NEW YORK (Aug. 2)
The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith today expressed concern over the recent disappearances in Santiago, Chile, of two Jewish brothers who are believed now to be political prisoners. Four other Chilean Jews are among hundreds of Chileans missing there for more than a year.
According to Burton S. Levinson, chairman of ADL’s Latin American affairs department, the brothers, Julio and Eduardo Budnik Schwartzman, who had held important industrial posts under the deposed leftist Salvador Allende government, were last seen on July 22.
“It is suspected that agents of DINA, the Chilean military intelligence agency, took the brothers into custody because of the similarity of the Budniks’ disappearance with that of other Chileans.” Levinson said. Authorities there, however, have disclaimed any knowledge that the pair is in custody.
APPEALS MADE TO CHILEAN AMBASSADORS
The ADL said the brothers’ office was ransacked and their cars removed from an adjacent parking lot. On July 24, the Budnik family received an anonymous phone call directing it to where the cars were found, near the national stadium. Subsequently, a Santiago newspaper reported that five political prisoners, arrested on July 22, had been placed in Castro Alamos prison. Several days later, the family received word that the Budnik brothers would probably be moved to southern Chile.
In an effort to aid the Budnik family, Levinson said, B’nai B’rith representatives have appealed to the Chilean ambassadors in the United States and Canada for information on the brothers.
Of the other four Chilean Jews who are missing, the most prominent is David Silberman, who had been general manager of Chuquicamata, the world’s largest copper mine. Levinson said Silberman disappeared while serving a 13-year sentence at the Santiago penitentiary. The others are Diana Aaron, Luis-Guendelman and Juan Carlos Perelman. Chilean officials have consistently denied that the four were arrested or are in government custody, Levinson said.