Location Chile Chile

Chile: Nine Ex-Soldiers Convicted for Murder of Victor Jara

Victor Jara, a dedicated member of the Communist Party, remains one of Latin America’s most beloved folk singers.

A Chilean judge has convicted nine former soldiers for the 1973 murder of folk singer, Victor Jara, in the wake of the CIA-backed coup that installed General Augusto Pinochet as a dictator.

The 40-year-old Jara was arrested the day after the coup that overthrew Popular Unity President of Chile, Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973, and held in Santiago’s stadium along with thousands of other political prisoners. He was interrogated and tortured before being killed.

Eight of the nine, Hugo Sánchez Marmonti, Raúl Jofré González, Edwin Dimter Bianchi, Nelson Haase Mazzei, Ernesto Bethke Wulf, Juan Jara Quintana, Hernán Chacón Soto y Patricio Vásquez Donoso, were sentenced to 15 years and one day in prison. The ninth, Rolando Melo Silva, received five years and a day for being an “accessory” to the murders.

Jara was among Latin America’s most beloved folk singers, who inspired musicians and activists around the world with his political lyrics that described daily life, trials and political situation of Chile’s working class, and demanded “The Right to Live in Peace,” as one of his most famous songs, against the Vietnam War and in homage to Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh, was called.

The singer was a dedicated member of the Communist Party of Chile, and supported the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende.

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