Maria da Silva Benfica was imprisoned as a 23-year-old for sending supplies to resistance guerrilla forces in 1977, two years after the Indonesian occupation began. She was interrogated in the notorious Sang Tai Ho centre in Dili and shuttled between there and the Comarca (Balide) prison, where she was singled out for brutal treatment, including torture, until her release in June 1978. Almost 30 years later, Maria’s life in independent East Timor is dedicated to assisting other ex-political prisoners and keeping the memory of their experiences alive.
This item digitized and made available online with funds provided by United States
Department of Education, TICFIA (Technological Innovation and Cooperation for Foreign Information) Grant P337A05006.
Place of Interview: Dili, East Timor (Timor-Leste)
Credits: Interviewer: Jill Jolliffe, Cinematographer: Nicola Daley
Date of Birth: 1954-02-08; Prisons: Dili, East Timor (Timor-Leste); Other Prisoners: Sihombing; Sinaga; red berets; Suleiman.; Perpetrators: Sang Tai Ho (Colmera, Dili); Comarca (Balide) prison, Dili; --Mau Buti cell; --Mau Besa cell.