Chile’s Supreme Court on Monday confirmed prison sentences for seven elderly ex-soldiers for the 1973 murder of folk singer Victor Jara.

The soldiers, aged between 73-85 years, will serve prison terms of between eight and 25 years.
Jara, then 40 years old, was arrested the day after the CIA-backed Sept. 11, 1973 coup that overthrew elected president Salvador Allende. Jara’s body was found a few days later, her body torn apart by 44 bullets. He was held, along with about 5,000 other political prisoners, in a sports stadium where he was interrogated, tortured and then killed.
When found, the fingers of the singer who is also the guitarist were crushed – broken by the rifle butt and boots.
Jara is a member of Chile’s Communist Party and a strong supporter of the Popular Unity coalition backing Marxist president Allende. He came to power by popular vote in 1970. The bodies of fellow detainee Littre Quiroga, 33 – the director of the national prison and member of the Communist Party – were found with signs of torture near the bodies

Jara and three other political prisoners.

Monday’s decision – which was the result of an appeal by the convicts – confirmed sentences of 15 years in prison for the murders of Jara and Littre and a further 10 years in prison for the kidnapping of the two, for former military officers Raul Jofre, Edwin Dimter, Nelson Haase, Ernesto Bethke, Juan Jara and Hernan Chacon.

Rolando Melo received eight years in prison for his role in covering up the crime.
The two men were first convicte in 2018 and had their sentences increase in an appeals court three years later. The prison terms having been largely confirmed by the Supreme Court on Monday in its final decision on the matter. Jara, a pacifist singer whose lyrics speak of love and social protest. Become a Latin American popular music icon with songs such as The Right to Live in Peace. Pinochet ruled Chile until 1990 and died in 2006 without ever being punished for the crimes committed by his regime. He is believed to have killed around 3,200 left-wing activists and other suspected opponents. He was buried in a formal ceremony that year which was attended by the then president, Michelle Bachelet. The stadium where Jara was detained, tortured and killed now bears his name in his honour.
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