Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Victor Jara: The Gentle Singer and the Fascists
Victor Jara was a well known Chilean folk singer who sang songs about poverty and injustice.
And for that when Augusto Pinochet and his fascists overthrew the government of Salvador Allende, he was one of their first victims.
And was tortured and murdered in a soccer stadium where the military were holding thousands of prisoners.
But now at last, forty-three years later, it seems that his killer may finally be brought to justice.
A Florida jury on Monday found a former Chilean army officer liable for the 1973 torture and murder of the folk singer and political activist Victor Jara, awarding $28m in damages to his widow and daughters in one of the biggest and most significant legal human rights victories against a foreign war criminal in a US courtroom.
The verdict against Pedro Pablo Barrientos Nuñez after a two-week civil trial in Orlando’s federal court could now also pave the way for his extradition to face criminal murder charges in Chile related to his conduct during a CIA-backed coup that led to Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year military dictatorship and the deaths of almost 3,100 people.
And hopefully after so long it will provide his poor wife with some measure of closure.
Joan Jara Turner, 88, testified during the trial that her husband’s death in a stadium locker room had “cut my life in two”, and has previously spoken of the horror of having to identify his tortured and mutilated body in a morgue after he was dumped outside the stadium with 44 bullet wounds.
For that is what that fascist bastard did to the gentle Victor Jara, for the "crime" of being a singer. First he broke his fingers, and then he shot him over and over again.
And here is Victor singing an excerpt of my favourite song of his "El Derecho de Vivir En Paz" or "The Right to Live in Peace"
At a concert in Peru, two months before he was murdered...
It's a beautiful song, and one of the first I learned how to play on the guitar to help keep his memory alive.
And later to remind me that from Cons come fascists.
May his killer be extradited and jailed for the rest of his life.
And may there finally be justice for Victor Jara...
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