RAWSON: the name of the infamous Patagonian prison in the town originally called, in Welsh, Trerawson, Rawson Town. What was it like to be in Argentina’s toughest jail during the years of the Dirty War, between 1976 and 1983?
Pablo Bohoslavsky describes the experience, his own experience and that of others, brilliantly in this book. Jailers and prisoners felt “proud”, it seems, to be at this maximum security prison. With nothing to read for three years, inmates were denied family visits. There was no radio or TV. Censorship was absolute. There was no shortage of nocturnal transfers during which some prisoners were shot by application of the “ley de fuga”, the infamous Flight or Escape Law.
Bohoslavsky takes you into the nightmare world into which many were plunged. He writes with such clarity that you feel you are really there among the prisoners. The smallest incident takes on great importance. He explores the whole range of emotions: hope, dread, fear, anger, hatred, compassion, doubt, resignation, despair. Such is the precision and power of his writing – each word is carefully chosen – and the clarity and accuracy of Pascual José Masullo’s translation, that you feel that you are inside the cells
This book offers many insights into the world inside the prison walls: the casual, sadistic cruelty of the guards, the vulnerability and the solidarity of the inmates. It also enhances our understanding of the complicated and baffling set of forces at play in Argentine society during those troubled times, the unions, the army and the generals, Peronism, the Triple A death squads, the law, even the Church.
Translated from the original Spanish by: Pascual José Masullo
Edited by: Dr Robert Gurney
Cover design by: William Gurney
eBook ISBN: 978-0-9932299-1-6