Victor Jara’s widow welcomes announcement of three more murder charges
MARTYRED Chilean communist folk singer Victor Jara’s widow Joan Jara welcomed the announcement yesterday that three more people have been charged over his murder during the country’s 1973 CIA-backed military coup.
“This decision has to be celebrated and we hope this investigation can continue. We know this marks a milestone,” said Ms Jara.
A judge in Santiago charged former military officers Hernan Chancon Soto and Patricio Vasquez Donoso with taking part in the September 16 1973 killing.
He also charged ex-army prosecutor Ramon Melo Silva as an accomplice.
They join eight former army officers charged in late 2012 and early 2013 with killing the theatre director and singer-songwriter.
A prominent member of the Nueva Cancion Chilena (New Chilean Song) movement, Victor Jara wrote and performed works that tackled social and political issues and provided a musical backdrop to the electoral success of the Popular Unity alliance headed by Salvador Allende.
He and thousands of other Allende supporters were seized during General Augusto Pinochet’s military coup and held in a football stadium.
He was tortured, killed and his body dumped in the street.
His family filed a civil lawsuit in the US last year accusing former army lieutenant Pedro Barrientos Nunez of ordering soldiers to torture the singer.
Lt Barrientos was also said to have personally fired the fatal shot while playing a game of Russian roulette inside the Estadio Chile, where 5,000 Allende supporters were detained.
He left Chile in 1989 and lives in the US. He denies all involvement.