Víctor Lidio Jara Martínez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈβiktoɾ ˈliðjo ˈxaɾa maɾˈtines]; 28 September...
Víctor Lidio Jara Martínez (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈβiktoɾ ˈliðjo ˈxaɾa maɾˈtines]; 28 September 1932 – 16 September 1973) was a Chilean teacher, theater director, poet, singer-songwriter and communist political activist tortured and killed during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. He developed Chilean theater by directing a broad array of works, ranging from locally produced plays to world classics, as well as the experimental work of playwrights such as Ann Jellicoe. He also played a pivotal role among neo-folkloric musicians who established the Nueva Canción Chilena (New Chilean Song) movement. This led to an uprising of new sounds in popular music during the administration of President Salvador Allende.
Jara was arrested shortly after the Chilean coup of 11 September 1973, which overthrew Allende. He was tortured during interrogations and ultimately shot dead, and his body was thrown out on the street of a shantytown in Santiago. The contrast between the themes of his songs—which focused on love, peace, and social justice—and the brutal way in which he was murdered transformed Jara into a "potent symbol of struggle for human rights and justice" for those killed during the Pinochet regime. His preponderant role as an open admirer and propagandist for Che Guevara and Allende's regime, under he served as a cultural ambassador through the late 60's and until the early 70's crisis that ended in Allende's Coup, marked him for death.
In June 2016, a Florida jury found former Chilean Army officer Pedro Barrientos liable for Jara's murder. In July 2018, eight retired Chilean military officers were sentenced to 18 years and a day in prison for Jara's murder.