Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Chile: Victor Jara's murderers are going to jail — Justice served 50 years later

A Chilean court has confirmed jail terms for seven elderly retired soldiers for the 1973 murder of beloved folk singer and Communist Party member Victor Jara in the aftermath of the coup d’etat that installed dictator Augusto Pinochet.

The soldiers, aged between 73 and 85 and free men until the ruling, will now have to report to prison to serve sentences of between eight and 25 years. The defendants had approached the Criminal Chamber of the Chilean Supreme Court to review their conviction in 2018.
Jara, then 40, was arrested the day after the September 11, 1973, CIA-backed coup that overthrew socialist President Salvador Allende.

He had been held, along with some 5,000 other political prisoners, in a sports stadium where he was interrogated, tortured and killed. His body was found days later, riddled with 44 bullets.

Among other horrors, the singer-guitarist’s fingers were crushed – broken by rifle butts and boots.

Jara was a member of Chile’s Communist Party and a fervent supporter of the Popular Unity coalition that backed left-wing President Allende, who came to power by popular vote in 1970.