On the morning of June 1st, 2011, two individuals pulled up on a motorcycle in front of a bank in Santiago, Chile. One got off carrying a homemade explosive device, which detonated accidentally in his hands, blinding him, setting him on fire, and injuring his hands severely. In the hospital, where he was placed under armed guard, he was identified as Luciano Pitronello Schuffeneger, better known by his nickname “Tortuga,” Spanish for turtle. Demonized by the sensational mass media, condemned as a terrorist by his own sister, and abandoned by some former comrades fearful of repression, he faced the certainty of prison while saddled with horrifying injuries. Yet against all conceivable odds, he turned around his unbearable situation, persisting in his physical therapy to recover beyond expectation, overcoming suicidal depression, and defeating legal efforts to prosecute him under an anti-terrorist law. He was sentenced to six years of house arrest, and remains unrepentant and committed to anarchist struggle.
“and in the greatest darkness there appeared small gestures that pushed me to not give up. How could I betray those who risk their lives to give me encouragement? And I learned to conquer life anew; I know that you will never know how important you have been.”
For more context and information check out these Ex-Worker Podcast episodes: – Interview With Tortuga – Review of his prison letters – Anarchism In Chile – There are several compilations of Tortuga’s prison letters including actions done in solidarity with him we only recorded his first three letters but you should check out War On Society for more info on Tortuga and news from around the world