His blood no longer cries from the ground

Santiago, Chile – Nine men have been found guilty and sentenced, eight of them to 15 year sentences, for the murders of Chilean singer/songwriter Victor Jara and another detainee on September 16, 1973 at the Santiago stadium that now bears his name.

Jara was a University professor in Santiago who supported the democratically elected socialist government in power in 1973, when a coup orchestrated by military-head Augusto Pinochet rounded up acedemics and imprisoned them in the national stadium on September 13th. Jara was singled out for torture, his hands crushed by soldiers who then mocked him, asking him to play his guitar with his crushed hands. On September 16th, Jara was shot in the head and his corpse was shot a further 43 Times. His body was put on public display outside the stadium to deter opposition to the new regime.

Jara was mentioned by U2 in the song One Tree Hill, with the second verse reading

And in the world a heart of darkness, a fire zone
Where poets speak their heart then bleed for it
Jara sang, his song a weapon in the hands of love
You know his blood still cries from the ground
It runs like a river runs to the sea
It runs like a river to the sea
Jaras death has also inspired music by Bruce Springsteen and the Clash. The long campaign for justice from Jaras family, along with the family members of other opposition activists killed during the Pinochet regime, also inspired the song Mothers of the disappeared. 

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