Under my Skin (A flor de piel)

Music piece by:
Julio Iglesias
Testimony by:
Carmen Espinoza Alegría
Experience in:
Colonia Dignidad, April 1975

Some testimonies have short notes that explain Chilean slang, dates, names, acronyms, concepts and important contexts. To read the notes, click on the underlined wordsThis is a sample note..

I’m from Talca. I met César, my comrade, my love, in 1971 or 1972, approximately. We were young idealists, we were members of Juventudes Comunistas, and were student leaders in our secondary schools.

When the coup happened in 1973, I was at home. Quickly, I went to the political party with César to gather books and look for our stuff. On the advice of our comrades, we went to a safe house for three days. After that, we returned to our homes to live a normal life.

One night, in April 1975, ten or fifteen hooded people arrived at my house with machine guns and rifles. They knocked down the doors looking for me and they took me into a van with other colleagues. They put tape on our eyes and hoods on our heads.

They took us to Colonia Dignidad. They kept us women on camping beds, tied by the feet and hands. That’s where the torture started. I remember there was a very loud turbine, I think it provided light and power for the whole complex.

One day, one of the guards came to me and whispered the song ‘A flor de piel’Idiomatic expression in Spanish that describes an intense manifestation of emotions. (Under my Skin) by Julio Iglesias(1943- ) Spanish singer, composer and producer.. This song was very significant for me because it was the song César and I listened to when we were dating.

That is how I could ascertain that César was also in Colonia Dignidad. I felt protected. It was a relief to hear this song, I felt that César was sending me a message that he was alive. Because in between so many voices and laments, I could not distinguish whether it was him who was being tortured.

Despite everything that happened to us, they could not break us, they did not bend us over. ‘A flor de piel’ made us stronger and is still our song.


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Published on: 18 June 2022


For that love that you give me
for being like that, just like that
because your love is faithful to my love
because always I’ve got you
under my skin.

For those small things
that make up a whole life
for those details of yours
to which each of my days wakes up.

For that eternal silence
with which you calm all of my anger
for that and for so much more
I will never find an equal love
for that and for so much more
it is so difficult when you are not there.

For that love that you give me
for being like that, just like that
because your love is faithful to my love
because always I’ve got you
under my skin.

I know that we sometimes quarrel
and we argue over silly things
over things of no importance
that are almost always my fault
and later without realising
in a moment everything is forgotten.

For that and for so much more
I will never find an equal love
for that and for so much more
it is so difficult when you are not there.

Because we have cried together
and shared the joyous moments
because we have halted time
just at the moment when you were mine.

For all of those things
that make up a life
for that and for so much more
I will never find an equal love.

For that and for so much more
it is so difficult when you are not there.