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Ex-soldiers jailed for Chile folk singer’s murder in 1973

SANTIAGO – A judge has sentenced eight retired military officers to a total of 18 years in prison for the kidnapping and murder of Chile’s most famous folk singer Victor Jara and a government official at the start of the Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship some 45 years ago. Jara, 40, was a celebrated singer, theater director and university professor who sympathized with the socialist government of Salvador Allende, who was ousted in the 1973 coup. Jara’s work, and the nature of his death, inspired tributes from artists including Bruce Springsteen, the Clash and U2. His family, including British-born ballerina wife Joan and his daughter Amanda, has fought a long-running campaign for justice in his case and had his body exhumed in 2009 for a full autopsy. In 2016, a civil court jury in Florida found another former military official, retired army lieutenant Pedro Barrientos, liable for torturing and killing Jara. A court in the capital Santiago heard Tuesday how the Marxist folk singer was seized in the hours after Gen. Pinochet overthrew socialist President Salvador Allende on Sept. 11, 1973. He was taken the country’s main soccer stadium where he was tortured and killed. During Pinochet’s rule, which lasted until 1990, an estimated 3,200 people were killed and 28,000 tortured by the state. SANTIAGO – Human rights organizations in Chile have strongly criticized the state pardon granted to a military officer sentenced for assassinations during Gen. Pinochet’s dictatorship, although the action was merely symbolic. Chile’s news site La … Continue reading

SANTIAGO – A judge has sentenced eight retired military officers to a total of 18 years in prison for the kidnapping and murder of Chile’s most famous folk singer Victor Jara and a government official at the start of the Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship some 45 years ago.

Eight soldiers were sentenced to 15 years, the ninth was given five for cover-up, a statement from Chile’s courts authority said.

Jara, 40, was a celebrated singer, theater director and university professor who sympathized with the socialist government of Salvador Allende, who was ousted in the 1973 coup.

Jara’s work, and the nature of his death, inspired tributes from artists including Bruce Springsteen, the Clash and U2.

His family, including British-born ballerina wife Joan and his daughter Amanda, has fought a long-running campaign for justice in his case and had his body exhumed in 2009…