information and codes for the new system to provide resources from abroad. He only carried enough money to cover his living costs and an amount to hand over to the Chilean Communist Party members in Argentina. Nonetheless, the financial system that he aspired to create was highly sophisticated and was made possible thanks to the information and data that were carried through this coordinated operation between Buenos Aires and Santiago.

Chilean and Argentine agents began a coordinated operation to kidnap Alexei while he was in Buenos Aires. The same operation led to the kidnapping of Ricardo Ignacio Ramírez Herrera, who was responsible for the organisation and finances of the Chilean Communist Party in Buenos Aires, and Héctor Heraldo Velásquez Mardones, as well as nine Argentine members of the solidarity committee with Chile in Argentina. They all remain disappeared.

The same operation to dismantle the Communist Party's aspiring financial system in Chile led to the kidnapping and disappearance of Ruiter Enrique Correa Arce and Hernán Soto Gálvez who were later executed in Chile. Meanwhile, Jacobo Stoulman Bortnik and Matilde Pessa Mois were kidnapped in Buenos Aires and their remains were found in Chile.

After being kidnapped in public, Alexei Jaccard was transferred to the Argentine Federal Police premises where he was interrogated. According to an investigation published by the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos de Chile (Museum of Memory and Human Rights of Chile), Alexei could have passed through the clandestine detention centre based at the Escuela Superior de Mecánica de la Armada (Naval Mechanics School, ESMA) in Buenos Aires. This information has not been confirmed by the prosecutors' investigations for the Condor trial in Argentina. It has, however, been confirmed that, after his kidnapping in Buenos Aires, members of Pinochet's intelligence agency, the Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional (Directorate of National Intelligence, DINA) transferred Alexei to Chile. The judicial testimonies of former repressors confirm that they saw Alexei in Santiago, where he was captured in a DINA clandestine detention, torture and extermination camp. 

The case Rol 2182-98 'Cóndor', firstly assigned to the Visiting Minister Mario Carrozo Espinosa, investigated the kidnapping, homicide, illicit association, and unlawful internment of twelve of the victims of this tragic plan, including Alexei Jaccard. The first-instance verdict was given on 21st September 2018 while Santiago's Appeals Court declared the second-instance sentence on 25th July 2022. The latter increased the sentences with which the 10 former DINA agents were sanctioned for Alexei Jaccard Siegler's kidnapping. In terms of civil justice, the courts invoked two forms of symbolic reparations at the request of Alexei Jaccard's widow. The Chilean tax office was condemned to paying CLP$15,000,000 (US$16,434.50) so that the Ministry of Education could acquire books about human rights to be distributed among all the state schools in Chiguayante district and plaques were erected in Alexei's memory in the school libraries. Moreover, the Chilean tax office must pay US$82,172.30 to the University of Concepción to set up the annual Alexei Jaccard Siegler Prize. The sentence is yet to be confirmed since certain documentation must be brought forward before the case is transferred to the Supreme Court.

Personal Data
Jaccard Siegler, Alexei Vladimir
Age range
Country of birth
Repressive Operation
Buenos Aires
Victim was transferred between countries but the date is unknown
Known places of detention