Juan Maino

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Juan Maino
Died 1976?
Occupation Photographer

Juan Bosco Maino Canales (died 1976?) was a photographer, political activist, and opponent of Augusto Pinochet's regime in Chile. He was a leader in MAPU (Movimiento de Acción Popular Unitaria or United Popular Action Movement). He was detained on May 26, 1976 by DINA agents and disappeared.


Juan Maino was an engineering graduate from Universidad Técnica del Estado (State Technical University) and a militant and dirigent of the MAPU Party (Movimiento de Acción Popular Unitaria), who was working on his Mechanical Engineering thesis together with his classmate Antonio Elizondo Ormachea.

Two days before his arrest, on May 24, 1976, around 3 p.m., Andrés Rekas Urra, brother of Elizabeth Rekas Urra who in turn was the wife of Elizondo, was arrested by DINA agents. He was driven to a clandestine detention and torture facility known as Villa Grimaldi. There he was interrogated about the "activities" of his sister and brother-in-law as well as Juan Maino's. He was forced to recognize and identify his sister in a clandestine stake out and on May 26 he was able to hear his sister screaming at Villa Grimaldi.

Juan Maino was arrested by DINA agents on the night of May 26, 1976, at the Elizondo apartment, in Ñuñoa, Santiago, together with Elizabeth Rekas Urra. Elizabeth Rekas was pregnant at the time and her husband Antonio Elizondo had been detained earlier that same day around 6:30 p.m. at the intersection of Alameda Avenue and Lord Cochrane street (Santiago's downtown). Both are also still listed as disappeared

According to witnesses, Maino and Rekas were detained by at least three agents in one car, who remained at Elizondo's house past 2.00 a.m. Days after his disappearance, Maino's mother presented a Habeas Corpus on the 8th Criminal Tribunal of Santiago. The court refused to investigate the case (in the Chilean criminal system of the time, the work of investigating, prosecuting and judging were concentrated into only one person, the Criminal Judge - see judge Juan Guzmán's autobiography, released in 2005).

Andrés Rekas Urra was released that same day, and since that date, any trace of Antonio Elizondo, Elizabeth Rekas and Juan Maino has been lost.

Present investigation[edit]

In 2005, Paul Schäfer, the former leader of Colonia Dignidad, was charged with involvement in his "disappearance" after two cars owned by Maino were found inside the German enclave in Chile.[1]


  1. ^ "New charges for Chile cult head". BBC News. 22 March 2005. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 

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