Former Chilean military officials held in singer’s 1973 slaying

SANTIAGO, (Reuters) – At least four former military officials were detained in Chile yesterday for their alleged role in the slaying of singer-songwriter Victor Jara during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

Jara was killed days after the coup that ousted left-leaning President Salvador Allende, and his death became a symbol of the political violence and human rights abuses that ravaged Latin America in the 1970s.

Chilean prosecutors have accused two former lieutenants, Hugo Sanchez and Pedro Barrientos, of fatally shooting Jara and named six others as accomplices in the 1973 case.

Sanchez was detained on Wednesday after surrendering to police, the judge in the case said. An extradition request will be made for Barrientos, who lives in the United States.

Three other men, accused of being accomplices in Jara’s killing, also were being held at a military base after turning themselves in. Another suspect was expected to hand himself over to police, his lawyers said.

Jara, author of well-known songs such as “Te Recuerdo Amanda” (“I Remember You Amanda”) and “El Derecho a Vivir en Paz” (“The Right to Live in Peace”), was arrested along with students and teachers at the State Technical University.

He was taken to the Chile Stadium, a sports venue that was used as a torture center in the days after the Sept. 11, 1973, coup and is now named after Jara.


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