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He took to drinking and became increasingly violent. Jara's mother raised him and his siblings, and insisted that they get a good education. A mestiza with deep Araucanian roots in southern Chile, she was self-taught , and played the guitar and the piano.

She also performed as a singer, with a repertory of traditional folk songs that she used for local functions like weddings and funerals.


  1. About Victor Jara.
  2. MUSIC-CHILE: Remembering Victor Jara!
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  4. Victor Jara Biography - life, family, childhood, children, parents, death, wife, school.
  5. About Victor Jara.
  6. The Heroic Death of Folksinger Victor Jara.

She died when Jara was 15, leaving him to make his own way. He began to study to be an accountant, but soon moved into a seminary , where he studied for the priesthood. After a couple of years, however, he became disillusioned with the Catholic Church and left the seminary. Subsequently, he spent several years in army service before returning to his hometown to pursue interests in folk music and theater.

FolkWorld Article: Victor Jara

After joining the choir at the University of Chile in Santiago, Jara was convinced by a choir-mate to pursue a career in theater. He subsequently joined the university's theater program and earned a scholarship for talent. He released his first album, Canto a lo humano , in , and by , he had left his theater work in favor of a career in music. His songs were inspired by a combination of traditional folk music and left-wing political activism. Early in his recording career, Jara showed a knack for antagonizing conservative Chileans, releasing a traditional comic song called "La beata" that depicted a religious woman with a crush on the priest to whom she goes for confession.

The song was banned on radio stations and removed from record shops, but the controversy only added to Jara's reputation among young and progressive Chileans. The personal met the political in his songs about the poverty he had experienced firsthand.

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Jara's songs spread outside Chile and were performed by American folk artists. He took a decisive turn toward political confrontation with his song "Preguntas por Puerto Montt" "Questions About Puerto Montt" , which took direct aim at a government official who had ordered police to attack squatters in the town of Puerto Montt.

The Chilean political situation deteriorated after the official was assassinated, and right-wing thugs beat up Jara on one occasion. In , Jara supported Allende, the Popular Unity coalition candidate for president, volunteering for political work and playing free concerts.

After the election, Jara continued to speak in support of Allende and played an important role in the new administration's efforts to reorient Chilean culture. He and his wife, Joan Jara , were key participants in a cultural renaissance that swept Chile, organizing cultural events that supported the country's new socialist government. He set poems by Pablo Neruda to music and performed at a ceremony honoring him after Neruda received the Nobel Prize in Literature in Throughout rumblings of a right-wing coup, Jara held on to his teaching job at Chile's Technical University.

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His popular success during this time, as both a musician and a Communist, earned him a concert in Moscow. So successful was he that the Soviet Union tried to latch onto his popularity, claiming in their media that his vocal prowess was the result of surgery he had undergone while in Moscow. At the moment of the coup, Jara was on his way to the Technical University today the Universidad de Santiago.

That night, he slept at the university along with other teachers and students, and sang to raise morale. On the morning of 12 September , Jara was taken prisoner, along with thousands of others, and interned in Chile Stadium.

Victor Jara - Chile Stadium (his last song) English translation

Soon after, he was killed with a gunshot to the head, and his body was riddled with more than 40 bullets. After his murder, Jara's body was displayed at the entrance of Chile Stadium for other prisoners to see. It was later discarded outside the stadium along with the bodies of other civilian prisoners who had been killed by the Chilean Army.

She took his body and gave him a quick and clandestine burial in the general cemetery before she fled the country into exile. Forty-five years later, former Chilean military officers were charged with his murder. Following his arrest, on 1 June , the police investigation identified the officer who had shot Jara in the head.

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The officer played Russian roulette with Jara by placing a single round in his revolver, spinning the cylinder, placing the muzzle against Jara's head, and pulling the trigger. The officer repeated this a couple of times until a shot fired and Jara fell to the ground. The officer then ordered two conscripts one of them Paredes to finish the job by firing into Jara's body. A judge ordered Jara's body to be exhumed in an effort to gather more information about his death.

On 28 December , a judge in Chile ordered the arrest of eight former army officers for alleged involvement in Jara's murder. Beckett [30] and Christian Urrutia, [31] with the assistance of the Center for Justice and Accountability , [32] filed suit in a United States court against Barrientos, who lives in Florida , on behalf of Jara's widow and children. The suit accused Barrientos of arbitrary detention; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; extrajudicial killing ; and crimes against humanity under the Alien Tort Statute ATS , and of torture and extrajudicial killing under the Torture Victim Protection Act TVPA.

Víctor Jara (1932-1973)

It alleged that Barrientos was liable for Jara's death as a direct perpetrator and as a commander. On 3 July , eight retired Chilean military officers were sentenced to 15 years in prison for Jara's murder, and also the murder of his Communist associate and former Chilean prison director Littre Quiroga Carvajal.

She publicized a poem that Jara wrote before his death about the conditions of the prisoners in the stadium. The poem, written on a piece of paper that was hidden inside the shoe of a friend, was never named, but it is commonly known as " Estadio Chile ". Joan also distributed recordings of her husband's music, which became known worldwide. His music began to resurface in Chile in Nearly cassettes of early, nonpolitical Jara songs [40] were confiscated on the "grounds that they violated an internal security law". The importer was given jail time but released six months later.

Jara is one of many desaparecidos people who vanished under the Pinochet government and were most likely tortured and killed whose families are still struggling to get justice. President Michelle Bachelet —also a victim of the Pinochet regime, having spent years in exile—said: "Finally, after 36 years, Victor can rest in peace. He is a hero for the left, and he is known worldwide, even though he continues buried in the general cemetery where his widow originally buried him.

Jara has been commemorated not only by Latin American artists, but also by global bands such as U2 and The Clash.

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Celebrating Victor Jara’s Life and Music

Although most of the master recordings of Jara's music were burned under Pinochet's military dictatorship, his wife managed to get recordings out of Chile, which were later copied and distributed worldwide. Will never wash away It just keeps on turning A little redder every day As anger turns to hatred And hatred turns to guns Children lose their fathers. As every cell in Chile will tell, the cries of the tortured men. Remember Allende in the days before, before the army came.

Please remember Victor Jara, in the Santiago Stadium. Es verdad, those Washington bullets again. Said to the gentle poet 'play your guitar now if you can. You can kill a man, but not a song when it's sung the whole world round. We won't forget Victor Jara's courage always fighting oppression They cut off his fingers and his tongue And right up to his death he shouted 'Revolution'. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the main-belt asteroid, see Victor Jara. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

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