Americans look back to the administration of Richard Nixon as a time when a president had to resign in disgrace over participation in a crime, but, the people of Chile look back in horror to the administration of Nixon which sanctioned a brutal military takeover of their nation. Thirty-five years ago, the thugs of General Pinochet overthrew the democratically elected government of President Allende, and began a reign of terror that killed thousands. Chilean Judge Juan Eduardo Fuentes, has reopened the case of famous Chilean songwriter, Victor Jara who was brutally murdered, along with others, in the Estadio Chile. Jara was an outstanding political activist songwriter who was beaten, tortured, and had his hands broken by soldiers, who spat at him saying, “Sing now if you can, you bastard.” A few weeks ago, Colonel Mario Manriquez, who supervised the murders in the stadium, was found guilty of murder, but not of pulling the trigger.
Jara was finally taken out to be shot, and his family and friends want the name of the triggerman, known only as “El Pincipe,” which Colonel Manriquez will be forced to reveal. Actually, despite the beatings, Jara did sing a verse from the song, “Venceremos” before going to his death. One of his songs, “Manifesto” has this line: “A song has meaning when it beats in the veins of a man who will die, singing truthfully his song.”