Víctor Jara

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Víctor Lidio Jara Martínez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbiktor ˈliðjo ˈxaɾa marˈtineθ]) (September 28, 1932 – September 15, 1973[1]) was a Chilean teacher, theatre director, poet, singer-songwriter, political activist and member of the Communist Party of Chile. A distinguished theatre director, he devoted himself to the development of Chilean theatre, directing a broad array of works from locally produced Chilean plays, to the classics of the world stage, to the experimental work of Ann Jellicoe. Simultaneously he developed in the field of music and played a pivotal role among neo-folkloric artists who established the Nueva Canción Chilena (New Chilean Song) movement which led to a revolution in the popular music of his country under the Salvador Allende government. Shortly after the Chilean coup of 11 September 1973, he was arrested, tortured and ultimately shot to death by machine gun fire. His body was later thrown out into the street of a shanty town in Santiago.[2] The contrast between the themes of his songs, on love, peace and social justice and the brutal way in which he was murdered transformed Jara into a symbol of struggle for human rights and justice across Latin America.

"As long as we
sing his songs,
as long as his
courage can inspire
us to greater courage,
Victor Jara will
never die."

Pete Seeger


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