The BBC has the news from Chile that one Col. Mario Manriquez has been indicted in the 1973 execution of singer Victor Jara. For those without the history at their fingertips, in 1970 the Chileans elected a socialist as president, in the face of concerted American opposition. The U.S. spent millions, first to try to defeat Allende at the polls, then to fund a gang of military murderers who staged a bloody coup on September 11th 1973, in the process of cementing which they killed a number of Chilean citizens just slightly higher than the total September 11, 2001 body count. The military, allegedly at Manriquez’ orders, broke Jara’s hands to stop him playing, then killed him. But you see, Jara was a Communist, which in the Seventies meant someone that it was O.K. for U.S.-backed dictators to kill. Since there aren’t any Communists now, we use the word “militant” for the same purpose. You don’t have to have been an admirer of Jara’s music or Allende’s presidential record to still be angry, thirty years later. Nixon is already burning in hell, for Chile if nothing else, and while there are seats reserved there for Pinochet and Kissinger, it’s nice to hear that there’s a chance for some justice this side of the grave.


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December 09, 2004
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