Saturday, September 17, 2005
"Silence and screams are the end of my song," lamented legendary Chilean folk singer, Víctor Jara, as he composed his final poem as a suffering prisoner in Estadio Chile. Thirty-two years ago today, he was brutally executed by the Chilean military after enduring days of torture. He was, like so many others, a victim of the September 11th, 1973 coup that toppled Salvador Allende's democratically elected government and initiated the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. As a leading musician in Chile's new song movement, Jara sang songs in favor of Allende's presidency. In the years of Pinochet's dictatorship, his albums were only available on the black market and his music was effectively censored. Despite those efforts by the dictatorship, Víctor's music and memory lived on and continues to live in Chile's democratic present.