Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/447/5330

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 July 2006

Chile: Who killed Victor Jara?

Scandal of state compensation paid to mass murderer

AMONGST THE first to be slaughtered by the military dictatorship which seized power in Chile in September 1973 was the very popular folk singer and Communist Party member, Victor Jara. He was married to an English woman, Joan, and dedicated his musical talents to the struggle of the working class and the poor. His songs were about the Chilean working people and their struggles.

Tony Saunois, CWI, Santiago

Following the coup, Jara was taken, along with thousands of others, to the National Stadium to be tortured and killed. Victor Jara's body was found on 16 September 1973 near the Cemeterio Metropolitano, riddled with 34 bullet wounds.

In December 2004, Chilean judge Juan Carlos Urrutia prosecuted the then retired Lieutenant-Colonel, Mario Manriquez Bravo for the murder of Jara. Bravo was the officer in charge of the National Stadium during the bloodbath in 1973. But the identity of the Jara's actual killer remained hidden.

Now, the killer has been exposed. Unbelievably, he works for the new government headed by Socialist Party president, Michelle Bachelet, in the ministry responsible for pensions.

A series of witnesses who survived the National Stadium pointed to Edwin Dimiter, known as the 'Sadistic Prince', and have now identified him. Their horrific testimonies recount the arrogance of this young military officer of 23 at the time. With no mask now hiding his identity, former prisoners recall how he spoke to thousands of prisoners assembled in the stadium.

"Can you hear me you Marxist shit?" was his first address to the prisoners from the second floor of the stadium. He had a booming voice and needed no microphone. "Do you look at me with fear? Now we have finished with speeches you sons-of-bitches. Now you will work and if you will not work, we will execute you. Can you hear me? I have the voice of a Prince". This is included in the testimony of one former prisoner, Victor Garcia. From that moment on he was known as 'The Prince'.

Others recall how a soldier tripped over the legs of a prisoner who lay on the floor after having been beaten. 'The Prince' ordered the prisoner to be shot on the spot. Others recount how he would beat prisoners on the testicles with a leather club and far worse.

No simple soldier

'The Prince' was not simply a soldier compelled to "carry out orders".

In 1970 he had travelled to Panama and underwent training in the notorious 'Escuela de las Americas' - a military training school run by US imperialism for the military throughout Latin America. Many of those who underwent training in Panama went on to participate in military coups and carried out the brutal repression which followed in the 1970s. 'The Prince' was no exception.

He participated in the aborted military coup against Allende in June 1973 - the "Tanquetazo" - and was consequently arrested. During the successful coup of September 11, 1973, he was immediately released and was assigned to duties in the National Stadium. Survivors of the bloodbath there now testify that he arrived at the stadium full of hate following his imprisonment and was out for revenge.

The identity of 'The Prince' has remained a well-kept secret for the last three decades. However, his exposure has revealed an even more bitter chapter in this tragedy. 'The Prince' has been employed by the coalition governments since the "Transition", in the Department of Pensions.

Compensation

Yet even this is not the end of the story. 'The Prince' was stood down from the military in 1976 for unexplained reasons. Yet unbelievably he has been given protection and gained all the benefits included in the 'Ley de Exonerados Politicos' - a law which was introduced in February 1999.

It was introduced as a means of compensating political prisoners under the Pinochet regime. Once arrested, many lost their jobs, could not get work and lost all pension entitlement. This law provided a compensation payment and pension rights for the period concerned. To benefit from this law it is likely that 'The Prince' was nominated by a politician or government official.

This is not the only case of those responsible for torture and murder benefiting from this law which was introduced to assist former political prisoners. Another beneficiary was an intelligence officer with the Chilean Air force, Rafael Gonzalez Verdugo. He was charged with the murder in 1973 of the USA citizen, Charles Horman, featured in the powerful film "Missing" which told a part of the story of the 1973 coup.

Not a closed book

The 'Socialist' government headed by Bachelet, with its neo-liberal policies and continued repression of a new generation of youth in the current school student protests, wants such issues left buried in historical archives.

The uncovering of the identity of the murderer of Victor Jara demonstrates that this period of Chilean history, and the suffering endured by the workers and youth under the dictatorship, is not a closed book. It is being re-opened by a new generation.

The lesson of the defeat of the Chilean revolution in 1973 and the struggle against the dictatorship now needs to be re-learned if the system that bred the Pinochet regime is to be overthrown.

Building a new powerful socialist force, that can end capitalism and set about the task of building socialism, is the best way to avenge the death of Victor Jara and the thousands of others who suffered at the hands of the dictatorship in Chile.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 6 July 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS: Not for sale!

Fighting back against cuts and closures

Stop NHS Logistics sell-off

The NHS: What the Socialist Party says


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Public services not private profit

Build the Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Socialist Party youth and students

Young people need a living wage!


Socialist Party campaigns

How the rich became super-rich

Blairites trounced in Labour heartlands

Come to Summer Camp!


International socialist news and analysis

Israeli troops inflict 'collective punishment' on Palestinians

In Brief

'War on terror' undermining our democratic rights

Chile: Who killed Victor Jara?


Socialist Party review

The Wind that Shakes the Barley

The Irish Civil War 1922-1923


Socialist Party workplace news

Royal Mail - turn anger into action

Bus campaign prepares support for striking drivers


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 July 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Chile:

triangleSouthwest London Socialist Party: The revolt in Chile

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Lessons of the 1973 military coup in Chile

triangleNew pamphlet: constituent assemblies and the revolutionary programme

triangleLeicester Socialist Party: Chile in revolt

triangleBristol South Socialist Party: Uprising in Chile - Workers fight back

Socialist:

triangleYoung Socialists and Socialist Students day of action

triangleNorth London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

triangleSocialist Party meetings: Online and in-person

Pinochet:

triangleNae Pasaran: a film about working-class solidarity

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: Chile 1973

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

Latin America:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: The Constituent Assembly

triangleVenezuela: resist the pro-imperialist coup!

International

International

5/8/20

Cuba

Cuba: Covid-19 and the 60-year-old embargo

5/8/20

Nuclear weapons

Anniversary of nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

22/7/20

Iran

Iran: Renewed wave of protests and strikes

22/7/20

Israel

Israel: Nurses strike and win

8/7/20

Hong Kong

Hong Kong: The fight for democratic rights

24/6/20

South Africa

South Africa: Building jobs and living wage campaign

10/6/20

France

France: 20,000 rally against Paris's killer gendarmes

10/6/20

US

Black and white youth rise up against racism - US protester speaks to the Socialist

3/6/20

USA

USA - another cop killing of unarmed black man sparks widespread protests

31/5/20

US

Outrage spreads globally following US police murder of George Floyd

27/5/20

Hong Kong

Chinese state's imposition of draconian law reignites Hong Kong protests

27/5/20

Lebanon

Economic collapse leads to renewed protests across Lebanon

20/5/20

US

Trump, coronavirus, capitalism, and the presidential race

6/5/20

India

India: Fighting the curse of capitalism and coronavirus

6/5/20

Trump

Trump puts profit before safety (again)

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999