Chile Seeks Justice for Murdered Singer Victor Jara

Victor Jara
AP Photo, File

Victor Jara poses for a photo in Chile in 1973.

A Chilean judge ordered the arrest of eight former military officials for their involvement in the death of legendary folk singer Víctor Jara, who was murdered in 1973 in the Santiago soccer stadium that now bears his name.    


Six of the accused, who were army officials during the regime of Augusto Pinochet, surrendered after special judge Miguel Vasquez ordered their capture on December 28. One of those still at large, Pedro Barrientos Nuñez, lives in Florida. The Jara family is pressing officials to have him extradited from the United States, according to EFE.     


An enduring icon throughout Latin America, Jara was arrested along with hundreds of university students in September 1973, just after the U.S.-backed military takeover led by Pinochet. According to court documentation, Jara was brutally tortured when he was recognized as a singer of socially-conscious songs. The guitarist's hands were broken and he was then shot 44 times.


Jara made eight albums. His legacy has lived on in numerous recordings of his songs, and in a current generation of young folk artists in Chile. Roger Waters dedicated a concert to Jara when he performed last year in Santiago.


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