August 3, 2008 6:00 AM

Downstairs from her glittering Chilean salon, there was a torture chamber

During the darkest years of this country's military dictatorship, Mariana Callejas was an up-and-coming writer and the hostess of the era's most glamorous literary salon. Horror lay just below the glittering surface, however. As the literarati danced and debated upstairs, Chilean intelligence officers were downstairs torturing dissidents and manufacturing the toxic nerve agent sarin in a secret laboratory.

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