Fuga de un día de diciembre: a 20 años de la operación “vuelo de justicia”

Por Constanza Martínez

“Todo se achica, pierde la imponencia que tiene desde abajo, la cárcel se ve inmunda, pequeña, espantosamente lejana, ridícula para la melancolía y el dolor que alzaban sus murallas durante todo esos años. Pero ahora iban volando, ya lejos de la cárcel”

Ricardo Palma Salamanca, El gran rescate.

Corrían los últimos días, del último mes de 1996, en un Chile deprimido y desengañado por un término mediocre y pactado entre la Dictadura de Pinochet y la ultra derecha chilena que se iba libre de polvo y paja, pasando el mando a un grupo de personajes que no tardarían en dejar ver sus intenciones, y como sabemos hoy, solo fortalecieron y profundizaron el neoliberalismo en este país.

Luchadores que habían salido a las calles y actuado en consecuencia con las ansias de libertad de su pueblo, seguían en las celdas cumpliendo condena. En Santiago el calor se tomaba las calles, los preparativos para despedir el año  ocupaban las cabezas de los habitantes de la ciudad y en los pasillos del módulo de alta seguridad, en la Penitenciaría de Santiago, se escuchaba en el silencio el latir de cuatro corazones que esperaban al borde del colapso el estruendo que vendría desde el aire para traerles la libertad.

Mientras desde el Aeródromo de Tobalaba despegaba un helicóptero de color azul -supuestamente arrendado por turistas para hacer un recorrido aéreo de la ciudad-, manejado por un piloto de carabineros, que justamente ese día por caprichos del destino, reemplazaba al piloto habitual,  del cual ya habían sido estudiados todos sus movimientos.

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Helicóptero Bell Rangers, en las inmediaciones del Parque Brasil.

Cuando sobrevolaban el Parque O’Higgins una de las “turistas”, pidió al piloto acercarse al pueblito del parque, esto permitió tener una lectura del perímetro y las condiciones en que se encontraba. El vuelo continuó hacia el sur, llegando a la VI región en las cercanías de Rancagua. Allí una de las “turistas”, dijo sentirse repentinamente mareada, rogó desesperadamente parar el vuelo y aterrizar. Este aterrizaje forzoso meticulosamente planeado abrió la posibilidad de recuperar el Bell Rangers que serviría de vehículo a los cuatro que esperaban sin saber si ese sería el día que terminaría una vida de confinamiento en prisión, el día de su muerte o si reirían en la cara de todos los poderosos que querían tenerlos enjaulados para que no pudieran seguir luchando.

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Fases de la operación y plano de la cárcel.

Se trataba de  Ricardo Palma Salamanca, Pablo Muñoz Hoffman, Mauricio Hernández Norambuena y Patricio Ortiz Montenegro quienes se encontraban cumpliendo condenas de cadena perpetua (en el caso de Palma y Norambuena) y de 10 años (Ortiz).

Cerca de las 15:45, un pequeño balde amarillo daba la señal desde el techo para indicar el lugar preciso. En ese momento, desde el sector sur del penal y sobre las cabezas de los aletargados prisioneros y gendarmes, comenzó sobrevolar el helicóptero Bell Rangers de color azul anteriormente arrendado como parte de un plan que llevaba un año gestándose para desembocar en la fuga más espectacular de la que ha sido testigo este país, si no, el continente entero.

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Canasto de keblar utilizado en la fuga.

Entre ráfagas de metralletas y un bullicio ensordecedor, los demás presos miraban atónitos lo que acontecía, como si estuvieran en la mejor película de acción, sin poder contener esa mueca de sonrisa que nos da en la cara a los humanos ante lo inverosímil.  Los gendarmes también cayeron víctimas de este estado de hipnosis generado por el impacto y sin mayor capacidad de respuesta se quedaron algunos contemplando la acción, otros se fueron a refugiar en sus torres de control, mientras los cuatro ex-presos, a esas alturas surcaban el cielo, dos colgando y dos dentro de un inestable canasto hecho de keblar, un novedoso material en esa época, que hoy conocemos como el material del que están hechos los cascos de soldados por su resistencia, flexibilidad y ligereza.

Fueron 58 segundos, 58 segundos que tomaron más de un año de preparación y una veintena de compañeros y compañeras, 58 segundos que separaron a estos hombres de una vida entre las rejas, 58 segundos que quedarán para siempre en la memoria colectiva.

El canasto aterrizó junto a su helicóptero, los cuatro fugados y los decididos militantes que llevaron a cabo la operación en el Parque Brasil, cerca de una pichanga de niños que  fueron testigos sin quererlo de una de las páginas más espectaculares de la historia no solo de sus vidas, si no de un pueblo entero observaba atónito  la decisión y valentía de estas personas arrojadas a la aventura.

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De izquierda a derecha: Pablo Hoffmann,Patricio Ortiz, Mauricio Hernandez, Ricardo Palma. Omitiendo a los enmascarados.

Ahora llegó el turno de los automóviles encargados de llevar a los cuatro  hombres libres hacia distintos caminos. Han pasado 19 años desde esta heroica acción, Patricio Ortiz llegó a Suiza en 1997, donde vivió un año de prisión y aislamiento, para finalmente conseguir asilo político; Ricardo Palma y Pablo Muñoz se encuentran en la clandestinidad desde ese día hasta el presente. Mauricio Hernández Norambuena, se encuentra recluido desde el 2002 en Brasil bajo condiciones infrahumanas, aislado y sometido a un régimen estricto, sin comunicación y con 22 horas diarias de encierro.

Ese Chile post dictadura, este país de injusticias y tristezas, este país tuvo ese 30 de diciembre una sorpresa, una razón para sonreír, quizás ese día sirvió para recuperar la capacidad de asombro a nuestro pueblo quizás esa acción memorable marcó a una generación completa de nuevos luchadores y luchadoras.

Es por eso que hoy se levantan varias voces en solidaridad con Mauricio Hernández Norambuena. Fueron estos protagonistas los que permitieron escribir una historia de orgullo para un pueblo derrotado. Es de esperar que la situación del Comandante Ramiro, cambie y sea reconocido como lo que es y fue: un luchador incansable por la justicia y la libertad.

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