A judge in Chile has ordered the arrest of eight former army officers over the murder 39 years ago of well-known left-wing singer Victor Jara — one of the best known victims of Chilean military rule. A few days later, four of the men handed themselves in to the authorities, reported BBC News and Fox News Latino.
Judge Miguel Vasquez accused one of the alleged leaders of the death squad which killed the singer, lieutenant Pedro Barrientos Nunez, and another retired army officer, colonel Hugo Sanchez Marmonti, of homicide, and issued an international arrest order. Pedro Barrientos Nunez currently lives in Florida, USA, and he has previously denied any involvement in Victor Jara’s death. Jara’s widow, Joan Turner, has urged the US to extradite Pedro Barrientos Nunez.
Six other men were accused of complicity to commit murder, and more arrests are expected.
Tortured and then machine-gunned to death
Victor Jara was one of the founding fathers of Chile’s ‘New Song’ movement which in 1970 helped elect the democratic popular unity government of Salvador Allende.
The 38-year-old singer-songwriter was abducted on 11 September 1973 from a university in Santiago. He was taken to a sports stadium in the capital – Estadio de Chile – which had been turned into a makeshift prison and torture centre. On 16 September 1973, after being tortured, electrocuted and having his wrists and the bones of his hands broken, he was machine-gunned to death. His body was found later in the streets of the Chilean capital with 44 bullet wounds.
In June 2009, his body was exhumed as part of an investigation to clarify the circumstances of his death. Six months later, thousands people paid their final respects to the singer, who was reburied after a three-day wake.
Latino Post – 4 January 2013:
Chilean Authorities Arrest 4 In The 1973 Murder of Folksinger Victor Jara, Request Extradition of Suspect Living In The US
Fox News Latino – 3 January 2013:
Chilean Authorities Arrest 4 in Victor Jara’s Murder; Orders Extradition of Suspect from US
BBC News – 3 January 2013:
Victor Jara murder: Chile arrests ex-army officers
BBC News – 28 December 2012:
Chile: Ex-army officers implicated in Victor Jara death