10 former Chilean officers charged in Victor Jara killing

AP News
Posted: Jul 23, 2015 12:44 PM
10 former Chilean officers charged in Victor Jara killing

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A judge has charged 10 former military officers in the killing of folk singer and political activist Victor Jara during Chile's 1973 coup.

The charges announced late Wednesday by Judge Miguel Vazquez include homicide and kidnapping in the slaying of Jara and former military police head Littre Quiroga Carvajal.

Jara was dragged down to the basement of an indoor stadium that had been converted into a detention and torture center after the Sept. 11, 1973 coup. He was a member of the Communist Party, and many people believe he could have served as a powerful voice against the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

Instead, he was tortured in Santiago's Estadio Chile before he was shot 44 times as a warning to those who challenged Pinochet's authority.

Local residents later found the bodies of Jara and Quiroga Carvajal, who was shot 23 times, in a vacant lot near Santiago's Metropolitan Cemetery, according to court documents.

In all, 40,018 people were killed, tortured or imprisoned for political reasons during Pinochet's dictatorship. Chile's government estimates 3,095 were killed, including about 1,200 who were forcibly disappeared.

Pinochet died in 2006 under house arrest without ever being tried on charges of illegal enrichment and human rights violations.