Pozo de Quilmes


Pozo de Quilmes was a clandestine torture, detention and extermination centre in Argentina. It was situated at the corner of Allison Bell Street and Garibaldi Street in the centre of the city of Quilmes in Buenos Aires Province. The place was also known as “Chupadero de Malvinas” and “División de Cuatrerismo”.

The centre served as the headquarters of the Quilmes Investigations Brigade. This is where the police of Buenos Aires Province operated, particularly the General Investigations Directorate, in cooperation with the Army’s First Corps. The clandestine centre was part of the territorial repressive network, known as the “Camps Circuit” (“Circuito Camps”), which was composed of 29 clandestine centres in total. The “Camps Circuit” network was named after General Ramón Juan Camps, head of the Buenos Aires Province Police Force.

Prisoners were illegally detained at the premises from August 1975. After the coup d’état on 24th March 1976, it became a fully functioning and systematic clandestine torture and detention centre until 1978.

The premises were composed of two adjoining buildings: a two-storey house and a five-storey building with a vehicle entrance, through which the captives would enter. The site could be accessed from the street via a gate with metal railings. From there, the captives passed a small office, a kitchen and a narrow hallway that led to a staircase. Some of the ground-floor rooms were used as torture chambers.

The majority of the cells were just under 6-feet wide and 6-and-a-half-feet high, with cement walls, iron doors and a small window with bars. According to survivors’ testimonies, women and men were held in separate spaces. The second floor was generally reserved for women and the third floor was reserved for men.

Around 250 prisoners passed through this centre. Alongside Argentine nationals, there were Uruguayan, Paraguayan, and Chilean nationals who had been abducted in Argentina as part of the repressive activities of Operation Condor. Seven captured women carried their pregnancies to full term in the centre, before being transferred to the birthing room at Pozo de Quilmes, another centre which was part of the Camps Circuit. The children who were born there in captivity were appropriated and their identities concealed. 

The Comisión Nacional sobre la Desaparición de Personas (National Commission on the Disappearance of Persons, CONADEP), which was created at the end of the dictatorship in 1983, carried out an inspection of Pozo de Quilmes on 18th May 1984. At that time, the premises were occupied by the Female Brigade of the Buenos Aires Province Police Force.

On 24th March 2014, the area was signposted. In 2017, the premises were legally declared a Site of Memory for the Defence and Promotion of Human Rights. The Memory Commission of Buenos Aires Province has managed the building since 2020.

In October 2020, oral hearings began in the criminal trial which deals with the various crimes committed in the clandestine torture, detention and extermination centres known as “Pozo de Banfield”, “Pozo de Quilmes” and “El Infierno” in the Lanús district of Greater Buenos Aires. These centres operated within the premises of the Investigations Brigades of the Buenos Aires Province Police Force. This trial includes a total number of 442 victims, including 18 women who were pregnant at the time and their children who were born in captivity.

“Chupadero de Malvinas”, “División de Cuatrerismo”
Calles Allison Bell y Garibaldi
Institutional responsibility
Policía de la Provincia de Buenos Aires
Primer Cuerpo del Ejército
Operating period
1975 - 1978
Current situation
Sitio de Memoria abierto al público y sede de la Comisión Provincial por la Memoria
Place ID
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