Chile court lifts verdict in case of torture and murder of singer

Chile court lifts verdict in case of torture and murder of singer

Santiago – A Chilean court on Tuesday increased prison sentences for six former soldiers convicted in one of the worst killings by the former military dictatorship – the kidnapping, torture and murder of popular singer Victor Jara – as well as the sentence of a government official.

The appeals court said the six should serve 25 years in prison instead of the 18 years they were sentenced to when they were convicted in 2018. The Seventh Warrior’s sentence was increased from five to eight years.

Jara, a popular singer and university professor, was a staunch supporter of Marxist President Salvador Allende, and was arrested just hours after General Augusto Pinochet’s assault on the presidential palace and ouster of Allende on September 11, 1973.

Jara was transferred to what was then the National Stadium with thousands of other prisoners. His hands and head were beaten and he was hit by at least 44 bullets as a warning to those who might challenge Pinochet’s authority.


The case also concerns the director of Allende prisons, Leitre Quiroga. who was also tortured and killed in the stadium, apparently due to the alleged mistreatment of an officer who had attempted a coup earlier.

The appeals court said the original judges erroneously rated the crimes as less serious than they were. She said the treatment of the victims was “evidence of the inattention and deep hatred” that had been aroused against them.

“This ruling is also significant as it now definitively overcomes the impunity that has been shown for these crimes for so many years,” said Nelson Cokoto, the attorney for the Jara family.

The court said that during his arrest, Gaara was seen “visibly deteriorating, both physically and mentally, with his face swollen with countless bruises, his hands bloodied and disfigured, and the fingers evidently broken or broken.”

In all, the judges said, Gaara sustained 56 broken bones in addition to 44 bullet wounds. Quiroga was shot 23 times.


The bodies of the two men were dumped on a dusty street near the Metropolitan Cemetery and later taken to the mortuary, where someone identified Gaara and secretly told his wife, British dancer Joan Turner, to Gaara.

The family managed to exhume his body for an autopsy in 2009.

Official investigations count more than 3,000 dead at the hands of the 17-year-old military regime.

The stadium where Gaara was killed has since been renamed in his honor.

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