8 former military officers charged in 1973 killing of singer Victor Jara


A gavel rests on top of a desk in the courtroom of the Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum in Miami. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)


Joe Raedle

A Chilean judge has charged eight former military officers in the 1973 killing of leftist singer-songwriter Victor Jara.

Jara, a communist sympathizer and ambassador for socialist President Salvador Allende, was detained immediately after a September 11, 1973, military coup, according to CNN. His body was found days later in an abandoned field with signs of torture and 44 bullet wounds. The singer was among the first victims of the Chile's military dictatorship.

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An international arrest order has been issued for one of the alleged leaders of the death squad, Lt. Pedro Barrientos Nunez, who lives abroad, reported BBC News. Judge Miguel Vasquez accused him and another retired army officer, Col. Hugo Sanchez Marmonti, of homicide. Six other men were accused of complicity to commit murder.

Jara was arrested at the Santiago Technical University, where he was a professor and researcher, along with hundreds of others, according to The New York Times. Those detained were sent to the Chile Stadium, no named the Victor Jara Stadium, and held for days with thousands of other prisoners.

Vasquez said that Jara was recognized by the military officers overseeing those being held and was separated from the others, the Times continued. He was then taken to the basement dressing rooms that were used to question prisoners, where he was interrogated, beaten and tortured by several officers, according to the court.