THE PERFUMED KILLERS

Thursday October 11th on RTÉ 1
Reporter: Jim Fahy
Producer: Caroline Bleahene


Patrick Rice is a former Divine Word Missionaries priest from Fermoy, Co. Cork. He worked in Buenos Aires in the 1970s and he became one of the "disappeared" in 1976 and was tortured along with one of his parishioners Fatima Cabrera. After much diplomatic intervention, Pat Rice was eventually released and deported to Ireland.

Eventually Pat returned to Buenos Aires after the fall of the military in 1982. He later met with Fatima Cabrera, the social worker who was torturted in the adjoining room to Pat in 1976. They fell in love, got married and have three children. He currently works with an Ecumenical Group for Human Rights.

In 1999, 98 members of the former Argentinian military juntas were charged with murder, torture and genocide. Pat Rice is trying to track down his torturers and have them prosecuted.

Pat Rice recalls that on the evening of October 12, 1976, at the height of Argentina's "Dirty War", he was bundled at gun-point into the boot of an unmarked police car in a shanty town on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Within minutes a nightmare of torture, brutality and psychological terror was about to begin for him. For four days he was kept hooded and chained to a bed, doused in water and subjected to almost unending electric shock treatment.

Fatima Cabrera, who was then a 17 year old schoolgirl, was tortured in the room beside him and subjected to the most degrading sexual abuse - abuse which she was told would ensure that she would never be able to have a baby.

Pat and Fatima now have three children and they tell their terrifying and haunting story for the very first time as the world waits for Argentina to bring those who kidnapped, tortured and killed almost 30,000 of its people, to justice.

In "The Perfumed Killers", Pat recalls: "They would break off the electric shock from time to time and when they were close to me I could smell the perfume from their sweating bodies. I will never, ever forget that perfumed smell".