Monday, December 11, 2006

Pinochet is dead. The hands of Victor Jara

Chile's General Pinochet is dead. No word on Thatcher though.

Still, Pinochet's death is no cause for rejoicing, but regret. Why? Pinochet escaped trial and imprisonment for his brutal military overthrow of a democratically elected government. Pinochet had the blood of thousands on his hands -- the blood of those he caused to be tortured, disappeared, murdered -- during and after that military coup.

Among those Pinochet had rounded up was folk singer Victor Jara:
On the morning of September 12, Jara was taken, along with thousands others, as a prisoner to the Chile Stadium (renamed the Estadio Víctor Jara in September 2003). Many of those detained were tortured and killed there by the military forces.

Jara was repeatedly beaten and tortured, the bones in his hands were broken as were the bones of his ribs.

Fellow political prisoners have testified that his captors mockingly suggested that he play guitar for them as he lay on the ground. Defiantly, he sang part of a song supporting the Popular Unity coalition.

After further beatings, he was machine-gunned on September 15 and his body was dumped on a road on the outskirts of Santiago, and then taken to a city morgue.

Jara's wife, Joan, was allowed to come and retrieve his body from the morgue (and was able to confirm the physical abuse he had endured). After holding a funeral for her husband, Joan Jara fled the country in secret.

Before his death, Victor Jara wrote a poem about the conditions of the prisoners in the stadium, the poem was written on a paper that was hidden inside a shoe of a friend. The poem was never named, but is commonly known as Estadio Chile.

Source: Wikipedia

Compañeros, Venceremos!

UPDATE. Victor Jara, Ojitos verdes: youtube

No comments: